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Old 08-11-2015, 02:42 AM   #1
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


Sorry, I'm new here and not entirely sure which forum fits best, so this is my best guess.

I've got an early 70's ranch in the N Phoenix metro area. It's a classic fixer-upper, and I've got basic skills to cover a broad range so that I mostly go to sub-contract more for convenience than need. But I've got a conundrum that exceeds my experience.

To get to the point, I am remodeling the living room which includes some exposed "slump block" brick(ish) walls that abut to some textured drywall. For those that may not know the term, slump block is a largely SW phenomenon somewhat like brick but formed with a sort of "slumped" bulge on the vertical sides. This is very uneven and dropping a plumb line flush with the high points yields deviations of up to 1" or so. The previous owner really liked his silicone-latex caulk, and used it copiously to seal the invariable cracks a the joints (most 90* inside corners). Slump block is also highly porous, so this has contaminated at least 1/2" out from the corner.

So what to do? I've redone the drywall(s) due to other issues, and it now abuts fairly cleanly to the block. But then there is the question of how to manage the invariable cracks where they meet, and conceal the silicone caulk literally IN the block surface. Abrading leaves it looking worse than the silicone. And it's far too uneven for a classic corner molding.

At this point, the best option I can think of is a somewhat heavy corner molding so that the shadow line conceals most of the deviation and all the contaminated surface. The lines and miter/cope corners will get pretty creative on the vaulted ceiling and such, but certainly can be done. But I have to wonder, is there a better solution without cutting templates and hand coping a filler board? I can't imagine what it might be, but you don't know what you don't know.

Any suggestions?

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Old 08-12-2015, 10:59 PM   #2
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


Either plaster or stucco the wall smooth.?

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Old 08-13-2015, 01:35 AM   #3
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


Thanks, but we wanted to keep the exposed block wall as an accent wall, and over all it looks good. And the dry-wall is now well merged into the block. In fact, it would be pretty tolerable if it were not for the previous hack-job owner and his caulking gun. He had gone along all the joints and put a fat white caulking fillet. And I say "fillet" in loose terms, more of a globed on monstrosity with some dauber-blobs bigger than my thumb. But after all that was cut-out, there is 1/2" or so of visible stark white clumpy residue on sandstone colored block walls. Don't get me wrong, I knew what I was getting into with the house, and I've been steadily fixing his misguided messes as I go. And I'll figure this out too. But I got to thinking that I can't be the first person to try to figure out how to provide a nicer joint at this type of intersection, so I posted hoping for suggestions.

Oh, and to make matters worse, we did find one surprise in the vaulted ceiling. It was actually in pretty good shape, IR camera showed that the insulation was beyond failing, so I ripped it all out and put spray foam in. But only after we got started did I realize there were actually 2 layers of dry-wall ceiling up there. "Hmm, that's odd. Why would anyone do that?" I wondered... SPOILER ALERT - Think about it a minute and see what you come up with. Answer in next post.

But anyway, previous-owner's HEAVY caulk joint was along that lower/outer sheeting. So taking it out and going back with light weight ceiling dry-wall left the caulk line a good 1" off the fresh ceiling. So as far as I can see I pretty much have to put some sort of crown molding up there.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:43 AM   #4
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


After a bit of head scratching it hits me. Why would anyone just put a layer of sheet rock over the old ceiling? Just some "bubba" (and I'm a native of Rural N Alabama, so it's ok for me to use the term) kludge repair? The double layer also explained some odd joints I had spotted early on when looking at the house before purchase. Unfortunately, I didn't think enough about why such odd joints would exist then. Just something you see in hind sight I guess.

Anyway, the key was in the popcorn ceiling texture trapped between layers. Built in the early 70s, it was a potential asbestos problem, and they "abandoned in place" rather than go through hazardous remediation. Fortunately it wasn't all that bad or "high risk" (level 1), though I did have hazardous waste disposal to deal with (not as bad as I expected actually). And it would have been far easier and cheaper to deal with BEFORE some twit covering it with more sheet rock. Then, it could have been sealed off with negative pressure, wet down, scraped off, and job done in a few hours. Much harder when you can't get to it to wet it down. Anyway, well worth it for the improvements we gained. Still, for a little while it left me stunned finding 2 layers up there. And didn't do the remodel budget any favors.

Sorry for the noise, just a surprising twist encountered working on that room, and one that makes the current issue of masking those caulk lines all the worse. With as much removed as possible, it still looks like someone drunk and blind tried to put a pin stripe about 1/2" away from the current ceiling...

Last edited by TheBadDog; 08-13-2015 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:56 AM   #5
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


By the way, I would appreciate any feedback on the matter. Even if just to say you can't think of anything better than a heavy (constructed - classic style) molding just as I have described.

