I have just started to paint my kitchen ceiling and the first white coat really showed up some surface damage we hadn't noticed before.

It looks like the previous occupiers scuffed their fridge across it whilst getting it out.

The scuffs are around 5-10mm deep and in some places are as wide as 30-40cm squared.

Is there anything i can do to make it look better without hiring a plasterer to re-skim the ceiling for us?

I am assuming that the ceiling is plaster board of some kind.

The damage is similar to the image below, but not as deep, and it has been painted and over.

enter image description here

  • I can't take a picture at the moment, and google images isn't coming up with anything. I will get a picture next time i am at the house. – Terry Nov 10 '15 at 18:27

Should be simple enough to fill it with joint compound yourself; I doubt you need a plasterer. Fill and strike off level with the ceiling. Wait for it to dry completely (24 hours is a good estimated time in most houses), fill again (the stuff shrinks) - after 2-3 coats, let it dry completely and sand lightly (will be dusty), then paint.

To evaluate drying, look for dark spots where it's thicker (not dry yet) and feel the surface to see if it's cooler than the surrounding wall (not dry yet.) For homeowner patching it's rarely worth getting the "setting" type joint compound which actually sets (more quickly) rather than drying - in larger projects or for a pro it can speed the process along. For a homeowner it will mostly be wasted (small amount used from a large bag but the large bag does not remain usable after a long time in storage) and adds complication (it's a dry mix rather than premix, and the mix instructions/quantities are often for mixing an entire bag at once.)

Using a small tub of premix (drying type) and taking a few days will generally be more sensible for DIY.


The lowest tech solution is to get a white oil primer and paint the scuffed spots (or use KILZ high hiding ceiling). Then repaint with ceiling paint. It won't look perfect, but it is quick.

If you do plaster, you'll still need to paint the plastered section at least twice, and you really should repaint the whole ceiling, as it is impossible to match ceiling paint and texture.

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