Playing With Mud And Tape

We ended up having to redo some of the drywall and studs in the master bedroom thanks to the metal studs not being very strong and needing reinforcement. Some of the drywall sheets had to be taken off and we hung new ones after adding some additional studs and rails.

We also ran into an issue with the holes being cut for the electrical boxes. The drill bit that we bought to do the holes is the same size as the boxes, but when you go to cut the holes they don’t fit very well. They are actually a little too big and when you go to tighten the screws they sometimes moved around too much. Well, once the hole is cut, there is really no way to fix it. The only thing to do is take down the drywall sheet and hang another one and then cut another hole. We had to do this a couple of times and then Dude got sick of it so he decided to use a small bit and then continue to shave some drywall off around it with a drywall knife until he had the right size. This seemed to work the best even though it still took some time and made a big mess of drywall dust all over the ground.

Once this was all done and we were somewhat satisfied with the outcome (I say “somewhat” cuz Dude has not been really satisfied with the materials and the way this project has been going since we started it) we were at the point of mudding and taping.  I, the totally oblivious one, thought it was looking pretty good.

Just like everything else with this project, I knew nothing of mudding and taping and was very surprised at what a mess it created and how much work it was. Thank goodness we weren’t doing the whole house. A “For Sale” sign would be out front by now if so, cuz there is no way I was gonna put myself through that experience. Doing only four walls was about ready to send me to the funny farm, let alone the whole dang place!

Well, Dude and I bought the joint compound that you have to mix and since we didn’t know the good stuff from the bad, we went with the middle of the road mix and figured that should be good enough. We only bought one bag, though, cuz in case it really sucked eggs we weren’t stuck with a bunch of heavy bags to take back to the store and I wouldn’t have to yell at the guys there and tell them their stuff was crap. I just wasn’t in the mood for that one!

When we got ready to mix it, we weren’t sure what the “real” recipe called for. We’ve learned that whenever there is something written on a box or bag, the recipe for the mix never seems to be quite right so we’ve had to tweek it some. The problem was that Dude said that the mix couldn’t be too runny or too thick. So we started out with a little bit of water and a bunch of mix. We ended up have a chunky mix and just had to keep adding water. Then we added too much water and the mix was runny so we had to add more joint compound. We were just going around in circles.

Finally after about 30 minutes we got it to be “just OK” in Dude’s opinion.


As usual, I let Dude do all the work seeing as he is the professional. He did some drywall work with friends when he was younger and I can’t claim that to my fame. I was in charge of making sure the bucket of drywall was covered so it wouldn’t dry out and to be sure to hand him anything he needed. I also had to always go rinse out the bucket each time the mix was gone and all the tools, too.

We ended up using the bag of mix before the day was over and we hadn’t even finished the master bedroom, yet. So we decided to go over to Point P to buy some more bags. The original bag came from LeRoy Merlin and we had hoped that this new stuff would match up cuz Point P didn’t have the same stuff.

Well, our assumptions were wrong. It turned out that Dude really liked the stuff from LeRoy’s better. The new stuff just wouldn’t mix right and he had to keep going over everything about 4 or 5 times, no kidding folks. It was a nightmare. Of course, like all the other stuff we were doing, this was going to be another time wasting experience. To do all the drywall work it took several days.

Due to this, I now hate drywall work, too. Boy, I sure was weeding out all these jobs I could be doing in the future. As always, I don’t mind the work, it’s the stupidity that I hate. That just makes the work that much harder!

Once all the rooms were done, it was now time for sanding. Here we go with another couple of days on the same thing. We didn’t have poll sanders (Dude gave them away when we came here from the states) and we didn’t have a power sander, either, so we had to do the walls with a hand sander. To make matters worse, we only had one sander so Dude and I took turns. We just couldn’t bear to fork out the dough for an extra one.

All the sanding made the entire house absolutely filthy. There was dust in every room and on everything we owned. Also, it wasn’t just the walls that were drywalled that we had to sand. It was every wall in the house that we were going to paint. While taking turns with the sanding we also took turns with washing the wall down just to be sure to get any marks, glue or mildew that might be left.

Yes, you got it folks, I found out that I hate sanding and washing walls. Well there’s two more jobs I can cross of for myself in the future. The finish work is super boring and it takes super long. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but if something is super boring is shouldn’t take super long (what’s up with that). You just get side tracked and start dreaming away and then you end up taking even longer so now a super, long, boring job has been super sized to extra-super, long and boring job. Ahhhhh!

We were able to get through the first part of the sanding, but the walls needed to be gone over again with some more mud to be sure all was good. That meant more sanding. By the end of this day we were really stressed out, because after all of this (and me working at the office, as well) Dude and I had used up 12 days worth of work.

We were moving into the house two days from this point and we had drywall for walls, only half a house with electricity, no internet or phones, no kitchen, glue still on the floors, dust everywhere and guess what? Our hot water tank didn’t work.

Sounds like life as usual for us.

Oh yaah, and we had another visitor today 🙂 We saved him, of course, and now he’s friends with our little frog in the garden.



About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on September 3, 2011, in The House of the Farmer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I can tell my wife was smart to refuse to consider us buying a house that needed a lot of fixing up. I have never done any drywall work nor she for that matter so we would have been in a bad way if not for our general contractor friend that we imported for a couple of weeks in exchange for a plane ticket. We told him he would have a great vacation in France working on our house.
    We keep trying to get him back to do some more work but he hasn’t come so far; wonder that means?

    • Yes-it was smart of you and your wife. Unfortunately, for us it was the only way we could afford a decent size house in this region. If we would have bought something new, it would have cost more than what we bought this house for and it would have been really small. We wanted something large so friends and family could come for a visit. When weighting the cost of new verses old plus the fix up we still came out ahead with the old fix up so we went with that. I have to use Dude’s construction skills for all their worth!
      I do have to say even though the work has been really awful and hard, I absolutely love this house. I love where it is and the beautiful garden. I suppose when all is said and done, it will be great when the construction is finished and we can feel real proud about it. (Like 10 years from now 🙂 )
      As far as your friend is concerned, looks like working once in France did him in! Dude and I are about there as well. I guess he must be a great contractor! He knows when to split because the French materials and work is ridiculous. Maybe offer him some pizza and wine to go along with that plane ticket!
      By the way, due to my horror stories none of our friends will come help, either. I think I have stuck my foot in my mouth on that one!

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