How to fix a bad spot in a stomped ceiling

Written by lee carroll
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How to fix a bad spot in a stomped ceiling
Scrape the ceiling away from you to help prevent inhalation. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Stomped texture adds dimension to flat drywall or plaster surfaces, and it conceals flaws such as cracks, screw holes and seams. Applying texture to ceilings is a tiring job. With fatigue comes inconsistency, resulting in an irregular or bad pattern. If the ceiling was not prepared properly or the installer used a poor mixture, the material can chip and flake off. Replacing bad texture is not complicated, and the result is worth the effort.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Dust sheet
  • Ladder
  • Metal drywall mud knife
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Bucket
  • 1-cup mixing cup
  • Metal paint mixing tool
  • Power drill with chuck
  • Threaded extension pole
  • Paint roller
  • Stomping brush tool

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  1. 1

    Spread a dust sheet on the floor under the bad area and set a ladder on top of the cloth.

  2. 2

    Stand on the ladder and flatten the blade of a metal drywall mud knife against the ceiling. Hold it as parallel to the surface as possible to prevent gouges. Scrape off the bad texture from the ceiling.

  3. 3

    Sand the scraped area lightly with coarse sandpaper to roughen it, which helps the new texture adhere.

  4. 4

    Scoop out half the contents of a joint compound container using the mud knife and place it in an empty bucket. Fill a 1-cup mixing cup with water. Pour the water into the bucket with the transferred joint compound.

  5. 5

    Slip the rod or post of a paint mixing tool into a power drill's chuck connector opening. Twist the chuck clockwise to tighten it around the rod.

  6. 6

    Set the blade end of the mixing tool into the bucket with water and joint compound. Stabilise the bucket between your feet or ask a helper to hold it steady.

  7. 7

    Turn on the drill at its lowest setting. Mix the joint compound and water together until it resembles cake batter or frosting. Turn off the drill. Check the consistency of the mixture. It should be smooth, but not runny. If it is too thin, mix in more joint compound. If it is too thick, add more water.

  8. 8

    Lift the tool out of the mixture, but keep the blade inside the bucket. Turn the drill on its slowest setting to spin off the excess joint compound, then turn off the drill. Remove the tool from the bucket and set it on the dust sheet. Scrape the inside wall of the bucket with the mud knife and drop the excess joint compound into the mixture.

  9. 9

    Twist the threaded end of an extension pole clockwise into the threaded opening of a paint roller handle. Dip the roller into the bucket of blended joint compound. Tap the handle against the rim of the bucket to remove the excess. Roll a thick layer of joint compound onto the ceiling at the repair location. Apply more until the area is covered.

  10. 10

    Disconnect the extension pole from the paint roller and attach it to the stomping brush. Tap and press the bristles against the ceiling to create the stomped texture. Practice is required to match the surrounding pattern, so experiment with the technique until you are pleased with the result.

  11. 11

    Pour the leftover blended joint compound into its original bucket and close the lid. Rinse the mud off your tools and dry them before putting them away. Allow the texture to dry overnight before painting.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're pressed for time, apply the joint compound and stomp it in one step using only the stomping tool.
  • If your ceiling was textured prior to 1990, do not scrape it. It could contain asbestos, which requires sealing or professional removal.

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