Here There Be Kludges

Brooke here.  Got to get Brown to start writing these up…

But the screwdriver is all the way downstairs!

With the master bedroom under control and the enormous pile of bricks flying itself out of the backyard thanks to a Craigslist post for free antique pavers, I’m now working on my office.  I’m excited as it’s going to be a remarkable deep blue; I’m pissed because the walls are so messed up that they need dark paint to hide the flaws.

The worst section was the part with the dozen drywall anchors.  Best guesstimate based on placement is that the anchors held some shelves.  When the shelves came down and the new paint went up, someone slapped a thick coat of spackle over the anchors and called it good.  Admittedly it’s not an epic kludge, but it is still saturated with rich chocolaty kludginess.

I could only get three of them out with a screwdriver; the rest had to be dug out with a utility knife and a pair of pliers.  Once the anchors were removed, I sanded the everloving crap out of the wall to remove the layer of old spackle.  It turns out the room used to be blue, then pink, and orange before that.  The effect was actually rather pretty and it would be something to play around with if it didn’t mean a stroll through the Valley of Lead Paint.


Five layers down, I hit drywall and stopped sanding.  Then I spackled the everlovin’ crap out of the holes and let them dry for a few hours, then resanded and spackled a second time.  Tomorrow, I’ll go back and sand again, then put some paint over the holes to see if the wall needs a third layer of prep before everything lies flat.

The room also has some rather awful track lighting which throws off a lot of heat.  My birthday is coming up so I’m thinking my gift to myself will be a couple of these, which just look darned cool (Also: lighting for bathroom remodel?  Yes, please).  There’s an old central ceiling fan which might be replaced, or removed and replaced with another light fixture, or removed altogether and the space capped.  Not sure which way is the best to go on that one, but the space is really too small for a full-sized ceiling fan.

5 thoughts on “Here There Be Kludges

  1. There are very small ceiling fans, and if you choose one that has no gap between the ceiling and the fan, it’s a good possibility you can get a decent sized one too.

  2. I strongly recommend keeping a ceiling fan. If you want to avoid the expense of replacing the existing fan with a smaller one, you can do what I did, Trim the fan blades down. Just number the blades and their anchor points and cut them down with a jigsaw or band saw. If you feel confident that you can maintain the balance of the blades, you can cut decorative patterns out of them or reduce the blade to a frame and cover with fabric of your choice.

  3. see if you can get the little paper umbrellas at the party store that they use for fancy drinks. open one a little bit and with your finger, smear a little spackle on the paper on the inner surface. then stick it inside the hole and open it inside the wall. pull it up against the inside of the wall so the spackle sticks it in place. Wait for a little while so it sets, then fill the hole with spackle, holding the umbrella stick tight so the paper works as a backing. Let this first layer dry, then clip off the stick real close or even slightly digging into the spackle, sand, then put on your second coat. The little umbrella keeps your spackle from falling into the space inside the wall while you’re applying it, and makes almost like plaster-and-lath on the back of the hole. And you can use leftover umbrellas in tasty beverages later.

    1. Great idea, thanks! That particular project is finished but that’s a great tip to remember for future use.

  4. I would replace the ceiling fan with a smaller, flush mounted model. Even the latest and greatest computers and their ever-spawning accessories give off a noticeable amount of heat… as we discovered the hard way.

    Even in the middle of winter (and its over an unheated garage) it gets to be a sweltering 78 when everything is running while the rest of the house benchmarks at 70 (+/-2). We spent about $1k on furnace repairmen fussing only to discover the cause was us cramming 5 computers and peripherals into the small office.

    But I digress. If you really hate the fan, get a small flush mounted light. I wouldn’t remove it because that’s a massive pain to replace if you change your mind down the road or the room gets repurposed.

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