Questions About Holes In Drywall, Uneven Ceilings, And Refinishing After Popcorn - Drywall & Plaster - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:35 PM   #1
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Questions about holes in drywall, uneven ceilings, and refinishing after popcorn


I'm renovating my first condo and trying to get a feel for what it's going to take to make this place look sharp. I have a couple different questions here pertaining to different aspects of drywall and plaster.

For reference, the hall, bedrooms, and closets have popcorn ceilings, the living room and kitchen are smooth drywall (I believe), and I'm told the bathroom is plaster (why the difference?).

I plan on priming and re-painting every wall and ceiling in the condo.

Drywall Holes

I've never seen so many holes in drywall! Most of them are either nail holes (maybe 1/16-1/8") and small anchor holes (1/4"). I've heard some anchors you have to cut around, then push through into the wall. Luckily, these were the type of anchors which were very easy to remove with a set of needle-nose pliers, and they all came out without any damage.

So, I need to repair these holes, and I'd like to do it so one couldn't tell they were there. If this (or anything else in this post) isn't likely something I can do myself due to lack of experience, please let me know now and I'll look into hiring a pro.

I tried to capture the texture of the wall as best I could with my phone. What is this texture called?

http://i.imgur.com/0Jzkhow.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Bj7ZoId.jpg

Uneven Ceilings

In my living room it's quite apparent that the ceiling isn't exactly level in some places where it meets the wall. The previous owner had a picture molding up, which did a great job highlighting this issue. I tried to capture it as best I could in these pics. I'd guess the variance is 1/16th to 1/8th inch, at most.

I plan on installing a basic crown molding, but I don't want it to be noticeable. Is this something that can be fixed with the crown molding caulk, or do I need to level the ceiling around the walls?

It also seems there is a line running down the middle of the living room, which shows where the ceiling drywall was screwed in. It's not too noticeable, but it's there if you look for it. Is there anything I can do at reasonable expense to either fix or downplay this?

http://i.imgur.com/BkQKjUs.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/EAcNtfe.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Gn9myU0.jpg

Bathroom Ceiling

It appears that moisture collected above the shower, causing peeling around the exhaust fan. I've purchased a recessed Panasonic exhaust fan (this one) with a 6.5" opening, so I need to find a way to fix this. What's the best method?

http://i.imgur.com/5GaPIYI.jpg

Popcorn Ceiling Refinishing

As mentioned, the hall, bedrooms, and closets have popcorn ceiling. I've already confirmed it doesn't contain asbestos, and I'll be removing it soon. What should I expect to see underneath, and how to I go about refinishing it?

Last edited by Joe Link; 08-20-2014 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:27 AM   #2
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For the drywall holes; for small holes such as nail and anchors if you have access to one use a drywall hammer, the head is convex, so when you hit the drywall it will make a dimple. This is why we used a drywall hammer when it was hung before screw guns. Even drywall screw guns use this principle they make a dimple around the screw head. You don't need to hit it very hard just enough to set the hole below the surface.
On the texture from the pics it looks like just the stipple from a paint roller.


The uneven ceiling is a much larger problem; I really don't see an easy fix for this. I believe the gap is too big to fill with caulk. You could float the ceiling with drywall mud, but from the look it would take quite a bit. As for the crack on the joint that can be repaired by paper tape and a couple coats of mud feathering each coat out farther than the previous one. Also I feel to put crown up with out addressing the wavy ceiling will emphasize its waves and draw your eye to it.


After you replace the fan and make sure it is pulling air. Scrap all loose paint, use a good primer all around the area, then paint with a good paint. Several companies make paint just for bathrooms.


Popcorn removal; Some will depend on your removal method, here's mine. I use a garden sprayer with water and add about a cup of fabric softener. Spray the ceiling good, but not dripping. wait about 10 minutes for it to soak in, then spray it again. Using a 6" drywall knife start scrapping with the knife held at a low angle. This method not only releases the popcorn but instead of being a dusty mess it will come down almost in sheets. If you come to a dry spot wet it again.
Now what to expect, it will be pretty ugly. There will be some gouges an tears. Let it dry completely then cut away any loose paper. Then you will need to skim coat the ceiling with drywall mud. For this I like to use topping or the ultra light weight mud. But you can use the heavier muds you just need to thin them quite a bit for skimming. Using a wide drywall knife put on a layer of mud then pull almost all of it back off. Remember you are skimming not building up. Let this dry, may need second coat, if it does go the opposite direction. Let dry then sand with sanding screens, not sandpaper, prime and paint.

Hope this helps.
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