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Ceiling Texture

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Whether you are designing a new house or redoing existing house, remember not to neglect the ‘fifth wall of the house’- the ceiling. The most common home ceiling, stark white color with a popcorn finish is totally outdated. The spray-on or paint-on acoustic ceiling treatment is a thing of the past.

The appearance of the ceilings of your home is as important as the walls or furnishings. Modernizing home ceilings are an integral part of reinventing a whole new look. Today, there are many interesting ways to add texture and beauty to your ceilings. Say goodbye to your old ceilings and welcome the trendy, modern ceilings. Transform the look and feel of your home by giving way to attractive ceilings textures in various styles and colors.


Importance of ceiling texturing

Draw your eyes upwards and take a look at your ceiling. If it has a bumpy texture, you can understand it to be a textured finish or acoustic finish, normally referred to as ‘popcorn or cottage cheese’. The textured finish just means the ceiling has not been painted. Instead a coating with a substance that has a bumpy texture has been applied. Builders favored the bumpy texture for an array of reasons such as low cost and ease of application, its contribution towards eliminating echo in a room besides serving as a perfect curtain to hide minor flaws or imperfections in the large, flat, uninterrupted expanse of a ceiling. Whereas, the homeowner or dweller was at the receiving end of accumulation of dust, smoke, grease and cobwebs that popcorn ceilings are most prone to. Popcorn ceiling texture is not as durable as other forms.

Those who realize the multitude of attractive ceiling exterior options would want to remove popcorn ceilings and wait to explore fresh appearance and feel - involving retexturing ceilings, adding color or trying different ceiling styles. The right blend positively contributes and enhances the proportions of a room, sets the mood and changes the feeling in a room. The advantages of textured ceiling are:


  • Ushers a decorative touch to otherwise bare ceilings
  • Can hide any drawbacks in ceilings
  • Covers up problem areas
  • Creates a three-dimensional look
  • Easier to clean and repaint.

How to add texture to ceilings?

If you decide to try it yourself and avoid paying exorbitant amount to the painter or contractor, it helps to attend a how-to clinic in your local lumber stores. The sessions are usually held in the evenings and on weekends. The other options are the Internet, books and videos. Ceiling texturing can be done either by hand or with machines. Both are moderately time consuming and require perseverance and patience for a dramatic look to become effective.


Ceiling texturing by hand:
  • Visit your local hardware shop and purchase a large bucket of premixed drywall joint compound.
  • Look for a wide-bladed taping knife or straight-edged trowel preferably 8 to 12 inches wide.
  • Ensure the area is free, the walls as well as the floor area.
  • Spread plastic or drop cloths on the floor, spillage and drippings cannot be totally avoided.
  • Remove any wallpaper from the ceiling.
  • Use old paintbrushes, wallpaper brushes or sponges.
  • Coat the entire ceiling with a thin layer of compound.
  • Stroke or swirl on the surface.
  • Your fingers can make all kinds of designs.
  • For a rough texture, coat with a thicker compound.

Ceiling texturing using equipments

Visit a paint store, lumberyard or hardware shop or home improvement stores. Check the wide range of ceiling texturing materials, sizes and types. Pick the ones of your choice. Practice on large scraps of drywall or any type of hard flat material. This helps in perfecting the application in order to achieve the desired look. Now, all that you need to do is mix the texturing material with paint and apply to the ceiling for a fresh, modern look. Spruce up every room’s ‘fifth wall’ with any of the below mentioned options for ceilings.


Roller sheetrock ceiling texturing method

Materials: Paint roller handle with cover and extension pole, long-nap paint roller, electric drilling machine, ribbon mixer, plastics to cover the floor or drop cloths, 5 gallon buckets of sheetrock mud (dry wall compound).


Prepare mixture: Take half the quantity of mud and transfer to an airtight bucket. Now, add a cup of water to the remaining mud and mix it well. Use the ribbon mixer with your electric drill for mixing. The consistency of the mixture should be like that of a milkshake. Thicken or thin accordingly. Use your discretion and add some more water or mud.


Application: While applying the mixture over the ceiling, spillage and dripping on the floor is unavoidable. Use the drop cloth and spread out on the floor. Fill the long-nap paint roller (the extension handle attached) with thinned mud. Try rolling to and fro in a select corner. Use your creativity to strike different patterns. For example, for an erratic pattern, roll back over the area at random angles. Remember to work your patterns before the compound sets in.


Knockdown sheetrock method

Materials: Same as above sans the painting tools, crow’s foot stomp brush and a taping knife around 10 inches and a mud pan.


Prepare mixture: The method is the same but the consistency should be a bit thicker.


Application: Unlike the earlier method which involved rolling the mud, use the crow’s foot brush, dip in the mud and push onto the sheetrock and pull off instantly. Take the knife and lightly drag it at about 45-degree angle. As you drag the knife right across the peaks in the mud in order to flatten, the ceiling texture gets created.


Colors for ceilings

There is no thumb rule and it is your personal taste that should determine the ceiling color. Colors contribute to our feelings and moods. Light, pleasant colors can make you feel relaxed and dark colors can have the contrary impact. As you look up, if you wish to see tranquil colors, opt for light colors. In case, you would like to synchronize with wall color, choose ceiling paint that is one or two shades lighter than the wall color. You can all use the wall color after diluting with white paint in a ratio of 1: 3.


  • White color has a universal appeal. Blends well with any wall color or furnishings in the room
  • Shades of blue or yellow brightens up the room.
  • Dark colors on ceilings make high ceilings appear closer.

Ceiling styles: Unlike colors and texture selection, ceiling style selection is largely influenced by area, cost (affordability) and ease of maintenance.


Conventional ceiling: A flat wall covered with drywall or plaster.


Suspended ceiling: A flat ceiling built right under an existing ceiling. It could be aluminium suspended ceiling, fabric, fiberglass, acoustic, wire net, wooden ceilings of red oak, maple, and cherry hung from the ceiling joists with a metal grid. The cavity that is created between the joists and the ceiling is used to lay down pipes and wires or to install ductwork. This style can reduce the height of the ceiling by a minimum of 6 inches.


Cathedral ceiling: Typically, cathedral ceilings are high, open, usually slanting or pointed ceiling. The ceiling panels are attached directly to the roof trusses. People prefer cathedral ceiling for its dramatic visual interest it creates in a room. In the absence of very little or no attic space, this style leaves little space for insulation.


Shed ceiling: Closely resembles cathedral ceiling but pitches upward at one end and is not as steep as a cathedral ceiling. Provision for insulation and ventilation is provided by way of an attic above the shed ceiling. Due care should be taken to ensure the angles aren’t too steep.


Wallpaper ceiling: Flowered wallpaper, geometric designs and patterns can be put up on the ceiling.


Wood ceiling beams: You can feel closer to nature, matching wood wall hangings and wood furniture with wood ceiling beams right across all the rooms



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Ceiling Texture