The Great Coat Closet Remodel Project! – Top It Off Edition

It’s time for the final stages of The Great Coat Closet Remodel Project, and as usual in the final stages of a project, I seem to have lost a little momentum. Still, it has to be done, so I devoted some time yesterday to hanging the rest of the drywall in the closet. I can only do this for about an hour – for some reason hanging drywall is exhausting for me.

I did learn some lessons from the work in the back of the closet. I decided to drill holes for the drywall screws to make it easier to screw the drywall into our harder-than-granite 100-year-old pine studs. I started with the ceiling panels. Notice that I wrote panels. I am trying to use up some rather large scraps of drywall, rather than having to purchase more. I hate doing seams, but it is in a closet. If it ends up less-than-perfect, most of it will covered by tools and coats anyway.

First, I measured the depth and width of the space that I need to cover. As it turns out, I had three sections of drywall that, when laid side-by-side, would give me the correct width. I cut each piece to length, then tested them in the closet for size. I had to notch two of the ceiling panels around the door frame. I measured the size of the notch, marked it on the panel, and cut it with my razor knife.

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The first piece that I did, I cut the knockout from the wrong end! Argh! However, I was able to “fix” it, as you will see it a bit.

I went to fit the first piece to the ceiling, and this is where I ran into trouble. The upper horizontal stud along the wall between the closet and the kitchen is just slightly lower than the joists in the closet ceiling. It took me forever to figure out why the cut piece would not sit snugly against the joists. I finally decided to just screw it down as tight as I could, and hope for the best. I think it will end up only being a little noticeable, and then only if you are really looking at it.

Once I got that piece in place, I secured it in the center with a single drywall nail, just to hold it in place while I worked. Then I drilled holes for the drywall screws, and attached the drywall securely with a screw in each hole. I then repeated the process with the other two panels.

The notch that I cut from the wrong end of the first panel needed to be patch, so I took the knockout piece and attached it securely in the notched area.

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With the three ceiling panels in place, I enthusiastically began on the back wall, where my energy began to quickly dwindle. One the left side, I needed a piece with an angled edge to fit under the slope of the stairs. I found a piece of drywall about the right size, slid it into place, and marked a line to cut. I had a little trouble with this piece, as it turned out to be not quite large enough. However, the gaps can be filled easily with spackle, so that it will be unnoticeable once I am done (I hope).

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On the right side, since the ceiling is slightly uneven due to the uneven studs, I could not just abut the wall piece next to the ceiling pieces. I finally had to use my level to mark a plumb line on the paper backing of the insulation, and then use that as a guide to trim the drywall as needed on the ceiling edge. It ended up being a rather raggedy job, but at least there is a plumb line to continue against.

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Additionally, I had some issues with one of the drywall nails in the second piece. The nail head got bent as I was hammering it in, and then I couldn’t remove it. I was finally able to get it out, with Steve’s help, but it damaged that edge of the drywall. Again, I am hoping that my mudding skills will rise to the occasion.

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