Stick a trowel in me…

… I’m done.

We are calling it on the drywall phase of the basement reno. Five and a half months–in case the text version wasn’t clear, let me translate that into numerals 5 1/2 (or 5.5 for you digitally minded folks) months–after we started drywalling the basement, we are finally finished.

Oh the glamourous life of DIYers.

Lest there’s any additional lack of clarity, the basement reno itself is not finished. Only the drywall stage is done.

Some other things that are done:

  1. Bandaging my fingers for my evening sanding sessions.
Bandaged fingers

This is what my hands looked like at the end of a night of sanding. The bandages are pretty much worn away.

I built up calluses on my fingers, of course, but calluses can only do so much. It took me two nights of bleeding fingers to learn my lesson. (Point in my favour: the nights were not consecutive. I’m not that dumb). Before the second incident, I thought my fingers were sufficiently toughened from the first incident to not require protection. I learned that no matter how leathery and rough I think my hands are, I can apparently always do more damage.

Good news is I would make a good spy these days, as my fingerprints are sanded off.

  1. Also done is Matt’s nightly decoding dilemmas as he tries to interpret the pasting instructions I draw on the drywall.
Pencil markings

The two circles highlight a scratch and some divots that need to be filled. The U and V markings are supposed to be arrows that point out a ridge that needs to be feathered out with paste.

The division of labour when it came to drywall was I sand, Matt pastes. As I work, I keep a pencil behind my ear, so that I can mark spots that need particular attention.

Additional symbols in my drywall lexicon include lines and once in awhile actual words–that usually still require translation.

  1. The biggest change that will result from concluding drywall work will be no more drywall dust throughout the house.
Pile of drywall dust

The partially swept office floor (and yes, I know my work shoes are looking a little worn).

In the basement, the dust was so deep that dunes were starting to form. It took Matt and me a full afternoon to wipe down the walls and ceilings, sweep up the worst of the dust and then vacuum the remaining powder.

Upstairs is also covered in a fine skim of dust, although we haven’t done a deep clean there yet. We have to keep up our glamourous DIY lifestyle, after all.

Starting out on this project, I never dreamed that drywall would take us nearly half a year (ouch, that sounds like a really, really long time). My only excuse is that we ended up having to redo a huge area–pretty much the whole basement, we didn’t work on it religiously every single day and we’re not professional, so we’re slow.

The finish is definitely not perfect, but I’m satisfied with how it turned out, and I’m really happy that Matt and I were able to tackle such a big project together by ourselves (with help from my Dad, of course. Thanks, Dad!).

And now, in the way of DIY, concluding one stage of the project means it’s now on to the next. Painting here we come!

What’s on your agenda for this weekend?

8 thoughts on “Stick a trowel in me…

  1. Yeah to Julia and Matt!!

    What a huge part of your list that is, or was.

    How big will your smiles be when it is painted?

    I’m off to be a forest checkpoint for Dan this morning. It’s a triathalon of canoeing, biking and orienteering at Christie. I hope the fog clears off and is followed by sun. I will fill my pack back for everything, including a chair and a book for my sit in the woods.

    Have a great day. “Look up and keep smiling”

    Love to you both,

    Auntie Anne

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