Hi. I am a newbie here. I will likely be here more as our home needs much
repair (which is why we got such a good price on it). Our kitchen ceiling is
a mess. We have to patch a hole where a sky light was covered up when the
new roof was put on. We are taking out the faux beams and replacing the
light fixtures. (Can anyone say the seventies are OVER??!!??) So we have to
patch the sky light and patch the big holes where the bolts are holing up
the hideous beams. DH does not want to replace the whole ceiling. Too hard
compared to fixing. The paint on the ceiling is that scalloped texture. DH
wants to match the paint by taking a chip to the paint store. I think it
will be hard to match the color and the texture. I would like to strip the
texture and repaint the whole ceiling, probably with the nubbly texture. DH
says that the texture cannot be removed without removing the ceiling. I do
not beleive him. How could I remove the scalloped texture on the ceiling so
I can repaint? I thought of sanding. But that would make a huge mess.
Simplest thing is just try a putty knife and see if it won't scrape that
texture off. That's how you remove those popcorn textures on ceilings.
Since you're fixing and painting the ceiling anyway, you can't hurt much by
trying the putty knife approach.
btw, I disagree with your DH. Give all the problems, I'd remove old ceiling
and put new plasterboard up. You'll probably NEVER get the texture all
removed and all the holes patched in a way that satisfies both of you.
There'll always be some uneveness or hole outline or whatever that will bug
you everytime you look at it. In the long run, new plasterboard will be WAY
more acceptable...and way more re-sellable. A day or two of mess is a lot
better than years of unhappiness.
Sanding will certainly create a huge mess.
But, wear a good quality (NOT PAPER) face-mask, move EVERYTHING out of the
room first, cover the rest with dust-sheets taped down, and vacuum up
You will basically end up vacuuming over the whole area, then wiping it down,
to get most of it away, then vacuuming again, and final cleanup.
Tape under the doors/windows.
It then reduces pretty much to holding a sander over your head for an annoying
amount of time, while trying not to fall off whatever you'r standing on.
Alternatively, it may be possible to skim plaster over it, or to simply
screw more plasterboard over it.
You may want to have the texture tested for asbestos, in which case it
gets a little more complex.
The denziens of this group can probably advise on if that's likely in this
Patching drywall for me is a issue that I take pretty seriously. I will do
rough taping but when it comes to surfaces to paint. The smallest
imperfection will be noticed once the paint is on. So I always hire pros to
do the final coats and textures.
Not being able to see your ceiling if the texture was done with drywall mud
and a sponge in a circular motion. Probably never match it.
To remove the texture try using a wet sponge and moisten an area letting it
soak a bit then using a putty knife start scraping. Start at one of the
holes and work away from the hole until you can use an 8-10" drywall knife.
It will come off. It just depends on how much time you want to spend with
it. Patch, sand and then re-texture, finally paint.
I hope your talking about the knock down texture used a lot today. Your term
of nubbly texture sounds a lot like what I call popcorn. No one uses it
much today unless they are trying to hide imperfections.
I removed a wall forming a great room. All popcorn ceilings. Contractors
wanted a buck a square foot for removal. I got a lot of plastic, a wet
sponge and did a little every other night for an hour. A week passed and I
was done. I patched the hole left by the wall removal and used fiberglass
tape for the joints once I had it sealed and level as best I could do I
contacted a contractor I have used in the past and they finished the rest.
Never could see the wall patch but if the light was right the tape joints
from the ceiling were noticeable until the 4th coat of paint. Since the
popcorn sucked up most of the paint and was a huge cover up originally they
did not spend a lot of time doing the tape joints.
I have to disagree with your DH. Replacing the whole ceiling will be much
easier than trying to patch it. Patching many spots never seems to look as
good as replacing the whole ceiling. Especially if it has existing pebbly
crap (IMO, I don't like it anywhere, especially in kitchens and bathrooms).
In fact, I had little leak in their shower stall (above the kitchen). I'm
going over to tear down a bit of the ceiling in my kitchen. (The steam from
the dishwasher seems to have affected another area of the ceiling). By
tearing down some of the existing ceiling, I can then install pot lights
above the counters. You mentioned that you were changing light fixtures.
If the existing ceiling is removed, you can move the location of lights (or
add new ones) to provide better lighting in the kitchen (i.e., putting in
lights above a peninsula/island).
You mentioned that your DH thinks that he can match the paint... nearly
impossible, especially in a kitchen (from the grease and dirt buildup
associated with cooking). Even if you do get a match, you will still have
to paint the whole ceiling because you will see lap marks. Then you might as
well just choose a colour and paint the whole ceiling instead of trying to
match to the existing colour.
You are right about the textured ceiling. The texture can be knocked down
(in most cases) with a putty knife. Many people will do this in all rooms
to have a smooth border where the ceiling meets the wall. However, doing a
whole room may prove being more difficult than tearing down and replacing.
Because this is your kitchen, it will prove to be inconvenient to your
family if you took a while to fix the ceiling. Knocking down the texture
will take longer and create more mess than removing the existing ceiling and
There is one case where replacing the ceiling is may not be a viable
option - if you have attic space above your kitchen. If you do, you first
have to remove the insulation above the kitchen (just fold it over temporary
'onto' another room) by going up into the attic. You might want to get this
tested first for asbestos in the insulation before you start messing with
Thanks everybody. This is a follow up question. Let's say I chose to remove
the whole ceiling and put in a new one. There are some project constraints.
