Saturday, November 19, 2016

How to Mud a Cathedral Ceiling

We've been taping and mudding the drywall in the new bathroom. It's really exciting to feel like we're getting close to having a major piece of the room finished!

YouTube was our friend in honing our technique for the walls and corners, but we had one big challenge we couldn't find specific guidance for. We have a cathedral ceiling. And framing doesn't actually come to a point; there's a flat beam at the highest part of the ceiling. But we could just leave it flat, because all throughout the rest of the second floor it comes to a sharp point. So we had to create the angle by hand.

That big strip with no drywall? Yeah. That's the flat beam. And somehow it's going to look pointy with nothing but drywall mud and dreams.

Brett thought about a lot of possible solutions, and decided on using a flexible metal corner to create the point.

We started by testing a short piece. We dry-fit it to get the angle right. Once it was the right shape, we moistened the tape to make it adhere better. Then we applied mud to the ceiling, put the corner in place, and smoothed everything out until the mud wasn't too thick and the corner stayed put. 

The short piece worked like a charm, and made the nice sharp point we were looking for. So we decided to go for it on the rest of the ceiling.

The larger scale proved to be more problematic. First, it was hard to get the long metal corner straight. The flexibility that made it fit so well also made it twist. So we did a lot of holding it up, taking it down, bending it back the other way, and holding it up again. (No gym arm-toning exercises for me!)

Then, once we had the whole piece up, its weight kept pulling it away from the ceiling. We ended up having to tack in a couple of brad nails to hold it while the mud dried. Even so, I think Brett spent the whole night listening for a huge crash.

But happily, no crash was forthcoming. Success! Now we just have to sand it... and add a second coat... and sand it again.... oh boy.

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