How to Texture a Ceiling

Texturing Ceilings and Skip Troweling Instructions

By Mark J. Donovan

If you have no interest in having a popcorn ceiling, which I don’t blame you – its passé, then consider going with a textured ceiling. Learning how to texture a ceiling is quite easy and it starts with a bucket of premixed joint compound, a wide blade drywall taping knife, water, a large pail and a stirring stick.

Start by preparing the room that you plan to texture the ceiling. Remove all items from it and lay down heavy drop clothes on the entire floor, as this job gets quite messy.

If you have wall paper or a wall paper border that goes to the ceiling, remove it as the water in the joint compound will wick into it and cause the wallpaper to separate from the wall.

Preparing the Ceiling Texture Mixture

Trowel into the empty pail some premixed joint compound. Next add a little water and mix well with your stirring stick until you create a ceiling texture mixture that has a creamy smooth consistency.

Starting in a corner of the room, use your wide blade drywall taping knife to apply a thin “skim-coat” layer of your ceiling texture mixture onto the ceiling. The skim coat layer should be about 1/8th inch thick.

After you have applied the ceiling texture mixture to about a 5’ x 5’ surface area of the ceiling, go back over the area and swirl the texture mixture with your taping knife to create a free-flowing curved texture. If you would like to experiment with a sponge or brush to create other textured ceiling looks go for it.

Creating a Skip Towel Textured Ceiling

If you want to create a skip trowel textured ceiling, then you will want to have a slightly more watery ceiling texture mixture, such that when you apply it on the ceiling it begins to drip down, effectively forming stalactites. After the stalactites have begun to form, which should begin to occur within just a few minutes of applying the skim coat ceiling texture mixture, go back with your taping knife and “knock down” the stalactites, by again sliding your taping knife over the ceiling texture mixture. The finished looked is a textured ceiling that has random high and low spots.

Drywalling a Basement Ceiling

After the textured ceiling joint compound mixture has fully dried you can paint the textured ceiling if you so choose.

For information on repairing a large drywall hole, see the “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook from  The “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to repair your damaged wall so that it looks as good as new.

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