Stucco ceilings add depth of texture to a room. Ceiling details, such as stucco texture, enhance otherwise bland rooms often found in newly constructed homes. Plaster creates a nearly permanent stucco texture that can be a nightmare to remove or repair. Fortunately, you can use drywall compound to create a stucco ceiling texture that can easily be removed if necessary. Unlike the roll-on and spray-on "popcorn" textures that were popular into the 1980s, stucco texture created using a knockdown technique provides a much more elegant look that will improve the ambiance of any room.
Cover the walls and floor with plastic sheeting -- attach the sheeting along the tops of the walls with masking tape.
Paint the ceiling with a single coat of primer and allow to dry according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Mix a small amount of drywall compound and water to fill the mixing tray; make note of the proportions you used so that you can make additional, identical batches. Use the drywall mixer like a giant potato masher to create a mix that is thicker than paint but still somewhat soupy.
Apply the mix to the ceiling with the roofing brush. Dab the mix onto the ceiling so that it forms peaks. Wear eye protection when working overhead. Apply the mix to small, square sections that you can cover in approximately 15 minutes.
Allow the previous section to dry somewhat while you apply the mix to the next section, or for approximately 15 minutes.
Drag the edge of a drywall knife or taping blade lightly over the peaks on the compound in the previous, slightly dried section to smooth or "knock down" the peaks and create a stucco look.
Repeat the process until you have finished the entire ceiling and then allow the stucco to dry overnight before removing plastic from the walls and floor.
Tips & Warnings
- Practice on a small area of the ceiling until you perfect your technique. If you are unsatisfied with your "knockdown" technique, simply scrape the compound mix off the ceiling and start over.
- Layer two colors of tinted compound mix over each other, dark over light, to create an antiqued stucco look.
Things You'll Need:
- Paint scraper
- Sanding tools
- Primer paint
- Long-handled paint roller
- Paint roller tray
- Plastic sheeting
- Masking tape
- Tinted drywall compound
- Mixing pan
- Drywall hand mixer (also known as a "masher")
- Eye protection
- 3-knot roof brush
- 6-inch drywall knife or taping blade
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