Dry Wall Hopper, Lesson Learned - A DECORATING TIP

Posted on June 15, 2015 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments
Fixing damaged, water-stain dry wall takes more than painting.

   Do you know what this is? If you don’t, my advice if you see one: Run the other direction.
   Now, I’ve never considered myself gullible, that is, until my son, Brian, used this “thing” in a remodeling project.
   It all began with an innocent phone conversation from my son. “Can you come down and help paint the basement?” Brian asked, referring to their new home in Battle Creek where his family had just relocated.
   “Of course,” I blurted out without hesitating or asking any further questions.  I should have.  But at the time I hadn’t seen my grandkids since the big move three weeks ago and I was super anxious to get a dose of their sticky-finger hugs and kisses.  Besides, since I paint pictures for a living and have countless times rolled paint on the 13-foot gallery walls, sometimes not even the right color, I figured painting a basement would be child’s play.
   A few days later I discovered the “basement.” It was unlike the beauty of the rest of the house, water- damaged drywall had Brian re-taping seams and patching stained and softened areas. Although repaired, obvious lumps and bumps remained.
   “I’ve got the perfect solution that’ll conceal those rough areas,” Brian beamed, holding up the triangle-shaped gizmo photographed earlier. “We’re going to texturize the walls with this air-spray hopper gun.”
   How could I not be confident? Brian is third generation engineer inheriting the measure-to-the-sixteenth gene. By chance he didn’t get my non-mechanical, carefree chromosome or my toolbox.
   “We just mix in two cups joint compound to a gallon of texturing popcorn,” Brian went on to explain. 
   I grabbed the big bag of “popcorn” and began to pour its contents. Itty-bitty Styrofoam pellets floated out. Luckily most of them made it into the mixing pail.
   “Don’t worry about the mess,” Brian said. “I’ve got things protected.” Earlier I noticed Brian had covered the carpet with cardboard and draped furniture in plastic.
   Once the texturizing concoction was mixed and scooped into the hopper Brian connected the spray-gun/hopper to the mighty DeWald construction compressor his brother had given him years ago. Now Brian was ready to aim the spray gun at the wall.  
  “I’m not sure how far this drywall mud will shoot so could you hold up this cardboard to protect that window,” he asked, guiding me a foot to the left.
   I stretched my arms as far as I could to hold up the massive board. I clutched it high above my head to make sure the window was completely covered.
   “Let it rip,” I ordered Brian.
   A roar echoed in the lower level as the air compressor screamed to life. I jumped a foot as the rumble bounced off the walls. I had forgotten what a powerhouse this beastly compressor was. Then I became curious. I peeked around the edge of the board. Brian squeezed the trigger. A forceful blast of white snow shot out of the hopper speckling the wall. Brian waved the gun leaving a wide three-foot wake of white spatter wherever he aimed. There didn’t seem to be a lot of control in operating this hopper so I hid back behind the cardboard shield.
   “Raise the board higher,” Brian said. “I need to circle one more time.”
   Diligently I held the big board as high as my arms could reach. Barely a minute later I felt pelting pellets pummel my legs. I looked down and oatmeal size globs of drywall mud covered my pants.

   Brian’s faced flushed red. “Sorry, there must have been some pellets lodged in the neck of the hopper. I lost control of my aim for a minute.”
   A minute? Ten seconds is all it took for me to be the abominable snowman from the knees down!
   My DYI advice:
   If you don’t recognize the equipment, ask before saying “yes.”


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