No, I didn't have my surgery this past Thursday. More on that later.
But a week ago Friday, the 19th, Joe Venn the plasterer did make his fourth and final visit to finish up the work on my 3rd floor Study ceiling. Things have been a little . . . distracted . . . around here, so it was only this afternoon that I got around to taking any After pictures.
Today's task was to sand the finish coat he applied on Wednesday, and touch the surfaces up with spackle wherever that might be needed. He nearly wasn't able to accomplish that, because I had to be out this morning and totally forgot to carry out the arrangements I'd made to let him in. Thank goodness he had some time after lunch to come back, since his bookings this past week would have prevented him from working on my job for who knows how long.
Anyway, here it is nine days later and I think it's pretty amazing to have a nice, smooth surface after months of staring at lath and broken keys. And damn! am I glad I didn't give in to the suggestions that I patch in a piece of drywall and skim coat it over. Would have been asking for trouble, since there's no way the materials would have worked well together over time. I'd forever be reminded of where the patched places were.
Not that there won't be any stress cracks in the new plaster. Joe said that would be normal, as it cures. Any that appear, I can skim on a little joint compound and sand it down, before painting.
One thing he was very emphatic about, is that I should prime the new plaster at any cracks, before I apply the compound. I told him that made sense to me. Otherwise, the bare plaster will leach all the water out of the patching material and hey, presto! there's your crack again. If it's primed with BINS or Zinsser or something like that, you won't have that problem. Yeah, he said, but I'd be surprised at how many clients of his don't believe that and think they can leave out that step.
I was very gratified to have him tell me I need to wait at least a month for the new plaster to cure before I can even think of painting it. Oh, good, that means I don't have to feel guilty for being physically incapable of doing that while I'm recuperating. I can look at the filled-in places and say, "That plaster is curing. It's Not Time to paint it yet."
It's definitely been curing the past week or two. A sharp, fizzy smell, that gets up your nose. Nice, that the weather hasn't been too chilly, and I could keep the Study windows open.
I think Joe did a good job. Maybe I could have done as well . . . if I practiced for five or ten years. The money was well-spent. So if anyone in the area northwest of Pittsburgh needs a plasterer, leave me a comment and I can put you in touch. Or just look up "Venn Plastering" in the Yellow Pages.
But . . . as I intimated above, my surgery was postponed. Because in all the errand-running and cleaning and preaching and concert-singing and staying up way too late I engaged in the end of last week and the beginning of the week just past, I managed to pick up the local cold. And a runny, drippy, sodden, snowplow-run-over-your-body-achy cold it proved to be, too. I called the surgeon's office last Wednesday morning to get their advice and the nurse said No, they weren't operating on me like that. The stupid tumor's got to come out, but it isn't that urgent.
And the reason it slipped my mind to make sure Joe the Plasterer could get in the morning of the 19th? Oh, that was a little matter of a followup ultrasound I had to go get because the CT scan from the previous Monday had revealed a suspicious "indeterminate lesion" on my liver. Thank God, thank God, the sonogram showed it to be a benign cyst.
But you can see why "distracted" has been the operative term!