In this video:


The guy breaks down the process of making a California Ceiling into five steps:

  1. Cover the Walls
  2. Prime the Ceiling
  3. Mix joint compound
  4. Spray the ceiling
  5. Knock it down

If you see on step 2, there is prime the ceiling. This makes sense. If you look at my ceiling you'll see there is primer near the walls.

Popcorn removed

It looks like the popcorn that I removed did not stick to the sheetrock where they did not prime the ceiling. It looks like they primed the ceiling near the corners. This kind of erks me because I was ok with the acoustic texture, had it have simply stuck to the ceiling -- what did they save by not priming all of the ceiling, a couple of dollars?

Now for my question, if I'm doing textured ceilings again should I prime before I apply the sheetrock mix, and then prime after for the paint; and, if so, should I use the same primer? Would my latex primer work for both of these, and is it proper to use primer twice in this process?

Here is another YouTube video of the knockdown ceiling texture. He doesn't primer the ceiling first.


This guy does the Slapbrush method of texturizing, you can also see that his ceiling is only primered in stripes. Why don't people primer the whole thing?


This makes me even more confused.

  • 1
    The stripes you're seeing are not primer, it's dry joint compound over the seams and screws. Paint will not properly adhere to this or bare drywall without a primer. Not sure whether you prime before or after the texturing.
    – BMitch
    Sep 29, 2012 at 10:55
  • @BMitch Well, that raises the question what was the texture made out of? If the stripes are just joint compound, and if the texture is made of just joint compound why would it matter? I'd expect it to stick everywhere and for the stripes not to exist? Oct 1, 2012 at 14:32
  • @BMitch that said, if the stripes are joint compound and if the texture was not joint compound then you actually just answered my question: it wouldn't need to be primed. The stripes are on there really well, and none of the texture over the stripes came down. Oct 1, 2012 at 14:33
  • You need primer so that paint will adhere to the wall and to avoid the drywall bleeding through.
    – BMitch
    Oct 1, 2012 at 14:49
  • 2
    As a homeowner I'd ask you to please not texture ceilings!
    – DA01
    Oct 1, 2012 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


Do not prime the drywall before it is taped and sanded. Do all your drywall work first, then apply your textured coating. Normally there is no reason to prime the new drywall or joints before putting on a compound based textured top coat. If you intend to use a textured paint instead of a compound based texture, then you would prime the entire surface with a PVA drywall sealer/primer before applying any paint coat. Assuming the texture is compound based, then let it dry completely and prime this with PVA sealer/primer before painting. Do not use a regular heavy based primer or paint/primer product on your texture. Use PVA. The reason is that PVA is very light and dries extremely fast and if applied properly won't re-hydrate or saturate you texture causing possible damage. Once the PVA is cured, (usually just an hour or so) you can paint over it with regular latex paint without fear of texture falling off.

  • So essentially, I shouldn't worry about the texture sticking to the ceiling? I find that kind of worrying, because the previous popcorn texture certainly didn't stick, and I want to think it was because they didn't prime it. Also in one of those videos, they prime the ceiling before applying texture. =( Man this is confusing. Oct 1, 2012 at 0:27
  • it depends on what kind of treatment you are using. If it is a gypsum based spray, no primer. If it is an acrylic/latex product, prime first. Oct 1, 2012 at 8:32
  • 1
    Popcorn texture is essentially perlite or a similar lightweight solid suspended in paint and then sprayed on to the ceiling. As such, it should have been primed first. You are now applying knockdown, a gypsum based texture, which should be applied directly to other compound or paper facing. Don't worry.
    – bcworkz
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:48
  • @bcworkz I think that about sums it up. Popcorn requires the primer but the joint compound ceiling texture otherwise will not. Oct 2, 2012 at 15:43

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