It's live and learn time. I thought I had fixed enough walls to have a pretty good handle on it but today I learned some things from the painter I wish I had known weeks ago.
1) The filler he uses is by DAP and it's bright pink. He said he uses it for 2 reasons, one is you can actually see where it is filling and it can show you high points (he showed me how you can drag it over an area with your spatula and the colour shows the high and low points very clearly when they are very hard to see by eye) and two is it's easy to sand. I tried it and I love it. No contest using the usual white polyfilla is like working blind compared to this stuff. You can really see where it is and that helps get the extra off before it hardens so not as much sanding overall and it is way easier to sand. Also when it's dry it's white so really easy to tell when you can add another coat or sand or paint it.
You know how you think you filled something but it doesn't really show until you paint? With this stuff when you think you are done, you can just put more on the spatula and sweep it over and then give it a scrape. If you see dark pink sticking anywhere, it's filling, if not, you're even and all the filler is back on the spatula.
Also where you need more of a putty (like filling the holes when moving cabinet knobs) to leave a bit out to dry a bit before applying it. It worked great that way vs continually trying to get the hole filled and have it more or less just ooze in.
For larger areas (like where my plaster is a bit bumpy he said it's better to use Easy-fil drywall compound which is thinner and easy to spread so not so much sanding again. It's also pre-mixed and you don't have to buy huge amounts so good for filling.
2) He as this tape called Nose Coated Tape-on Flexible Corners by Beadex. It's a roll of tape with some metal bands running down the center and you just bend it in or out depending on whether you are doing an inside or outside corner, adhere it, smooth with that drywall compound a bit, and it straightens out corners. Gads. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to fix corners that get banged up but I only knew of the stiffer edging type stuff that drywallers use that takes more skill than I want to gain so I'm usually there fiddling with the polyfilla to fill the dings. This went on realy quickly and make a perfect edge even where one of my cabinet doors had been ripped off and taken some plaster with it. So instead of us having to cut some trim and try and cover the mess, he just put the tape on, covered the edges and it's ready for painting.
here a picture of the tape and where he used it. Now this would have been good with a 'before' but I didn't think of it at the time. Originally there were doors on this wall but they had to be removed to fit the fridge. when I asked a carpenter friend of mine to take them off nicely he just grabbed to door and pulled :hairpull: (sheesh, I could have done that) which took the plaster with it on the left side that is vertical. The top had it's trim which we removed today. So he taped only the vertical part and only to about 3" below where the picture ends and you'd never know it was such a mess that was fixed with so little fuss.
Oh if I had known when I was fixing the other corners around here. boy would that stuff have made a huge difference but now those areas are already painted so I'm not going back to fix them now.