First attempt... and I wish I hadn't...

Tony T

New Member
Hi Everyone,
Am I in the right place for advice / sympathy / a right grilling, regarding taking on something that I should not have done and now, halfway through, am regretting it somewhat?

It started as an innocent ripple where sheets of PB joined, halfway up the staircase (pic attached) but instead of calling someone who knows what they are doing, I took advice from 'a friend' (who is also not a plasterer / builder / in anyway qualified) and attacked it with, (on his advice) 'a dirty great belt sander'

I ground out the ripple and replaced with a load of EasiFill 20 (that was more like EasiFill '3' as its 30'C... and the bag had been open a while)
Anyway, It was while I was sanding the first lot of EasiFill that the real problems started.
The vacuum cleaner was running at the top of the stairs with the now abandoned belt sander still plugged into it and I am at the bottom, 3 steps up from the hall downstairs with the end of the vacuum cleaner pipe now attached to a small D/A pneumatic sander - and I think I'm winning...

Unfortunately I had misjudged a couple of very important factors:
Length of vacuum cleaner pipe / Gravity

The vacuum cleaner was the first to 'pop by and say hi' and as it bounced once on it's way down the lid came off and if gufffed it's contents of fine white powder literally everywhere.
The impact of that knocked me down the last 3 stairs into the hall and simultaneously turned me / the downstairs of the house into something like a scene from John Carpenter's 'The Fog'
It took only a split second to realise what had happened before the inevitable followed on...
Like hearing the end theme of Eastenders, the belt sander and extension lead reel faithfully bomped their way rapidly down after the vacuum, the former smacking me in the jaw and the latter destroying my mask / glasses / goggles / any remaining dignity.

Now I have more decisions to make clearly..

The problem is that even where I have got to now, injuries and tough lessons learned aside, I'm never going to get this damned wall flat... (pic 2) and while I don't have the skills to feather / blend it is, I do have 50 odd sanding discs left of assorted grades.

I wont be giving up my day job but any advice / thoughts / bants would be very welcome.



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It is, at first i thought the ripple / line would have a beam / timber behind it but that was not the case. I really cant understand what caused it and it got no worse in the years that we have been here. I just can believe that it was built like this from new, surely someone would have pointed it out and insisted it be fixed under 'snagging' from day 1 ?
Money will sort it out.
No doubt. So, how much would you think would be a reasonable cost for someone who knows what they are doing to 'do what needs to be done'? I use the DWNTBD phrase carefully as I am sure there would be a variation in advice from 'give the area a skim and blend it in' to 'pull the whole area down from ceiling to stairs and replace the lot' That is the junction that I am at.. I could go and buy a proper bag of plaster, an ox speed skim and practice / prey a lot and still make an 4r5e of it.. or if it's not too costly, call in the pros.
Unless the customer is a tight arse and requests it I’ll always try to do a full area rather than feather something personally on a stairs wall with light on I wouldn’t feather it in
Sometimes when you put a straight edge on it there's a massive hump, you might have to cut it out , make it flat before you worry about skimming it.
You will never get it straight and plumb,that horse bolted when it was built. All you can do is manage the bump. As mentioned cut out about 2ft above and 2ft below the join and see what's behind. We always put a full board over the joist level to try and stop movement on timber frame.

Thank you all for the input and comments, it is really appreciated. In the end as you all rightly pointed out, 'You cant polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter (in this case you need a fk ton of glitter..... and a pneumatic sander)
So I filled for all I was worth then sanded till kingdom come.... the sander ran for so long that the landing looked like Charlie Sheen's coffee table on New Year Eve!

In the end I asked a local plaster to come and quote me to skim the whole damn thing..... and his Labrador said..... he said, you know what, I don't know that I'd get it better than you have, paint it and see what it looks like...... so a wash coat of white has gone on.
Once I have some real paint on it I shall return with more pic-at-ures for your kind observances.