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I'm getting ready to texture ceilings for the first time using an air-compressor / hopper. I plan to practice first on some old sample sheets of drywall I have laying around but was also hoping to get some tips from the pros =)

Specifically, I'd like to know:

  • What type of consistency should the topping mud be? Runny? Thick?
  • What techniques should be used for actual spraying? Top-to-bottom? Left-to-right?
  • What preparation needs to be done beforehand? Taping off outlets? Placing plastic over windows?
  • How full should the hopper be filled?
  • What can we do if there are mistakes?
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2 Answers

I have spent a great deal of time scrapping popcorn off ceilings. I don't know if that is the type of coating you are planning on, but I would tend to leave the ceilings smooth. I think that looks better. Textures ceilings were big in the 70's and 80's, but not so much now.

Sorry, not an answer, just my opinion.

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It costs more and takes longer, but flat is the way to go. Mush easier to fix and patch up down the road. –  mohlsen Nov 4 '10 at 15:32
    
@mohlsen: I completely agree. I'm really happy with the way my ceilings turned out, even though it took a lot of work. –  Doresoom Nov 4 '10 at 17:03
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This would be better as a comment because it doesn't answer the question. –  rlb.usa Jul 12 '11 at 16:58
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Thanks for the feedback guys. We ended up going with the textured ceilings anyways (partially to hide some minor imperfections too. Here's what I learned:

What type of consistency should the topping mud be? Runny? Thick?

This varies depending on the type of texture you're try for. More "subtle" textures like Orange Peel require thinner mud topping. For my purposes, the ideal consistency was "thick paint".

What techniques should be used for actual spraying? Top-to-bottom? Left-to-right?

There's no perfect way to do this and it depends on the type of topping you're putting on the ceiling. For my purposes, a circular movement worked best. Again, your mileage may vary.

What preparation needs to be done beforehand? Taping off outlets? Placing plastic over windows?

All of the above. You essentially want to protect as much as possible and ONLY leave the ceiling exposed. We lucked out in that we're going to remove the carpeting so we didn't need to place plastic over the floors.

How full should the hopper be filled?

Follow the manufacturers guidelines on this one. Our hopper manual said anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3. I stayed closer to 1/3 since it got heavy after awhile.

What can we do if there are mistakes?

Practice beforehand. It's ESSENTIAL. If you do make mistakes though, quickly scrap off the area. Keep in mind that even if you use pre-mixed mud, it will dry a LOT faster since it's thinner.

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