Sunday 11 November 2012

Dirty Horrid Preparation Work

I had to sand plasterboard.

This is one of my most hated DIY jobs... typically leaving my hands, knees and arms aching for the next day or so (which perhaps says more about my general fitness than it does about the difficulty of the job)

It is a very messy job, which explains my outfit... dust masks don't fit me so I use a doubled over muslin square... The safety goggles reduce visibility and occasionally steam up, the dust mask restricts vision and squashes my face :( I usually have my hair covered too but I was working near the fire and it was already too darned hot, even with the window open.

We have found a way to keep the dust to a minimum and that is to use an electric sander rigged up to a vacuum (thanks to one of our nice building team for that top-tip) We use a dyson because it has washable filters.

But this means wrestling with the hose of the hoover and the cable of the sander. When you are standing on a step stool it makes it all even more difficult.

We have tried sanding by hand too, which takes a little more time but is much much messier and the sandpaper seems to get clogged very quickly.


I spent a half the day, probably actually only 20mins, sanding part of our living room wall (which looks exactly the same as it did before I started) and then I realised that the plasterwork on the fireplace wall (all lime plaster) had not been properly 'tightened' so it needed wetted and smoothed and skimmed and fixed in places....

I was hating the work so much that I  procrastinated more than once

Oh looky, here are some shelf brackets needing put up!

And after a long and painful day of acheiving very little, at 10pm I painted the bottom sections of the black fire surround, just to make me feel a little better.

My hands ache, my knees ache, my arms ache and all for this.

On a more positive note.... we are almost ready for painting WOOOT!

The Pros are better and quicker at this for a few reasons 
(1) Their plastering is neater to begin with. 
(2) They generally don't need to care about the amount of dust created as they aren't cooking in the next room. 
(3) They don't have a 6 year old who needs regular attention, mostly fixing hair-clips and rotating of DVDs on days like this. 
(4) they have more experience. 
And last, but not least 
(5) they really don't care as much.


  1. I hate this job with a passion - professionals next time!!

    Mind you, I have been known to just paint over whatever is there and just spot fill the bigger holes:)

    viv in nz

  2. Oh, I wish Viv.

    We did get a quote of £1000 to plaster just the Kitchen and Shower-room... That is when we decided to do it all ourselves :-/

    I think the plastering/tape costs us around £40 per room... and of course countless blisters.


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