Oh, and another thing. I'm going for a sort of neo-industrial accent in this modest sized open (18x20 non-rectangular) living room. With the asbestos contamination from the demo, we also ripped out the carpet/pad in the sunken living room, and I hate the sunken floor, so we filled it level with concrete. And I applied an industrial looking stain with gloss sealer, looks pretty cool really. And it will include some custom iron work I'll be making myself, a big "Classic" iron body hunter fan, and mid-century inspired mechanical accents. But I can't figure out any way to apply that to the joint, and the classic heavy trim and crown molding just doesn't feel right. Everything I come up with has a straight hard line, and the block irregularity is going to be accentuated rather than concealed. So if you have ideas along that line, that would be great too.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:49 AM   #6
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


Try asking in the Drywall section of the forum maybe.
http://www.diychatroom.com/f101/
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:31 PM   #7
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


It was suggested that I might try asking my question here. It's not specifically a dry wall question, but it's certainly something someone (like me) doing drywall might run into.

Please note that my concern is not how to but drywall to slump block (a problem of it's own). My slump block has some caulking damage extending above the joint and will require ~1" of trim width to conceal. But I can't just put a corner trim in there because of the block surface is in place up to nearly 1" out of plumb (between high to low points). Details in the other thread linked below.

Previous thread in another forum
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:32 PM   #8
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


please post a picture.
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:32 PM   #9
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


please post a picture.

Drywall thread: How to trim drywall to slump-block
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:33 PM   #10
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


Oh sorry man, I suggested you post here, I thought you were doing new drywall. You just need to know what to do to make the wide uneven caulked joint look good.
I would use a wide narrow trim board and scribe it to the block. say 3/8 thick and however wide you need.
or if you like the look better you could use a thick trim board like a 4x4 or whatever look you want.
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Old 08-14-2015, 04:34 PM   #11
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


I wonder if the caulk could be dug out, fill the gap with a hot mud then a flat tape scribed to the slump block?
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:55 PM   #12
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


Wow, this is getting confusing. Looks like a moderator merged these threads and left one thread in "drywall and plaster". I posted the follow on thread here because I thought mae-ling had a good idea, and that those working with dry wall may well have encountered this and offer ideas. But this is certainly not a "drywall" question. And the way it was merged leaves the whole thing rather confusing to read, and I posted it. It would be nice if a moderator doing merges like this could at least post a note indicating it was done so that at least there is an explanation for the scrambled thread. Whatever...

Not sure how much it will help, but attached are 2 pics of what I'm dealing with. One shows a shot including the "racing stripe" of caulk along the new ceiling next to a vertical joint that shows the previous owners caulk slobber. Two shows a shot along the wall so you can see how uneven the blocks can be, and why a simple piece of corner trim won't work.
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How to trim drywall to slump-block-one.jpg   How to trim drywall to slump-block-two.jpg  
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:35 PM   #13
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


I would use a hook blade utility knife to take that white caulking out from between the drywall and the slump block.

Then, I'd use double sided tape or some Kop-R-Lastic caulk to install a cove base molding in that corner between the drywall and the slump block.

Pre-prime and pre-paint your cove base molding to match the paint on the drywall.

That's about the best you can do without making this situation any uglier.

PS:
Kop-R-Lastic caulk is a synthetic rubber that crosslinks to achieve a cohesive strength that's even higher than it's adhesive strength. That means it sticks to itself better than it sticks to common construction materials like brick, wood and paint. So, if you ever want to re-do that corner, you can pry the wood cove base molding off, and then get one end of the cured Kop-R-Lastic caulk started, and it'll pull out of that corner like a rubber rope. Kop-R-Lastic is the only caulk I know of that does this, so it'll allow you to essentially glue the cove base molding in place without the concern about removing that glue should the need arise in future.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:14 PM   #14
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


That's pretty much what I had settled on, just hoping there would be better options. Currently all walls are still in primer as I finish other projects, and settle on a plan of attack for the joints in question.

However, that caulk is new to me, thanks for the information.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:51 PM   #15
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How to trim drywall to slump-block


"However, that caulk is new to me, ..."

After 30 years as a DIY'er, Kop-R-Lastic is my favourite caulk. What I like most about it is that it'll stay in place as well as any other caulk, it'll stretch every bit as far as silicone and it's a breeze to remove if and when you need to remove it. If you try it, I'm sure you'll like it every bit as much as I do.

If the caulk colour is not an issue with you, then always buy clear caulk. That's because caulks are coloured by adding pigments to them, and the pigments in the caulk reduce it's strength. It's like adding something like talcum powder to glue; the glue will still stick well, but it won't be quite as strong as if it were all glue. The relatively soft and weak particles of talcum powder reduce the overall strength of the mixture.

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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 08-15-2015 at 08:02 PM.
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