One of the first projects I tackled on Billiam’s List, was repairing the dented, scarred and popped out bullnose corners in our house. Our 6-pack a day builder had not bothered with screws, he’d just planted the corners in sheetrock mud and painted over them. Of course, within months they’d pulled away from the dry wall in spots, if we banged them with anything at all they’d dent and pop away from the wall quite a lot. When we thought about what to do about them, all William could think of was to replace them entirely and this seemed a bit daunting at the time.
After the memorial service was out of the way, I’d given a bright white coat of paint to most of the doors in the house and needed to line up another project quickly to continue keeping my mind, heart and hands busy. The fresh new paint seemed to highlight the horrid looking wall corners throughout the den (we’re talking every corner), so I started the Google search for replacing bullnose corners to see if it was something I could handle. That search led to finding out that people actually repair that stuff and don’t try to replace it unless it’s absolutely beyond all help. Who knew? Well, you likely did, but I didn’t.
The fix would require a bucket of sheetrock mud, a can of spray on texture, a putty knife, sand paper and matching paint. I had the putty knife. All I knew about the paint was that it was called Apple Butter. I’d bought it three years before when I repainted the house while William was in the hospital having tandem bone marrow transplants as treatment for his Hodgkin Lymphoma. I needed walls I could wipe with disinfectant to keep the house as germ free as possible. Lesson 1., Many, if not most, people probably know this but I did not. The big home improvement stores regularly retire their paint colors, every year to two years. This practice basically forces us to repaint entire rooms every year or two in order to keep them looking neat (unless you don’t bang into stuff, have ill behaved pets, and don’t leave finger prints) Because I knew the name of the color and the brand, the store was only able to tell me the paint had been discontinued and if they mixed it, it probably wouldn’t match the wall color. I had them mix a sample, took it home and painted over a couple of small scratches. It looked perfect so I had them mix up a gallon. Lesson 2., was learning that I should have waited a few days for the scratch test paint to cure to it’s final color.
Thinking the paint was a match and having collected the other supplies, I began on the frightening project of making the bullnose corners look even worse so that I could repair them. Taking the putty knife I scraped all of the old paint and texture off of and away from the damaged areas.
The point of no return, knowing that this could easily end up being an uglier aggravation than the dented, buckled and scarred corners had been. Once this part was finished on eight (8) corners. I quickly proceeded to the next step, mostly driven by the terror of “oh my lord what have I gotten myself into this time?”
First I used drywall screws to actually screw the damaged sections back into place and keep them there firmly. Using a small hammer, I carefully tapped the dents into as close to their original shape as possible. Next, I began applying the drywall mud. This part took me a lot longer than it took the guys in the YouTube videos, mainly because, again, driven by terror, I was afraid it would be more of an eyesore. Thus, I applied, scraped, applied, eyeballed from all angles and smoothed until the mud was on the corners and the corners were as smooth and rounded as I could get them with a putty knife. After the mud dried, I used a damp rag to smooth it out more and finally used a light grade sand paper to finish. The texture spray was almost my undoing. I never could get it to match the original wall texture but did get it to a point to where I could say “If anyone gets close enough to that to notice and tell me it doesn’t match I’ll just shove their nose into it.”
Once the texture had dried I painted. That’s when I noticed that the scratch test areas I’d painted three days before were a bit darker than the wall color. “Is that the color or is that a shadow? It’s just a shadow. No, it’s the color. No can’t be. Damn.” There’s only one area where the newer non-matching paint is terribly noticeable and, of course, it’s the area that is right out in front when people come in the front door. Heck with it, that’s a small wall, I’ll paint it the whole wall with the new paint one day and no one will ever know.
In spite of the non-matching texture and paint, the repaired corners look great compared to their badly damaged state. The issues are small and while the slightly darker paint color does provide an irritation when I roll past, it’s a mild irritation in the greater scheme of things that I can make better when I get a round tuit.