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Old 02-23-2011, 01:46 PM   #1
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Best way to finish ceiling drywall by an amateur?


That would be me, with no money to hire this out. The drywall is all installed, the taping and mudding done, and now the nightmarish job of sanding down the drywall. Is there ANY other way? What about some kind of texture, applied with a paint roller?

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Old 02-23-2011, 02:28 PM   #2
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Best way to finish ceiling drywall by an amateur?


The ones applied with a roller are kind of junky....this coming from a paint guy. More like a band aid, not a good look. Go rent a texture sprayer. You can spray the popcorn type finish, or knock down. Your tape joints still need to be decent. The texture will hide some, but not everything.

Im in the process of drywalling the ceiling in my basement...im hiring out the taping. I dont own stilts, and learning to use them...not gonna happen. Pick your battles, and hire the rest out. Contractors need work too

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Old 02-23-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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If only you knew how much I'd like to hire this out. But I'm trying to rescue a house we bought 6 years ago for $25,000, and that was BEFORE the bottom dropped out of the real estate market! The only time anything good happened to this house was in 1928, when they did a major remodel, added a second storey, replaced light fixtures and windows, and clad the whole thing in 3" reveal cedar siding, which still doesn't have any rot. The trouble started in the late '40s when they covered it in asphalt shingles. Since then many, many bandaids have been slapped on, and we're trying to bring it back to its proud Arts & Crafts self. When we bought it, the only drywall was in the addition that was tacked on the back. Nowhere else in the house was there any drywall OR plaster. Everything is sheathed in 1" boards with at least 12 layers of paper. So these past 6 years have been spent removing all that paper and drywalling everything. And I'm a graphic designer! Ha!
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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If only you knew how much I'd like to hire this out. But I'm trying to rescue a house we bought 6 years ago for $25,000, and that was BEFORE the bottom dropped out of the real estate market! The only time anything good happened to this house was in 1928, when they did a major remodel, added a second storey, replaced light fixtures and windows, and clad the whole thing in 3" reveal cedar siding, which still doesn't have any rot. The trouble started in the late '40s when they covered it in asphalt shingles. Since then many, many bandaids have been slapped on, and we're trying to bring it back to its proud Arts & Crafts self. When we bought it, the only drywall was in the addition that was tacked on the back. Nowhere else in the house was there any drywall OR plaster. Everything is sheathed in 1" boards with at least 12 layers of paper. So these past 6 years have been spent removing all that paper and drywalling everything. And I'm a graphic designer! Ha!
If it were me, id rent a texture sprayer and go to town. You could texture the walls while you're at it if you really wanted to.

OR...(and i'll get flamed for this) slap some thin drywall right over the paper and forget trying to strip it all off. OR add some bead board and a chair rail, and slap some drywall on the upper half of the walls.


You want it done right? Quick? Or Cheap?....those are your choices
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:17 PM   #5
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Well, now you're talking. The dining room is just about done, but I still have a bathroom, mud room and kitchen left to do (on a tiny budget). I may have to borrow your idea about the chair rail and bead board for the bathroom. Nearly all the paper has been stripped, except for parts of the kitchen ceiling. The problem with these 1" sheathing boards is that they were all hand-sawn so they're not consistent. But I'd sure love to get away with just drywalling the top half of that room!
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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Best way to finish ceiling drywall by an amateur?


Keep in mind one important thing that seems to take most of us a long time to get through our thick heads.

You only have to sand off the EXCESS drywall mud you leave behind on the walls! Be smart, and learn early to lather on that mud sparingly. It is TEN TIMES easier to gently wipe off with the knife (drywall trowel) than it is to sand off after it hardens.

Truth of the matter is that if done carefully and lightly, the drywall finish on the ceiling will never have to be sanded at all! You will easily be able to apply a spray-on texture right over only knife finishing........ with no sanding, whatsoever.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:12 PM   #7
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Best way to finish ceiling drywall by an amateur?


BTW, should you chose to texture over existing wallpaper, please first use one of the available wallpaper primers that all paint dealers carry.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:23 PM   #8
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BTW, should you chose to texture over existing wallpaper, please first use one of the available wallpaper primers that all paint dealers carry.
I mentioned earlier that the paper is mostly gone. Just some in the kitchen:



This poor house was abused for decades, and it's going to take at least a decade to make it look decent. It felt like a home right away, but it will be nice to feel good about inviting people over to just talk about how NICE it looks!
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:33 PM   #9
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Good! It really is best to go ahead and remove all the wallpaper.

