How to Apply Textured Ceiling Paint on a 1960s Plaster Swirl Ceiling


Applying textured ceiling paint to a ceiling with a 1960s plaster swirl pattern gives the room a modern look. Many homes built in the 1960s used a plaster coat with a swirl pattern on the ceilings. Plaster installers used a stiff-bristle brush to give the plaster its swirl texture, leaving deep grooves in the plaster's surface. A 1960s-style swirled ceiling needs its ridges softened prior to applying textured paint. Textured paint will not hide the deep ridges on an unprepared swirl-pattern ceiling.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloth
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Masking tape
  • Ladder
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Palm sander
  • Coarse-grit sanding pad
  • Vacuum
  • Plaster primer
  • 4-inch paintbrush
  • 3/8-inch nap roller
  • Paint stick
  • Protect the room's floor with a drop cloth. Cover the walls with plastic sheeting, using masking tape to hold the plastic in place. Preparing a 1960s plaster swirl ceiling for texture paint creates a lot of cement dust.

  • Set up a ladder in one corner of the room. Put on safety glasses and a dust mask.

  • Remove the ridges from the plaster swirl ceiling using a palm sander equipped with a coarse-grit sanding pad, working from each wall toward the center of the ceiling using circular motions. Change the sanding pad when it looses its grit.

  • Clean the dust from the ceiling using a vacuum.

  • Apply a 3- to 6-inch-wide strip of plaster primer to the ceiling next to the walls and around the light fixtures using a 4-inch paintbrush. Cover the remaining part of the ceiling with the plaster primer using a 3/8-inch nap roller. Let the plaster primer dry completely according to the manufacturer's recommended drying time.

  • Clean the plaster primer from the 4-inch paintbrush and 3/8-inch nap roller according to the plaster primer manufacturer's clean-up instructions.

  • Stir the textured paint with a paint stick until it has an even consistency. The textured paint's consistency depends on its finished look -- textured paints have several grades, ranging from a fine sandy texture to a coarse stucco-look texture.

  • Apply a 3- to 6-inch-wide strip of textured paint to the plaster ceiling around the light fixtures and where the ceiling meets the walls, using the 4-inch paintbrush to smear the textured paint.

  • Paint the plaster ceiling with the textured paint and the 3/8-inch nap roller, starting in one corner and working across the room in 3- or 4-foot-wide squares. Blend the edges of each square together, leaving a seamless surface. Let the textured paint dry completely according to the texture paint's dry-time instructions.

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