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How to Fix a Bad Ceiling Texture Job

close up of ceiling texture being scraped off with a tool on a pole

When was the last time you thought about your ceiling’s looks? The ceiling is there but you may not really notice it or the flaws that have crept in over the years. More attention is paid to the walls and floors than the ceiling.

Unfortunately, by the time you pay attention to the ceiling, some texture flaws have crept in ruining its look. There is an easy way to repair the textured ceiling. To learn that trick, just continue to read our article.

Fixing the Broken Texture on Your Ceiling

Close up of a circular pattern texture on a ceiling

Step 1: Move Everything Out of the Way – At least move the furniture and pictures you can to a spot where they won’t get any mud on them. Then cover them for added protection.

Step 2: Place A Drop Cloth on the Floor – As neat as you are, mud or drywall compound will drop on the floor. Make sure you have your carpets or floors covered with a thick drop cloth. Thin plastic will not do.

Step 3: Set Up Your Ladder – Make sure this is tall enough so you can work comfortably and reach your ceiling safely.

Step 4: Use a Putty Knife – Or a wide blade trowel that is easy to handle and scrape off any texture around the spot you are needing to fix. Usually, you only need to scrape about 6 inches around the patch unless the patch is really large.

The key here is not to expose the drywall tape.

Hand wearing glove, sanding a plaster wall with a yellow sanding tool

Step 5: Sand – No one likes doing this step as the particles can get in your hair, nose, eyes, and mouth. But you need a smooth surface to apply the new texture. Use a woodblock to help you sand or use a drywaller’s sanding tool. It has a long reach.

Step 6: Cutaway – There may be some bubbling drywall tape and to get rid of that tape just take your utility knife and cut it away. Just do not cut too much.

Step 7: Add the New Mud – A 6-inch flat trowel should do the trick. Just add the new mud to the ceiling and make sure to cover any cracks you exposed with new drywall tape. Then mud over the tape so the ceiling looks like one piece.

Step 8: Do a Second Layer – Go a little larger than the first stage but add a little more drywall mud or compound to cover the tape and the space you scraped away.

Step 9: Let the drywall compound dry overnight- and then sand it down the next morning. Do not sane too much, as you may have to add another layer of mud before you are done. Sand till the compound is smooth.

Step 10: Now is the time to repair the texture. This task depends on how the texture was designed the first time. You can do a popcorn style which is just spraying watered down drywall compound or whatever is called for, so your patch blends in with the rest of the ceiling.

Depending on the style of texture, you may need to get additional tools to do the job right.

Step 11: Paint – After the ceiling has dried, add two coats of paint to finish the job. Then clean everything up and put the furniture, etc. back in their rightful places.

Other Ceiling Repair Options

Arm reaching to ceiling with a trowel, applying a thin layer of plaster

Ceilings are fairly flexible. You can do a lot to them to make them look good, even if they are textured. Here is a list of repair or renovation options you can consider when your ceiling starts to show its age:

  • Paint – This option covers multiple things, and it is the cheapest and easiest option you have available.
  • Install New Lighting – This can be track lighting, recessed lighting, or whatever you feel will upgrade the room’s look and provide good lighting.
  • Add Decorative Molding – One way to spruce up a ceiling’s look is by adding decorative molding or even exposed beams. There are different accent tricks you can also use.
  • Texture the Ceiling – If it is not already done, you can choose one of the many styles of texture that will enhance the look of your room.
  • Replace Your Ceiling – This is an expensive and last choice type of option. Do not do it unless it needs to be done. For example, replacing asbestos that was used when the house was built. Many things can go wrong with this option so make sure you know what you are doing or have a professional do it for you.
  • Call a Professional – If you are not sure you can do this, call in a professional to make sure the job is done right.

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