We have very little money. This is why we want to do it ourselves. And we
have no knowledge. That latter is rectifiable.
So. I have some major neophite questions.
- What is a ceiling made out of? Is it the same stuff that walls are made
of? I have been calling it "wall board." As I understand it, it comes in
rectangles. You nail the rectangles to the frame. Then you mud and tape the
seams. Is this correct? Seems people tell me that we do not want to mud and
tape the seams ourselves. Why not? Is it particularly difficult?
- Jeff mentioned that this might not be feasible if we have attic above our
kitchen. Attic is exactly what we have above our kitchen. Does this mean
that the insulation is sitting directly on the aforementioned "wall board?"
Here would be my plan of attack. See if it makes sense.
- Go up in attic and see what is resting on the kitchen ceiling. Assume
nothing, or remove what is there.
- Pull down godawful beams.
- Tear down existing ceiling. How, specifically, does one do this? I
envision knocking holes and yanking.
- Put up new ceiling. Is this something that can cleanly be done piecemeal?
We have 2 small children. Tearing down the ceiling would require sending
them off to their grandparents. Putting up would take longer to do. I do not
want to do a rotten job for being in a rush.
What am I missing?
It's not really difficult... but might just take a while to 'perfect it'.
Here's the steps i took to patch a wall (broke it out to run speaker cables
for surround sound and speakers in dining rm and outside):
put drywall up on wall. Use drywall screws (nails are inferior to screws
and are prone to 'nail pops'. Using screws makes putting up a ceiling
easier too (using cordless drill). Aply a thin coat of drywall compound,
press in tape and apply another thin coat of drywall compound. Sand, apply
another thin coat but using a bigger putty knife. Keep doing this until
it's smooth and you can't see any lines. Also do the same at the screws
(don't use tape though).
Here are some tips:
- use thin coats of mud. Drys faster and is easier to sand - and makes
less mess to sand)
- because you are doing a ceiling, it's helpful if you create a 'T' using
2x4 this allows you to rest the drywall on the "T" at the ceiling. Replaces
a few people because they don/t have to hold it up
- use thicker drywall (wall board, sheetrock - all names for the same
thing) for the ceiling to avoid 'dips' between rafters
- make sure you use a primer first before you paint
- use a sanding pole. A sanding pole is a sanding block on a pole that
swivles. The heads are not too expensive (you might know someone that has
one you can borrow) and the pole is just a broom stick.
What I would do is go to a building store. They usually have pamphlets on
how to install things. You might luck out and find one on drywall. If not,
check your library.
I should have worded it different. It's not that it's not feasible, just
more steps involved. The insulation is resting directly on the drywall.
Just go up there are peel it back, being careful not to disturb it too much
(ie don't compress it). Also, wear gloves and a mask and long pants/sleves.
Word of advice: don't do this in the winter - way too cold up there!, don't
do this in the hottest part of the summer (and day), way too hot up there.
Also, the drywall cannot support your weight. Don't step on it or you might
inadvertently pull down the ceiling (not the recomended way to do it). Step
only on the rafters
Just get a hammer and start knocking holes and pulling. I suggest you first
put down cardboard and plastic to protect the floor and counter tops.
Remember to pull the nails out too.
Sending the kids away would be a good idea. There's something about
renovations that attract kids... not really safe for them though. The tear
down should only take a few hours (depending on how big your kitchen is).
Again, putting up the new ceiling doesn't take too much time - maybe a day.
So if the kids are gone for the weekend, it is feasible to have the old
ceiling removed and the new one put up (minus the taping). You can then mud
and tape when they're home. The same danger is not there. The most that
could happen is that they get mud in their hair (washes out). (Although I
still recomend that they stay out of the kitchen). If you were to do it
piecewise, tearing down and putting up the new ceiling can be done together
(with no kids) and the taping can wait. Remember to fold the insulation
back after putting the new ceiling up ASAP. Your house will get really hot
(cold) in the summer (winter) if the insulation is not replaced.
You probably have what is commonly called drywall or sheetrock.
To check, go to one of the nail holes or whatever and poke around
with a screw driver. If the material covered with paper, and the 'inside'
is sort of soft, it is drywall. If the material looks like it has sand in
is quite hard, it is probably plaster.
Some comments addressed to little money, etc. Try wiping the ceiling
with a very damp cloth and if a lot of the texture comes off, then the
entire surface is probably not water proof. (bad/cheap paint?)
This means that drywall compound will probably adhere to the existing
surface. Consequently, you might consider going over the entire surface
with a wide (six inch) putty knife to knock off high spots. Follow with a
"rough" sanding to even out the surface more, but NOT perfectly smooth.
Purchase some drywall compound (mud), thin it quite a bit, and skim coat
the ceiling to fill in all the low spots. Done carefully, this will require
little sanding/finishing afterwards. Now prime and paint.
We did some walls this way prior to wall papering. Worked great.
Next question as to skill for taping, etc. Not exactly difficult, but does
have a learning curve (short). A ceiling is probably hardest in that you
working overhead. Suggest buying a sheet or two of drywall, some
tape, etc. and experiment. Installing new drywall over the old (no removal)
is a pretty common practice also. Just be sure to use longer screws/nails
to account for the double thickness.
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