But even then, you may find that you could experience "bubbling" problems if you don't use the D/W Primer before painting........ and sometimes even some of those hassles when you DO use the primer. Old 'removed' wallpaper is often tough to get a good finish over despite seemingly removing all of it.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:37 PM   #10
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This stuff is already bubbled up because the place wasn't heated for a winter season, and all the hot water pipes burst. Plus I hate wallpaper and I like tearing it off the walls. Not only is there wallpaper, but it's been painted over as well. There are spots in this house where the walls were papered, like an underlayment, with 110-year-old Finnish newspapers. They used what they could get, apparently.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:47 AM   #11
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You can rent a power drywall sander---They work well--$50--or so including the pad --bag and paper--Just a thought.--Mike--
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:04 AM   #12
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Stoner is very correct in that a professional will know where and how to properly prepare the surfaces for spraying. And that is probably one of the most important aspects of the job.
As far as the actual spraying is concerned... sorry... you probably won't need a pro for that.
I'm not saying a trained monkey could do it........... but close. No insult intended here at all, but this is not rocket science.

Experimentation is the key. That and an artistic eye.

I have three texture sprayers, a larger compressor/hopper fed hose Graco gun, a little two gallon handheld hopper, and a tiny 'patching' rig. They are all simple to use.

Play with these things on some scrap, and within an hour or two of concentrated effort you will be able to come so close to duplicating a pro's job that no one will ever know the difference.

1. Mixture thickness (really 'thinness')
2. Volume of mixture feed (a couple of settings for this)
3. Air pressure
4. Tip size
5. Aiming angle
6. Distance from surface
7. Pattern coverage
8. Speed of gun movement.

Sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. You're actually just evenly splattering blobs of texture mixture on the ceiling or wall surface then (if 'knockdown') VERY GENTLY flattening those blobs with a wide, smooth knife blade as they begin to dry.

Go ahead and hire a pro if you feel intimidated. No shame in that. But you are a DIY person, and as such I believe you will swell with pride in mastering this simple process for yourself.

Neat thing is if you don't like the outcome, it all scrapes off fairly easily while it's still damp. Maybe a little sanding required afterward to get the wall smooth again. And it's not very expensive at all. I can do the average bedroom with less than ten dollars of material... that includes plastic dropcloths and tape... ceiling and walls.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:16 AM   #13
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You can rent a power drywall sander---They work well--$50--or so including the pad --bag and paper--Just a thought.--Mike--
Has anybody used a drywall vacuum sander? It's about 20 bucks, and looks like it would do what I want it to do ... sand AND remove the dust, which is my biggest complaint about the whole process.

A few years ago I borrowed from a friend a contraption that used a 5-gallon bucket half-filled with water, a bunch of hoses and my shop vac. The idea was to pull the dust off the walls or ceiling, and when it hit the bucket with the water you had no dust. It was a bit cumbersome but really did cut down on the dust. Wondering if I could rig the vacuum sander to run past a water-filled bucket ...
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:23 AM   #14
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Best way to finish ceiling drywall by an amateur?


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Has anybody used a drywall vacuum sander? It's about 20 bucks, and looks like it would do what I want it to do ... sand AND remove the dust, which is my biggest complaint about the whole process.

A few years ago I borrowed from a friend a contraption that used a 5-gallon bucket half-filled with water, a bunch of hoses and my shop vac. The idea was to pull the dust off the walls or ceiling, and when it hit the bucket with the water you had no dust. It was a bit cumbersome but really did cut down on the dust. Wondering if I could rig the vacuum sander to run past a water-filled bucket ...
Just keep in mind that power sanders make it awfully easy to go overboard and sand much of the paper surface of the drywall. Even with priming, these fuzzy areas are hard to cover to the same surface hardness and 'feel' as unsanded drywall. Point is it paints differently when sanded if you don't do a fair bit of repair finishing. If you are spraying, not that big of a deal.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:26 AM   #15
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If you have done a LIGHT, SMOOTH and careful job of drywall finishing, try lightly brushing the rougher surfaces with a large damp sponge. Works pretty well when no dust is permitted.

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