Right back where we started

Old lathe and plaster ceiling


This weekend, we tackled the junction box repair so that we could reinstall the new track lights we are adding as part of the kitchen mini remodel (I’m not sure repair is the correct word, here, more like re-installed).  Dan cut away a the drywall around the box and we investigated the problem.  It turns out the drywall ceiling was installed over the old lathe and plaster ceiling, and the junction box was attached to the lathe, which didn’t really allow adequate space for the box, nor adequate support for the weight of a light fixture.  Go figure.

We ended up removing some of the lathe and Dan added a piece of wood stringer to support the box by attaching it to the subfloor of the room above.  Dan put the box back in, and tidied up the hole in the drywall to make patching easier.

Patch with paper flaps

coat 1 of joint compound drying

We marked the location of the box on the drywall patch by coating the junction box edges with lipstick, and putting the drywall in place.  The lipstick marked the box location, which made cutting a precise hole for the box easy.  When Dan cut the patch, he first cut the piece larger then the hole by about an inch, and then re-scored the drywall on the back side and removed the gypsum, leaving an overhanging flap of paper to overlap the seam between new and old.

This made setting the piece in place with joint compound a bit easier.  Nonetheless, we are still three BIG steps behind where we started, as we need to finish layering on joint compound to smooth out the patch, sand, and now we will need to paint the entire kitchen ceiling, ugh.

Since we have to paint the entire ceiling, now we are debating on adding track lights on the other side of the kitchen over the sink counter, and removing the pendant light.  The jury is still out on that one.  This whole projects illustrates the primary problems of home renovation/repair.  The little tiny project is always more complicated than it appears on surface, and doing any kind of upgrade is the beginning of a slippery slope, and before you know it, you are over budget and have tackled a lot more than you set out to.  Sigh.  Old houses and simple projects do not go hand in hand.  I hope we finish this before seed starting begins in earnest.  As it is, leeks and onions are scheduled for next week, eek!


11 Responses to “Right back where we started”

  1. Robin Says:

    Oh, the joys of owning an old house! You’ll be glad that you are getting this part out of the way….there’s nothing worse then the dust from drywall repair.

    We have been putting off the total gutting and restoration of the bathroom here. Everyone keeps asking me when we are going to do it since the rest of the house has been done for quite some time now. It’s one of those projects that you really have to get in the right mind set to do.

    • Ali Says:

      A total gut of our bathroom is on the list, actually will be the next big project we tackle. I can hardly wait on the one hand, am dreading it on the other….

  2. Daphne Gould Says:

    I know exactly how you feel. They do tend to get out of hand. With a new house though I’m not sure how much we really will have to do. There are things I don’t like, but will I change them? I’m not sure yet.

    • Ali Says:

      This weekend I was thinking about moving in with you in your shiny new house! Oh, just kidding, there’s no room for the hens :-)

  3. trudy Says:

    I wonder if you need track lights as opposed to other types of lighting. Here’s a photo of what I am thinking:

    • Ali Says:

      Oooh, cute! Unfortunately, in our application, the indispensible pot rack is in the way, but I love that fixture.

  4. jeannie Says:

    It sounds like what Buddy and I when we re-did oUr kitchen, livingrm, dinette, and dinningrm. We took out lots of lath and plaster and gained inches to our rooms! Soom times it’s a blessing in disguise. We found a couple of doors in the walls, a couple of paintings (which one is hanging now in dinette), old wallpaper actually made of paper! And we just have to do two more rooms in the house. The old bathrm and the atticrm. Have fun!

    • Ali Says:

      Amazing! A painting! We will try and have fun and not let the stress of expanding our skills get the better of us!

  5. O. Says:

    Great use of old lipstick! Now you can go get a new color for spring!

  6. weez Says:

    My vote is to keep the hanging pendant light over the sink, I love its charm!

  7. Robin Says:

    Oh I so know what you mean about how one thing turns into a string of things. Sometimes I think it would have been easier to build a new house then renovate our old farm house. We just knocked out some more lathe and plaster in our house Sunday. I didn’t realize we had any of it left. lol

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