Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Don't look under the trivet.

In my kitchen, adjacent to the old fan in the ceiling that needs to be removed, was a wooden trivet.

I've been ignoring it for almost six months. There's no reason to screw a trivet into your kitchen ceiling, therefore there *must* be something really terrible behind it.  The week before I was to host Thanksgiving I decided to deal with this.  I know.  I know!  I'm dumb; there's no reason to start projects like these when you're attempting to orchestrate a meal for ten people.

Hey there, big hole.  Holes are actually no big deal, but this hole had screws that extended from the attic, through the lathe and plaster, and past where the kitchen ceiling should end.  Hence the former owner screwing a trivet there instead.

Ha ha, just kidding, that makes no sense, no matter how you dice it.

In order to patch the ceiling I would need to get the screws reversed enough to not poke through.  I didn't want to climb into my attic and dig around it the insulation for the rogue screws for a lot of good reasons, but mostly because of SPIDERS, OH MY GOD, SPIDERS.  I decided to try and reverse the screws from below.  I tried a number of things that didn't work and then one thing that worked really well.  This was my recipe for success:

Take your drill.  I love my drill.  There would much wailing if anything happened to it.

Remove the drill bit.

Spin it until the grabbers are extended really far.

Tighten the grabbers around the end of the screw.  Then depress the trigger and reverse the screws back into the ceiling.  I'm sure an expert would tell you that this is back for your drill or bad for the screws or bad for the environment, but I don't care (and you shouldn't) because it worked.  Once that's taken care of you can patch the ceiling like normal.

 Apply your patch.

Apply spackle, using a large trowel.  Let it dry and apply more if you need to. 

Sand it.  Boy does this part ever suck.  Wear a mask and protective eyewear and know that it won't make a lick of difference because you will be *coated* in dust.  Think about how you should be making cranberries and sewing napkins for Thanksgiving dinner.  But also think, "Hey, now I have a trivet."

Slap a coat of paint on the ceiling and think, "I'll texture that spot on the ceiling later."  Ignore for 3-5 years.  Enjoy your free trivet!


  1. And I still haven't textured that area! It's been two years. :)

  2. And I still haven't textured that area! It's been two years. :)


  4. Leslie @ NE Portland BungalowJune 24, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Agreed- hilarious! Love your writing style :)