Sep 16

Creating a Great Room: part III

This is part three of our adventure in creating a great room out of our two separate living rooms. To see part one of creating a great room, click here, to see part two click here.

We had accomplished our goal of an arched opening between our two living rooms at the end of part two (above).  Now, our next step was to make it look a little more finished.  We knew this meant sheetrockdrywall mud and a LOT of elbow grease.
arched opening with wood showingSo, we made friends with my Dad’s power driver and got started installing panels of sheetrock with drywall screws.
arched opening with some sheetrockSee the white in the photos above, that’s where we slowly but surely pieced in sheetrock to fully cover the wood header beam of the new arched opening.  We traced large pieces to fit the space and cut them out with a box knife or power saw, whichever fit our need better.  Straight cuts were pretty easy to do with just a box knife, but for those curved cuts we resorted to the power tools.

We even had to cut a little strip to apply to the actual surface of the archway.  I had no idea how that was going to work.  Lucky for me, my Dad and Kenny both knew that sheetrock is pretty flexible.  It rounded out to fit our curve just perfectly.  applying sheetrock to arch

Once we got the sheetrock all in place we had to apply something to make the corners sturdy and protected.  We found some great drywall corner bead at Home Depot.  They even had a special type that would accommodate a curve.  We tacked the corner bead in place with nails spaced about eight inches apart.  We nailed a little closer together on the arched part just to make adjustments and make sure the curve flowed smoothly.  It never would have looked right if this corner bead wasn’t smooth.
applying edge guidesAnother bonus to the corner bead is it makes a perfect secure edge to align your drywall putty knife when you’re trying to smooth out the transition between the old sheetrock and the new sheetrock.  We taped all of the seams using a mesh like drywall tape and then got to work filling all the joints.  We used a small putty knife to fill and cover all the nail holes, then used a bigger trowel to smooth out the taped joints.

This was a loooong process, much longer than I expected.  We would apply coat after coat of drywall mud, sand between each coat and then stand back and examine our work.  Here’s the archway after several coats.
several coats of spackle
Each time we’d admire it and say ‘hmmm that’s looking pretty good’ but I could never get it to be perfect.  Finally, I called in the big guns and asked my Dad to come help me get the final skim coat completely perfect.  Kenny was out of town visiting his Mom and Dad so I got to surprise him with this beautiful arch when he got home.
last coat of spackleI know it’s hard to tell from the picture (please ignore all of our ‘stuff’ pushed out of the way there) but the joints were as smooth as a babies bottom!  We couldn’t wait to get some paint on there and bring the whooooole room together.  Stay tuned for part IV of ‘creating a great room’ coming up soon!

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  1. Cecilia

    love the closed caption. That archway really opened up that room it’s going to look great when you get it all done.

  2. Lisa Looper

    That looks great! You guys have done so much cool stuff in your house…I love seeing the progress every time I come over 🙂

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Thanks for saying that, it means a lot, and thanks for reading!

  3. Paul

    You guys are doing great and helping lots of others to know what to do also. The caption actually should say “See all the big tools I brought over to make me look like I know what I am doing?”

  4. Jennifer

    Karen, Did I leave you a comment yet? I can’t remember! Getting old you know…
    Anyway, I spent some time on your blog when you e-mailed me and I love it! Wow! You all have worked really hard and everything is so professional and polished looking! Your pictures are stunning. Ray and I are just learning but it’s so fun. I need to take a class or something. I’m totally living vicariously through all of your trip photos. What a wonderful opportunity for you. Keep up the good work! Can’t wait to see more.

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