yesterday i patched; today i sand. there were a few spots that wasn't completed dried yet (inner corners), but i was willing to risk it. i emptied the bathroom so dust wouldn't get onto everything. i put down some newspaper to catch the dust (knowing that it was a futile effort) and wore a KN95 mask (not sure if it'd keep the dust out, but better than nothing). i worked with the door closed so at least the dust was concentrated in the bathroom. i used 120 medium grit sandpaper on a sanding block. i also found some 150 grit sandpaper (for drywall) on a sanding trowel, but i preferred the maneuverability of the block. i started sanding around 11am, i was done less than 40 minutes later. after discarding the newspaper, i vacuumed up the remaining drywall dust with a shopvac (wasn't going to clog my regular shark vac with all that dust). i moved my vornado fan into the bathroom and turned it on with the window partially opened, hoping to dry up that last bit of wet mud.
i took a break around noontime to watch some news and eat some pizza rolls for lunch. haven't had these in a while, they seem smaller, which wouldn't surprise me, given the amount of shrinkflation that goes on with groceries.
i thought my tetra has died this morning. i noticed since yesterday it doesn't seem to move, just hangs out in one corner of the tank, even during feeding time, which used to be when it was most active. come to think of it, it's been getting more lethargic lately. tetras can live to 10 years, this one that i have is 5 years old. it's the only surviving member of an original group of 11 fishes. if this tetra does die (hopefully just from old age, and not anything i did), i don't know if i'm going to get anymore new fish for the time being. with fish, i can properly treat the algae problem in my tank, add all sorts of chemicals without worrying about killing critters.
1pm i began the next phase of construction: taping. i never came across the reason for taping, but it seems to be a necessary step of drywall finishing, so i did it. i think it's to prevent cracks between separate panels of drywalls. i started by applying a thin layer of joint compound across a butt joint. before i even finishing applying the mud, i could see it already drying up around the edges. i had 2 butt joints on the small wall and 2 butt joints on the larger wall. after that i did the inner corners, which there were 4, including the ceiling. that was more challenging. if i short strip of compound was already drying before i could apply the tape, imagine a 9ft span of inner corner, mud on both sides. i worked as fast as i could, applying more mud, watering it down to made it wetter so it wouldn't dry as fast. inner corners are actually easy, because i can press down into the crease with the drywall knife to make them fit into place. that took nearly 1-1/2 hours.
finishing the outer corner took nearly an hour. i cut the paper-faced metal corner bead to length - 104 inches - and placed it in the outer corner to see what it'd look like. a perfect fit. i then started applying the mud to both sides of the corner, before attaching the corner bed. i then smoothed out the paper on both sides, making sure to squeeze out an excess joint compound. i ran into problems because the mud had already started drying, so there were segments that weren't quite adhering to the wall, where i then had to fix by adding some more wet joint compound. i was finally done by 3:40pm.
i realized i wouldn't have enough joint compound to coat the tape and corner bed. so i decided to make a supply run to home depot. i didn't like the time - 4pm - figured there'd be a lot of traffic. before going, i went down to the basement to check on my old paints. the bathroom wall color is a benjamin moore fresh cut grass in semi-gloss. i scoured my old blog postings for what paint i used for the ceiling, i'm not sure, but it was a semi-gloss of some kind. could possibly be home depot's behr premium plus semi-gloss enamel ultra pure white. i vaguely remember going with semi-gloss since it's easier to clean, given the moist nature of the bathroom. that paint is also what i used for all the trims and windows.
i finally left by 4:20pm. just as i feared, there was some traffic. the closer i got to home depot though, the less cars there were. and when i finally got there by 4:45pm, the place was virtually empty. figured a lot of their weekday customers are contractors, and approaching quitting time, nobody would be caught dead still shopping for materials. i grabbed another 1.75qt of USG all purpose joint compound ($5.56). i also got another can of zinsser 123 primer, in case i run out (so i wouldn't have to come back again). i noticed they were out of the shellac-based BIN primer, the one i returned on monday.
going to home depot took me 25 minutes; coming back it was only 16 minutes, despite it being rush hour. maybe i was just going against traffic. i swept the sidewalk of leaves and did a quick pickup of some backyard oak leaves to fill the refuse bin before going inside.
i left the fan running in the bathroom. the wet spots from earlier were all dried now. time for coating the tape and corner bead. i watched a bunch of youtube videos to make sure i got the technique down. none of them told me what i wanted, which is drywall finishing from beginning to end. all the ones i saw were just showing specific drywall tasks, but i wish there was one that showed all the steps in sequence so i could just follow it. in the end i figured there was no wrong way, so i went ahead and started applying the mud by 5:30pm.
coating stage took over 2-1/2 hours. i wasn't finished until a bit after 8pm. the thing i hate the most is having to climb the ladder. there isn't a lot of space in my bathroom, and the ladder has to straddle the toilet. if i want to work on any ground level areas, i need to remove the ladder.
with coating done, there was nothing to do but to wait for it to dry. i opened the bathroom window (outside a bit chilly, in the lower 50's) and ran the fan with the door closed.
i couldn't decide what to have for dinner (haven't done any grocery shopping this week either, all my free time spent doing bathroom renovation work), but then remembered i still had that pasta meat sauce from last week. some pasta would really hit the spot, especially on a cold night. i ate while watching thursday night football on amazon prime.
i wasn't planning on doing anymore renovation work tonight, figured i did more than enough work for one day. but when i went to the bathroom around 11pm, i noticed most of the joint compound had dried already. so starting at 11:20pm i began to sand. there were a few inner corner spots that were still wet (like what happened this morning), but i could work around it. i also noticed a spot or two on the corner bed that might be blistering, but after i sanded over them, they seemed to have disappeared.
i sanded for an hour, door closed, window opened (cold!), KN95 mask on. it was a really mess, dust flying everywhere. i sanded everything down so the surface was uniformly smooth, no need for any additional coat of joint compound. a few spots i patched a little bit, going to leave them overnight before i sand tomorrow, but 99% of the wall is finished and ready for painting.
at this rate, i can prime and apply the first coat tomorrow, depending on how fast the paint dries, i might even get to the 2nd (and final) coat. the bathroom could be finished by tomorrow!