How to Finish Textured Drywall Ceilings


The process of texturing ceilings is sometimes referred as "knockdown" because the tips of the blobs of paint applied to create the textured look are flattened out with a trowel or taping knife. Textured walls or ceilings are a cost-effective way to create more charm and character for any room while offering functional uses such as sound absorption.

Things You'll Need

  • Texture compound
  • Trowel
  • Sprayer
  • Dropcloths
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Prep the area. Working on texturing ceilings is a messy job, and paint and compound mix will inevitably splatter onto the ground or surrounding walls. Cover the floors and walls with tarps, and wear protective clothing, face mask, and goggles.

  • Clean the ceiling. With a damp cloth, remove debris and excess dirt. This will leave the ceiling smooth, allowing it to absorb any paint and mud compound needed to paint and texture the ceiling.

  • Set up the sprayer. Pour the mud compound into the sprayer. The compound mix is available at any hardware store and is specifically for textured ceilings to create dollops while spraying. The mix should reach the consistency of pancake batter where the compound isn't too chunky or thin.

  • Spray the ceiling. The sprayer should be nozzle-activated to make spraying easier. Spray coats of the mud evenly on the ceiling, moving the sprayer in even strokes. The sprayer will create a "splatter" effect with blots of the mud being sprayed onto the ceiling.

  • Smooth out the dollops. Wait for the mud compound to be tacky, which takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Then take an 18- to 24-inch flexible trowel to smooth out the peaks of the dollops. The point is not to completely flatten out the splatters onto the wall, but to merely flatten out any peaks. This will create a stucco-like appearance. Let it dry for 24 hours.

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