Here's what I do: I keep a pencil handy, and when I see a surface defect--regardless of what I'm doing--I circle it. This way, you get all the surface defects, rather than the obvious ones only.
I started by pulling down the mirror tiles. They've been stuck to that wall for a very long time. Originally they were stuck to the bathroom wall; that bathroom was renovated in 1994 and unless I'm mistaken that's when they were taken down and applied to the wall in here.
I managed to get all nine of them free without breaking any. I had to work for it, but I did it, and further I only cut myself once. Anyway, while doing that, I was also circling defects. Once the mirrors were done with I continued making with the circles.
There is going to be a lot of spackle work on that wall. I briefly considered just tearing it out and resheeting it, but decided that would actually be more work than spackling and sanding the defects. About half of them existed the last time this room was painted, and whoever painted it just painted over them. It's a mess, and guess who gets to fix it?
The ceiling job went about how I'd expected it to. First thing I did was to square up the opening, cutting back to untouched drywall. I decided to expose just one joist, but that was enough thanks to the repair clips I'd bought previously. Then I measured it, and found that it ended up being a piece 14.5" x 10.5", which was just fine.
I cut the fresh drywall like a pro, and my patch was a little large as intended, so I cut it back a bit...and it fit. Bit narrow on one end, but I said, "F it!" and put it in. Drywall repair clip secured the end that wasn't screwed to the joist, and it was solid as the Rock of Gibraltar, so I made with the fiberglas mesh tape and spackle. It's drying now; that will take overnight.
Boy, that makes it sound easy and fast, doesn't it? "Cutting back to untouched drywall"? Like it was just "Zip zip zip okay let's make a patch!" Well, it wasn't; I spent an hour getting the old drywall cut neatly and reasonably square--and at that, I screwed up somewhere because (as I said) my patch was narrow on one end. Made a hellacious mess, too, bits of drywall all over the carpet. I think it took me at least two hours just to complete the patch.
Scraped the flaking paint away from the area around fixture, slapped some primer on that area; next I'll have to spackle it to make it level with the rest of the paint.
Moved some furniture, moved some stuff out of the room, packed another box. Then picked up after myself, including half-filling my wastebasket with gypsum scraps and vacuuming up the paint chips and gypsum dust.
You know: if I were just painting--not doing any drywall repair or spackling or anything--I could have finished all this a long time ago? As I said in a prior post, Dad did the entire interior of the house in something like ten days, but he wasn't doing it by himself, and I'm seeing just how many corners were cut in the process, too.
I know that Mom helped him; and the kids helped out, here and there--that was when I learned how to spackle, FFS--and it was effectively a Chinese fire drill in the bunker during that two-week period prior to my sister's wedding. In fact I was excused from much of the work because I was still in school (ninth grade) at the time, but it was quite entertaining to leave home at 7:30 AM and come home at 3:00 to find that the living room was now a different color. And, "Go in through the back door, because Dad is painting the front hall." *sigh*
But I'm not under the gun here, and while we want to get it done ASAP there isn't a specific date by which it must be done, which means I'm able to do it right.
To be honest, I'm not really certain this room was painted at all in 1982. The computer room wasn't going to have any guests staying in it; this paint might be from when it was painted yellow--when? 1975? I don't even remember what the original color of this room was.
Let me think, here. Now, the room that was last my bedroom, and which is now basically a storage room for the time being...that room was green when I was young. Going all the way back to when the house was built in 1965, that room was my sisters' room; they shared it, and at some point it got painted green. (I don't know if it was originally green, or got painted green after both my sisters were in their teen years.) The computer room was my brother's room. I was born a few years later, and after a suitable time my crib was put in the same room as him. I can't remember exactly when, but my middle sister (the one who passed in 2011) decided she wanted to have her own room and fixed up the area behind the stairs in the basement. Cork ceiling, textured paint on the walls, shelves, a hunk of carpet, etc. Nice hidey hole. Oldest sister moved into what's now the computer room and we two boys occupied what is now the spare bedroom. It got painted yellow at that time, but I can't remember what color the computer room was--white, or was it also painted yellow? But that would have been 1974 or 1975, as I said. I seem to recall this room being yellow for a long time, though I could be mistaken.
Anyway: in 1982, then, middle sister was getting married in our back yard, and some folks from the groom's family were staying at the house here, and my room would be one of the rooms so utilized, so it needed to be painted. It got painted "Washington Blue", a fairly dark slate blue color, and got carpeting to match--all three bedrooms got carpet laid over their hardwood floors--and unless I am mistaken I think the other two got painted, too. That happened while my Uncle Ed and another guy were improving the basement, putting in paneling and a drop ceiling.
Then, in 1990 or 1991 I repainted what was then my bedroom in the much lighter shade of blue it is now, and painted the closets some off-white color we had on hand.
Kitchen got painted in 2008. Bathrooms were painted during their renovations in about 1994. Yeah. But most of the house was last painted in 1982.
Until this year.
...and boy, are my arms tired.