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turkish 04-24-2007 12:01 PM

Another ugly ceiling question
Hello, anybody have any idea what this ceiling might be made of, and how I could most easily smooth it out/make it look "normal". It seems to have been applied in a scallop, or elephant-track design (as one person called it). See the picture and tell me what you think if you have a second. Thanks in advance!

glennjanie 04-24-2007 01:06 PM

Welcome Turkish:
Yes, that is exactly what I meant by "elephant tracks", the finisher usually tapes the joints and applies only one coat of compound, maybe not even sanding that first coat. They put a little extra water in a bucket of joint compound, roll it on the ceiling with a heavy nap roller, then "stomp" the pattern in the compound with a round window brush on an extension pole.

To get rid of it: use a garden sprayer with water, wet a small space at a time to soften the compound and scrape it off with a scrapping hoe (blade in line with the handle) being careful not to gouge the sheetrock or get it too wet. After you scrape off all you can, use a pole sander to smooth it as much as possible (forget electric sanders, they'll choke you to death with dust), then apply a skim coat of compound with a 12" or longer concrete trowell, keep retrowelling until it is completely smooth without adding more compound. When you have done your best trowell job you will still have some hair like swirls which you can sand off with the pole sander after it is cured out well.

turkish 04-25-2007 11:30 AM

How much should I scrape off? Down to the sheetrock?

cibula11 04-25-2007 07:22 PM

If you are trying to get rid of it all, then scrape as far down as possible. If you are just trying to knock down the high spots then do that. If you can, try to start in an area that is not seen by many. Maybe in a closet or in a corner, so that if it doesn't work like you plan, you can give something else a try.

Zom 04-28-2007 12:33 AM

This is good info. My brother in law did a crappy job on my celling and I can't stand to look at it. I'm putting this on my list of things to do.

eridon 05-03-2007 07:12 AM

Could be a layer of sheetrock
I live in a very old house with plaster ceilings and walls still in great shape, except for two rooms -- one has a fiberboard ceiling, and the other has textured paint everywhere! I was quoted major bucks to sand it -- way over my head -- when I decided to install a bathroom there, and guess what? All that textured paint was applied to sheetrock, and all it took was a screw driver to get it off.

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