Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How to Hand Texture a Ceiling

Here you found my tutorial on how to hand texture a ceiling (either you are totally bored or you are a glutton for punishment!)

Anyway, in case you ever wanted to learn how to spend MANY hours with your arm above your head while balancing on a ladder -- you are in the right place. First, it is best to start with a room such as the one above --empty of furniture with the bare floors that are yet to be refinished. If you don't have such a luxury, then you had better put down some drop clothes or plastic to protect your furniture and floors.

Second, purchase a BIG 5-gallon bucket of this -- all purpose joint compound. This is the most economical way to buy it. I bought this one for around $15 at the local hardware store.

Third, split some of the compound out into another bucket -- I pulled out about 1/3 of it to begin with. This just makes it easier to mix.

Fourth, add some water. I used approximately 4 parts joint compound to 1 part water -- that seems to be the best mix to me -- it allows for smoother application and it makes your joint compound go farther.

Here is the water and joint compound mixed up. I used a paint mixer attached to the cordless drill to help me mix it. The resultant mixture just barely holds a peak -- a soft peak (if you have ever whipped egg whites or whipping cream you will understand this terminology).

Here is the meringue-like mixture ready for application. The tools I am using here are a flat hock and a large taping knife or plaster trowel (8" to 12"). The hock will save you many trips up and down the ladder as you can load it with your compound and dip off of it instead of your bucket. The large knife helps spread more compound at a time and gives you smoother texture. You could use a smaller knife and get a choppier texture. Pie anyone?

Now it is time to climb the ladder and get to work. Pick any place to start. I started in a corner, but that is not necessary -- you can start and stop anywhere you want. I start and stop a lot because I have 4 kids to tend to while I am doing this and other fun chores. Just apply the compound in a somewhat hap-hazard way -- you can edit your work as you go along.

Here you can see what the old texture looks like compared to the new texture. (Feel free to click on the picture so you can see it larger). There is really no wrong way to apply the joint compound -- it just depends on the look you are trying to achieve. You can apply it heavily with lots of overlapping and chunking up of the compound, or you can apply it very thinly and smoothly so that very little texture is left. It is totally your choice. I like it to be somewhat smooth with shallow texture. You do have some time to play with it depending on how warm your ceiling is. I was doing this in about 90 degree weather so I had about 10 minutes before the joint compound started to dry and then if I tried to go back over it I would make a mess. The good news is, if you make a mess you can always go back over it after it has dried!

Here is the final product in another room that I textured over the winter. It is painted with a flat paint so that it minimizes the reflectivity of the texture. Once again, feel free to outclick on the picture to see it better.

There you have it! Just be careful getting up and down the ladder!

1 comment:

Angela said...

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL and AMBITIOUS! :) You go girl!