DIY with your spouse – Drywall, tape and mud

The thing about DIY-ing, is that it requires patience and a proper technique. Something I’m in short supply.

This house we took on as a retirement home may just ruin my sense of let-me-see-if-I-can-do-it attitude. I’m so happy it’s a small house because my DIY mojo is fizzling– but I will never give in. I may be 95 years old, but I will still be trying something new. Or, as in my case, screwing something up.

Clearing the walls of the 18 years of nicotine buildup has required numerous attempts at home recipes as well as toxic suggestions. I was seriously doing a happy dance when I discovered that straight bleach was making the walls look almost new. I danced to a song I created of completely made up words—except the word guacamole because that’s my favorite word.

As for the smell, well…bleach trumps the smell of cigarettes. I had to stop using the bleach because it was burning my eyes. My husband found a product named No Gloves that seems to be doing the trick. There’s no smell to it.

One night, my husband and I had a little wallpaper removal party—in the same room! It may have had something to do with beer, music, and very little conversation, but we worked together in close proximity of each other and I didn’t tell him how to do anything–I don’t think.

We are moving along, now it’s time to fix all the cracked wall seams–which means tape and mud—oh, and removal of the old, cracked stuff. Drywall mudding is definitely a skill, but I knew this going in. I watched many YouTube video and read many DIY articles before I started. I felt prepared.

Apparently, I need to check the peanut butter container–not the chunky one–because my memory failed me and my first attempt at mixing mud created more work for myself. (yes, I know there is the premix kind, but I followed several suggestions to use a joint setting compound (apparently there is a difference) which only comes in the kind that has to be mixed with water–at least as far as I know.

To the seasoned DIY-er, this may give you a good eye roll…..on the third day I discovered that the taping knife has another purpose. It’s used to knock down globs due to rookie attempts.

Oh, and to any of you fellow smarty pants who believe you can do anything, there is a proper way to hold the knife. Once I learned that, I became Ms Give Me Another Wall Crack. Ha! I had that typed a certain way and had to change it–use your imagination.

One thing I’m certain of, we will make it through this with our marriage intact. As long as my husband continues to ply me with candy and blackberry pie, we will be just fine.



About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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22 Responses to DIY with your spouse – Drywall, tape and mud

  1. Gallivanta says:

    Love your enthusiasm!

  2. Jo says:

    We ended up hiring someone to do our mudding or else we’d still be sanding. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  3. aviets says:

    Wow, what an adventure! You have SOOO much more perseverance thank I do. And it sounds like you’re making great progress on that project. 😄

    • April says:

      There is something I like about working with my hands. I guess that makes sense since my brain is so wonky. 😀

  4. There’s a proper way to hold the knife? Maybe I should have paid more attention to my husband’s tutorial. Oh well there is much mudding, taping, sanding, etc in my future as well. Drywall has quickly become my least favorite thing about fixing my house. Have you tried doing knock down ceilings yet?

    • April says:

      Yes, if you place your index finger right above the handle you have more control. When feathering, move your index finger to the left or right—oh my! It made my job so much fun. And yes, we had to tear a couple of ceiling areas down due to a leak in our new roof. Thankfully the roofer is back making it right.

  5. meANXIETYme says:

    If you’ve mastered the drywall mudding, please come to my house. We’ve done it over and over again (in previous houses) without success. My family is very handy and THEY have tried it, too, to no avail. It’s a skill that is very difficult to master, so good on ya!
    We’ll do almost any DIY except drywall taping and mudding. We hung the drywall, then ended up having someone else come in and make the walls “paint ready” for us. It was so worth the $ to avoid the weeks of aggravation and the crappy results we ended up with (we were trying to sell the house so it needed to look good).
    And yay for candy and pie! 😉

    • April says:

      Well, I’m still in the trying phase and working on one room…, we’ll see if someone has to come make it right. After learning from my shower pan debacle, I’m starting small to see if I can do it. It just may be one of those things to hire out—I’m a slow learner. 🙂

      • meANXIETYme says:

        We could never get the mud to be right. It always bubbled or cracked or wasn’t even. Like I said, it seems like a particular skill that was really difficult to master…
        Small is good! Good luck!

  6. mewhoami says:

    You two have certainly taken on quite the project, but I bet the finished product will look amazing. And with the pie, you’ll both still be alive to enjoy it. 🙂

    • April says:

      I won’t stop until it looks amazing. We have a bunch of funky angles to deal with so we just may have to resort to using the professionals.

  7. carol garner says:

    how much fun it must be to fix up the old homested with hubby and beer….enjoyed reading. xoxo

    • April says:

      It is fun but a bit overwhelming. There is only so much we can do in a week and only so many times we can afford to go there. We may just have to break down and do the 15 hour drive. ugh

  8. We are wallpapering. And by “we”, I mean ” he”. My job is to help tear off the old and… Well, that’s all. He has a method and prefers to work solo. Fine by me. But I admire you and other DIY gals.

    • April says:

      You definitely have the hard part. Removing wallpaper has to be one the worst part of my experience. Especially when I got to the room with three layers of it.

  9. Cathy says:

    Always love love love your posts. A lot of them resemble me…..can’t wait for retirement to start some stuff. Just looked at inventory in garage and I have lots to use……hugs my dear as always

  10. I’m looking to buy some stock, what brand of candy and pie does he buy for you? 😀

    • April says:

      😀 hee hee the blackberry pie was from a local bakery and skittles make good material to nom while working on a house.

  11. Don says:

    You really make me smile April. Love your posts. So down to earth and full of the stuff of life.

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