How to Add Texture to a Ceiling

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Home improvement can be a fun and exciting process, especially when it comes to adding texture to your ceiling. There are several patterns that you can choose from, and some, such as skip-troweling, only require you to run a trowel or tool over partially stiff compound. Follow the steps below to create a lovely textured ceiling in your own home.

First, repair any cracks or holes in the ceiling’s plaster. After repairing the ceiling, prime it before texturing. This is important because texture compound applied to an unprimed ceiling dries too quickly and can cause lap marks where wet compound is applied next to dry compound.

  1. Choose the compound that you want to use. You can use a ready-to-use multi-purpose joint compound, a ready-mixed texture compound, or a powdered texture compound that you mix yourself. You may need to mix water into the ready-to-use compounds to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. If you want to add color, mix the coloring agent into the water. Only powdered compounds can have color added at this stage. Adding color at this stage can help you eliminate the need to paint the ceiling later on.
  3. Mix the compound of your choice using the mixer attachment on your drill or a mud masher. Let the mixture sit overnight, then mix it again to remove any lumps, adding more water if necessary. Sand can be added to achieve the desired texture and to create the look of old plaster. Use sand that is graded by mesh size, with higher numbers indicating finer sand. A combination of 30 or 70 mesh sand usually works well.
  4. Experiment with patterns on drywall scraps or cardboard. Use different tools and patterns until you find one that you like. Keep in mind that almost any tool can be used, including paint rollers, paintbrushes, sponges, and knives. Once you find a pattern you like, consider whether you can consistently create it on a ceiling.
  5. Apply the compound to the ceiling, texturing it as you go.

When mixing the compound, be sure to note the proportions used so that every batch has the same consistency. By following these steps, you’ll soon have a beautifully textured ceiling that will add character and style to any room in your home.


1. What is ceiling texturing and why is it important?

Ceiling texturing is the process of adding texture to a ceiling to create a unique look or to hide imperfections. Texturing can also help to absorb sound and improve insulation. It is important because a well-textured ceiling can enhance the visual appeal of a room and add value to a home.

2. What are some popular ceiling texturing techniques?

Some popular ceiling texturing techniques include stippling, popcorn, knockdown, and orange peel. Stippling involves using a brush or roller to create small dots on the ceiling. Popcorn texture involves spraying a mixture of water and drywall compound onto the ceiling to create a bumpy texture. Knockdown texture is created by spraying a mixture of water and drywall compound onto the ceiling and then using a trowel to flatten the bumps. Orange peel texture is created by spraying a mixture of water and drywall compound onto the ceiling and then using a roller to create a texture that resembles the skin of an orange.

3. What materials do I need to texture a ceiling?

The materials you will need to texture a ceiling include drywall compound, a trowel, a texture brush or roller, a spray gun, a mixing bucket, and water. You may also need sandpaper, painter’s tape, and drop cloths to protect your floors and walls.

4. How do I prepare my ceiling for texturing?

To prepare your ceiling for texturing, you will need to clean it thoroughly and repair any cracks or holes. You may also need to sand down any rough spots or bumps. Once the ceiling is clean and smooth, you can apply a coat of primer to help the texture adhere to the surface.

5. How do I apply the texture to my ceiling?

The application process will depend on the texture you have chosen. For stippling, you can use a brush or roller to create the dots. For popcorn, knockdown, and orange peel textures, you will need to use a spray gun to apply the mixture to the ceiling. Be sure to work in small sections and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the compound and applying the texture.

6. How long does it take to texture a ceiling?

The amount of time it takes to texture a ceiling will depend on the size of the room and the complexity of the texture. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to texture a ceiling. You will need to allow the texture to dry completely before painting or adding any additional finishes.

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