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ryanxo 08-21-2012 10:19 PM

How to Fix Wavy Ceiling?
When I turn on a floor lamp on one side of the room I can notice waves in the ceiling. Not huge waves but enough to barely cast a shadow that shows the ceiling sags a little.

I live in a 1970s house and I have always noticed imperfections in my ceiling like a messed up tape joint or another gouge in one place but recently we removed the wall between my living room and kitchen. That turned a 10 x 16 room and a 16x16 room into one big 26 x 16 room and you can notice it more now.

I have trusses that are 22 inches apart and between each one is where the sheetrock sags just a tiny bit and I can notice it with the floor lamp on. It is currently popcorn ceiling which I want to remove but I'm worried that once I remove it and paint the ceiling it will be more noticable than it is now.

Is there something I can do once i get the popcorn ceiling scraped off before I paint it to even it out since it's such a slight sag I definitely don't want to rip out all the sheetrock or put new sheetrock over it. Can I use a lot of mud and a sheetrock mud knife to even it out? I'm not sure of the best way to do it. Any suggestions?

chemman 08-21-2012 10:45 PM

Probably needs more drywall screws driven into the joists to support the 1/2" drywall.

joecaption 08-22-2012 12:30 AM

As you know adding screws will do nothing if it's sagging between the joist.
Adding more drywall over what you have now will not work. It will just follow the wave your trying to get rid of.

My first guess is some tryed to get by with 1/2" not 5/8 drywall.
Check that.

If it is 1/2 and you really want a flat ceiling then the drywall has to come out.
It would take almost the same time remove it all and replace as to have to try and get all that texture off, and still have to refinish, prime and paint.

ryanxo 08-22-2012 08:31 AM

Yup its sagging between so new screws would be no help. Replacing all the drywall would maybe be an option if there wasn't 13 inches of blown in cellulose over top of said drywall.

Would removing the texture and remudding be a way to go? I can't imagine it would be easy at all to level it out with mud and I don't know how I could even do that haha.

chemman 08-22-2012 04:30 PM

The reason I offered my thoughts was that I too have 1/2" drywall for my living room ceiling (was 5/8" not code in 1978?), and I was starting to notice some slight waviness to my ceiling. I found that the nails holding the sheet edges were no longer tight, and there were few screws holding the drywall up in the middle of the sheets. Those that were there were also loose. Adding screws at 12" intervals pulled everything up tight and it seems like the waviness is gone. Might just be my dumb luck.:laughing: But Joe is right, by the time you get the texture off, clean up the huge mess you're going to make, re-spackle and re-paint, you'll have spent just as much time and effort as pulling it down and re-hanging with 5/8".

ryanxo 08-22-2012 09:30 PM

Thanks for the input. I don't know if I want to put the added load on the trusses. I guess I'll take off the popcorn, throw up some more screws then see how it turns out. Then I might just end up paying someone to mud it haha

bjbatlanta 08-29-2012 03:05 PM

24" centers with a spray texture is the root of the problem. The moisture in the spray contributes to sagging if you're not on 16" centers. 1/2" regular board is not recommended for 24" centers with texture applied. You WILL notice the waves more without the texture. Also if your floor lamp has a halogen bulb in it, as many do, it will accentuate the problem. Direct/harsh lighting is a drywall man's worst enemy. The sagging is most likely between the joists/trusses as stated above. Even if there is some issue with the board coming loose from the framing, adding screws likely won't help. IF you have blown-in insulation in the attic, as the nails (doubt you have screws with the age of the house) pull through the rock, the insulation gets between the rock and the joist. You can't get the board pulled back up tight. The good news is (if you decide to re-hang) that the new ultra light drywall from USG (and probably other mfgrs.) IS rated for 24" centers even with water based texture. You don't need 5'8"....

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