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rlewis 08-22-2011 06:15 AM

covering drywall swirls on a ceiling
We are in the process of buying a house. The house has drywall swirls on all the ceilings. I would like to cover them and am trying to figure out how to. I know that it would be easiest if done before we moved in but depending on expense I might have to do a room at a time. I would appreciate any help I can get.

DangerMouse 08-22-2011 06:22 AM

drywall swirls?

What exactly do you mean?


rlewis 08-22-2011 06:28 AM

they look like fans all over the ceiling. I looked it up and think drywall swirls the more offical term than fans but I'm not sure.

rlewis 08-22-2011 06:34 AM

they look like fans all over the ceiling. I looked it up and think drywall swirls the more offical term than fans but I'm not sure.

DangerMouse 08-22-2011 06:35 AM

Do you mean the TEXTURE that someone put on the drywall?
If not, can you post a picture?


rlewis 08-22-2011 06:44 AM

It is a texture on the ceiling. I'm not sure this picture is big enough. Under the balcony is where you can see the swirls.

jsheridan 08-22-2011 07:09 AM

You might consider having a drywall installer give you a price on re-rocking the ceilings, at least in the more important living areas . You could spackle them smooth, but that would involve floating the whole ceiling, an art in itself.

Brushjockey 08-22-2011 07:16 AM

It would need to be skimmed flat, sanded smooth, primed and painted.

ltd 08-22-2011 07:25 AM

is their any kind of sheen on ceiling, satin or semigloss ? if their is paint it a flat sheen .this will soften the look a little .

m1951mm 08-22-2011 07:49 AM

There are some really good posts here, i.e. totally redrywalling the ceilings, spreading drywall compound and sanding it smooth etc. All of the solutions to get your ceiling to a smooth finish are costly and very very messy. I just finished painting a home that the swirl pattern was on the ceilings and the walls. Not a big fan of textured ceilings, but this particular finish is a very high end finish, much better than a stomped ceiling. I was raised in Denver and flat ceilings may be a regional thing. The more I moved around the U.S. the more I ran into textured ceilings and walls.

You are just now putting out lots of $$$$$$$ to buy the home and will be spending more to move in. Maybe you might want to live with the finish for awhile, it may grow on you. The more I worked in the home with that finish, the more I appreciated the workmanship and the play of light off the texture. I am not sure, but from the pic you posted you have some very high ceilings to deal with, there the prices and labor goes up again!!!!!!!!! Any of the fixes IMHO are not a Do It Yourself quick and easy process. Tools, application methods, scaffolding etc may not be right at hand.

Consulting a contractor or two in your area would be very helpful for you to see what really is involved getting rid of the texture. This may be out of the ball park, but one thing I have done in the past is to use a very heavy duty wallpaper liner paper to smooth out surfaces. Many folks want to stay way away from wallpaper, but if applied properly, sealed properly,and painted MIGHT give you the smooth finish you are looking for. Maybe talk with a paper hanger in your area, this process is way less messy than other alternatives. Atleast you would not have to have your ducts cleaned out afterwards:laughing:.

I would learn to love it if I were you:). Knowing you have a finish that takes great skill to pull off.

Just my own opinion.

rlewis 08-22-2011 11:14 AM

I don't remember if there is any sheen to it. I will look that is a good idea.

GottaFixIt 08-22-2011 11:18 AM

I would do a skim coat. There are plenty of online tutorials. Just google "skim coat how to".

If there's any gloss in the current paint, prime it first, skim it out, sand, prime and paint with flat ceiling paint.

rlewis 08-22-2011 11:19 AM

When you have worked with this texture if you paint it does it cover well. I think the wall paper is an interesting idea. I might look into that just for the area under the balcony. I have lived my whole life in CO, NE, WY so maybe that's my problem. If I wont go where there is more interesting ceiling textures then they will be brought to me.

Thanks for you insight.

rlewis 08-22-2011 11:30 AM

Would you do two coats of joint compound with sanding inbetween or just one. Any idea how long that balcony area might take?

Brushjockey 08-22-2011 11:42 AM

All depends on the depth of the texture. Might even take 3 coats. You don't sand in between, you are building up the surface to be more than the height of the texture.

M1951's post is right on. probably not a DIY job. And the texture is an old and dying art. If it is appropriate to the house and in good shape- do consider leaving it.
Way cooler than popcorn ceilings!

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