How to Create a Textured Ceiling With Paint and Drywall Mud

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Use drywall mud and a trowel to create texture on your ceiling.
Use drywall mud and a trowel to create texture on your ceiling. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Textured ceilings create visual relief as well as an additional sound barrier to a room. Ceilings are often flawed with imperfect drywall installation. Texture hides any blemishes caused by bulging drywall seams or popped nails. Create your own unique plaster finish on a ceiling in your home using paint and drywall mud, commonly known as joint compound. Practice your technique several times before working on the ceiling if you are a beginner.

Things You'll Need

  • Damp rag
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Drop cloths
  • Paint tarps
  • Drywall mud
  • Putty knife
  • Trowel
  • Roller cover
  • Roller frame
  • Latex paint
  • Paint tray
  • Angled paintbrush
  • Chip brush or sea sponge

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Clean the ceiling with a damp rag to remove any dirt. Suction away cobwebs and debris with a vacuum cleaner. Move all furniture out of the room. Cover the flooring with drop cloths and plastic tarps.

Open the bucket of drywall mud. Use a putty knife to apply a small portion on to your drywall trowel. Hold the trowel parallel to the ceiling, and press the edge of the blade against the surface. Angle the trowel 45 degrees.

Wipe on the drywall mud. Move your wrist to create different peaks and valleys in the wet plaster as you apply it to the ceiling. Continue the process until the entire ceiling is covered. Allow it to dry 24 hours.

Attach a long nap roller to a roller frame. Pour paint into a paint tray. Begin to roll the paint into the tray to load the roller. Apply the paint to the ceiling by rolling in even sections. Cover the area with two or three coats of paint.

Trim out the edges of the ceiling using an angled paintbrush. Dab the paintbrush's tip into the paint, and then glide it along the perimeter of the ceiling. Dab the brush into any crevices where the brush cannot apply paint. Allow it to dry 24 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an old chip brush or sea sponge to dab paint onto areas of texture where a roller is not applying paint. Always apply a gray primer first when painting the ceiling red or another dark color. The gray primer eliminates the need for multiple coats of latex paint.
  • Keep your windows open and allow for fresh air circulation. Only wear old clothes when painting a ceiling. Don't forget to take frequent breaks to rest your neck and shoulder muscles.

References

  • “Professional Faux Finishes Made Easy”; Patrick Daly; 2005
  • “Drywall Professional Techniques for Great Results”; Myron Ferguson; 2002
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