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How To Flatten A Textured Ceiling | Ask This Old House

This Old House

Published on 03 May 2019
Duration 7 мιиυтєѕ αиd
Comment 269

Ask This Old House painter Mauro Henrique smooths over a textured ceiling using joint compound.
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Time: 6-8 hours

Cost: $200

Skill Level: Moderate

Tools List for Flattening a Textured Ceiling:
Safety glasses [https://amzn.to/2USGrKj]
Ladder or staging [https://amzn.to/2Va9MoE]
Buckets [https://amzn.to/2UTm8fM]
Drill driver [https://amzn.to/2IRufYP]
Mixing drill bit [https://amzn.to/2J40hjL]
Taping knife [https://amzn.to/2ITdPiE]
Hawk [https://amzn.to/2ITepgk]

Shopping List:
Joint compound [https://amzn.to/2VGRWZO]
Plastic drop cloths [https://amzn.to/2ZPU6FG]
Canvas drop cloths [https://amzn.to/2Le0Fic]
Painter’s tape [https://amzn.to/2GMJ4IS]
Rags [https://amzn.to/2IVcs35]
220 grit sandpaper [https://amzn.to/2PCMKAX]

1. Start by protecting the entire room with drop cloths. On the floor, use a canvas drop cloth. On the walls, use the plastic drop cloth. It isn’t necessary to cover the entire wall, just the top third.
2. Wipe down the ceiling with a damp rag to ensure it’s clean.
3. Mix the joint compound in a bucket using water and the drill with a mixing bit on it until it’s roughly thicker than a cake batter consistency.
4. Add some joint compound to the hawk. Scoop a small amount of the joint compound off the hawk using the taping knife, and then apply it in thin, smooth coats over the textured ceiling. This technique requires multiple coats, so don’t feel the need to fill in all the low spots on the first pass.
5. Wait roughly 45 minutes for the first coat to dry. Then, add a second coat.
6. Repeat this process until all the low spots are filled in and the ceiling is flat. It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 coats.
7. After 24 hours, lightly sand the ceiling using 220 grit sandpaper.
8. After the sanding, the ceiling will be ready for paint. Mauro recommends a flat, white paint for the ceiling.

While scraping a textured ceiling is a common tactic to achieve a flat ceiling, Mauro suggests that in some cases, it’s a lot easier to smooth over the texture with joint compound than to scrape it off.

While a step ladder works fine for this project, Mauro finds it’s much easier and also safer to use staging to reach the ceiling. This can be rented from home centers.

Mauro used Sheetrock Easy Sand 45 joint compound, which is manufactured by USG (https://amzn.to/2VGRWZO). Mauro thinks this product works well in this application because it dries in a reasonable amount of time, while still giving you a little flexibility to really work with it and apply it smoothly to the ceiling.

The other tools Mauro used for the job, including the drill with the mixing bit, taping knife, hawk, and drop cloths can all be found at home centers.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Mauro’s Painting (http://maurospainting.com/).

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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