Saturday, 31 March 2012

Wax On, Wax Off Daniel-son.... or There's a Hole In My Wall, Dear Liza...

I now realize why I will never be a black belt in karate....  it's because I wouldn't be able to stand painting that much fence!  Or sanding that much wall....  My arms are killing me!!  The good part is that by the end of this, I'm gonna have guns like Hulk Hogan!

I have now finished the first round of sanding the walls.  Since the base coat I have seems to do a great job covering the bits of glue, I didn't spend a great deal of time on sanding.  Just how I like it, quick and dirty...

Since I got the final bits of sanding and wiping down finished pretty quickly, I started removing the old, crumbly plaster filler along the bottom of the wall, up the stairs.  

I took my trusty spatula/wallpaper scraper thingy and started digging out the loose stuff.  All was going pretty well until I found a pretty big crack at the top of the stairs.  Ok... no problem...  have to clear out the loose plaster filler before applying new stuff so here goes nothing!  I started digging.  The plaster was pretty spongy so I knew it wasn't going to be great and then.....


There's a big flipping hole in my wall!!

After that bit fell off, I was afraid to dig any further
but I did finish the rest without incident 


It's pretty simple to do really.  Just dig out the loose stuff, clean and fill with a quality plaster filler.  I used Polyfilla.  I would say, don't skimp here.  Get a good filler so you won't have problems later.

Polyfilla comes in powder form and in squeezy tube.  For jobs this size, get the powder.

How To Mix (or how not to mix):
This is how I do it.... the box will likely tell you something different.  If you follow my advice, I take no responsibility for your walls falling down.   If my walls fall down, that's just funny and I'll blog about it later.  If yours fall down, I'll feel bad and likely be sued or something. 

1.  Grab a bowl.   One you don't like.  Preferably one with a wide opening so you can get the scraper in there.

2.  If you use a plastic Hawaiian themed bowl from a patio set your partner bought.  Don't let him see it.   (to be fair, he only bought plates and bowls and there are 13 of each.... who needs 13 plastic bowls and plates??  I used one for the polyfilla and thus made the set a more logical number.  Just need to figure out how to destroy one of the plates)

3.  READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BOX.  Then just do it the easiest way possible. 

4.  The box will tell you the ratio is 2/1.  Two parts powder to one part water.  The box will also tell you it is better to add the powder to the water.  I added water to the powder....  it's possible and you get the same result,  it's just easier the other way.   PLEASE don't measure quantities.  Just eyeball it.  You'll be fine!  Trust me! 

5.  Mix until the gunk is absolutely smooth.   You need a nice stiff consistency... but not too stiff.  The stuff should be like butter cream icing.  It should not drip or run off the stir stick (or plastic fork in this case).  It should also not look crumbly when applied to the wall.  Keep adding powder or water until you get it right.  

This is actually too wet.  I added more powder after this picture but couldn't be bothered to take another one. 

LOOK!  It's the big F**King hole in my wall!!  FIXED!!

I am a genius, really.

Looking up the stairs.

looking down the stairs

After much experimenting,  I think I've gotten a handle on how to do this.  Since the holes were fairly deep, I had to get alot of Polyfilla in there.  The best way to do this is load up your spatula/scraper thing with loads of filler, hold it at a 45 degree angle to the wall and then push the gunk into the hole.  Keep doing this until you get a decent base in order to begin levelling it off.   Since you'll be doing this several times to fill the hole, make sure you pat and jiggle.  To get the air bubbles out, ya dirty minded suckers.

Then it's just a matter of finding the best direction to scrape in order to get the flattest surface.  Since the bottom of our wall here flares out a little, I found it best to scrape lightly upward to try and even it out.

It's a messy job so I recommend having a wet paper towel or old clean cloth handy to wipe away the excess gunk on the trim.  For god's sake people, don't let it dry before trying to clean the trim!

Another good tip,  use a wet fingertip to smooth the filler where it meets the trim.  Gives you a nice neat finish.

Leave to dry for 24 hours.

Next Step:  Light sanding



  1. I did our front hall when we first moved in here and I remember going through this exact process (including the giant hole). In my case that's where I stopped- 4 years later and I still have yet to sand or paint it. Think I'll leave that for the next tenant.

  2. Ah come on Callie.... now that you have my blog, the rest should be easy peasy!! LOL