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mikereno1 02-18-2009 09:17 PM

Removed popcorn ceiling, now how to texture?
We are taking out the popcorn ceilings one room at a time as part of our remodel. The plan is to plastic the room, spray and scrape the popcorn, retexture, prime, and paint in that order.

So, first room's ceiling is popcorn free and we are ready to texture. I have a texture spray gun with hopper and some joint compound. The plan is to water it down and start spraying.

What ratio of joint compound to water should I use? I would like to get a fine texture on the ceilings, smaller globs than the orange peel look. How much pressure does it normally take? I assume it will take some tinkering with, but wanted to get a good starting point

Any tips for this process?

Constructive1 02-18-2009 10:36 PM

First of are aware that it's fairly likely that the accoustic (popcorn) texture may contain asbestos? I always have it tested on my projects when it's present, and I'd say that it comes up hot about 2/3 of the time. I'm not sure what your local/state laws say, but here in WA homeowners are allowed to remove up to a certain amount themselves. I know of a guy who did too much, got caught, and everything he owned was bagged up and hauled off by guys in suits. After paying all of the fines he was told that if he wanted all of his stuff back that he'd have to pay to have it cleaned/decontaminated. He got new stuff.

As far as mixing and air pressure: Trial and error on a half sheet of drywall (or any other smooth material) and you can just wipe off the errors until you see what you like. A mix that ends up like runny pancake batter should get you pretty close. The hopper guns take a huge volume of air - your compressor should be able to put out at least 6 cfm at or above 90-100 psi, but we've gotten by at times with compressors that are a bit smaller.

You are going to water down the ceiling before texturing?

mikereno1 02-19-2009 10:46 AM

as I understand as long as we keep it wet when scraping it wont aeresolize and we are wearing masks as well just in case it does contain asbestos.

Not sure about wetting the ceiling down before texturing, will that make it stick better or whats the reasoning?

Constructive1 02-19-2009 08:19 PM

Hey Mike,

Sounds like you are on top of the removal process. In the few cases where we don't want to know, we always treat it like it is anyway. Well done!

I've never heard of wetting it down prior to texturing. My pro drywall guy doesn't, and we've never done it that way ourselves. Somebody might have mentioned that as a way of keeping the texturing from sucking into the surface and flattening out, but if you are looking for a very fine texture that shouldn't be an issue.

Good luck!


cooper4x4 02-20-2009 10:58 AM


Originally Posted by Constructive1 (Post 232652)
You are going to water down the ceiling before texturing?

I think he was referring to watering down the joint compound before spraying.

bjbatlanta 02-23-2009 06:15 PM

The orifice size (opening) you use on the hopper gun will determine the "size" of the pattern as well as how much you will need to thin your mud. The smaller the pattern, the thinner the compound needs to be and the smaller size hole you want to spray through. That will generally take less air pressure, but you'll still need a pretty good sized compressor. A hopper gun uses a continual flow of air, thus the need for a lot of cfm. When you pull the trigger, gravity feeds the texture into the flow of air to disperse it. You can add an air shutoff before the trigger. When you get to the point where it seems like you don't have enough pressure, shut the air off and let the compressor catch up. It will take a bit longer, but will work if you don't have a huge area to do. Or you can rent an appropriate rig that will do the job. I'm assuming you plan on purchasing a hopper and using a compressor you have (or can borrow).

mikereno1 02-23-2009 06:42 PM

bjb, exactly what I am doing. I used the small opening for the hopper which I was going ot rent, but ended up just buying one at harbor freight for $20. Im using my 2 gallon compressor and it is working pretty well so far. Finished 2 rooms so far. The second one definitely looks better than the first, but i think that is from better scraping before spraying the texture. Great idea about adding a shut off valve at the gun since it has seemed that my compressor will lag after a while

bjbatlanta 02-23-2009 07:05 PM

Absolutely will help! Since you're doing a room at a time, there's no big hurry anyway. (It will give your arm a rest from holding that hopper up too while the compressor catches up!) A 2gal. is a bit small to run a hopper for very long.......

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