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Texturing Ceilings with joint compound and texture brush

The subject really says it all; it’s just that I have never done it before.  My husband and I have worked on many projects in this old house built in 1900.  The lower level of our home has drop ceilings in it.  When remodeling our bedroom we decided to take the ceiling back to its original height.  After replacing all plumbing to the upstairs, redirecting the electrical wire, insulating the joists, and installing the drywall, (not to mention all the plaster and blown in insulation that we had to remove first) we have taped and used joint compound on the seams and fasteners.

Now we are ready to texture the ceiling using the joint compound and a texture brush bought from our local Home Depot.  The question is “How”?  How thick do you put on the joint compound?  Which technique is best for using the brush?  Are there any diagrams that show best how to do this?  I am sure we could do an okay job with wingin it but I would prefer to do a great job.  Any suggestions you may have would be helpful.

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Posted 2010-12-19T20:00:08+0000  by Hambone Hambone

Welcome to the community. 


Ceiling textures are one of those projects that you really can’t appreciate until you “become one with the fun” (you’ll get it later). When working on a ceiling you just can’t prevent from getting messy, so know in advance that you will want to dress accordingly.


First off you will want to prepare the drywall compound. Use a mixer attachment for your drill to “thin out” the compound to a frosting like consistency or thick paint. This is achieved by adding small amounts of cold water at a time.




  1. With a paint roller attached to a long pole, cover the roller completely with the mixture.
  2. Apply the mixture onto the ceiling surface, starting along the edge and pulling towards you. Try working just above your head in small 3x3 sections.
  3. Make sure that the mixture is at least a ½ inch thick – more if you want a deeper texture.
  4. Continue with this madness until you have covered about half the ceiling (depending on the size of the room).
  5. Without any mixture on the roller, roll one more time over the whole area (moving in an opposite direction).  This will ensure consistency and allow for uniform patterns.

  text brush 1.jpg           text brush 2.jpgceil text appl.jpg  


Now the fun begins! There are many different styles and patterns you can do with the texture brush. The most common method is the “star pattern” or “crow’s foot”. Whatever kind of brush you have, the techniques are all very similar.

  1. Start by preparing the texture brush. Use the roller and apply some of the mixture to the brush - gently working it throughout the bristles.
  2. Attach a long pole to the texture brush. Standing directly beneath the texture brush, start on the outside edge of the ceiling. Gently “stamp” or press it into the mixture, pulling straight down to release. You will want to experiment a little until you achieve the desired pattern. TIP: try and only use one person for the pattern stamping. The technique they use will have a “signature” to it and is noticeable when another person is involved.
  3. Depending on your desired effect, either work in straight rows or random patterns. Stop every so often to step back and review how it looks. What you see is what you get especially after it’s dry. So take the time to “tweak as you peek”.
  4. Finally, use a small ½ inch or 1 inch brush to go around the perimeter where the ceiling meets the wall. This adds a boarder that looks clean and professional.

After the texture has dried, you can choose to knock off any rough points that hang down too much. Just use a drywall blade or putty knife to lightly scrape across the surface. Some people choose to paint the ceiling with a bright ceiling white, or just leave the dried compound “as is”.




I hope you have fun with this project. Please try and post some before & after pictures so the community can share in your accomplishments. 

Posted 2010-12-20T15:42:20+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

Can I use dry wall/ceiling texture mix in place of drywall compound

Posted 2011-03-29T20:31:24+0000  by kemoore

forgot to ask but can texture be applied directly with crowfoot brush or does it have to be rolled on then stomped with brush.

Posted 2011-03-29T20:34:23+0000  by kemoore

Hey kemoore,


Thanks for your question, I apologize for the delay in answering your questions.


In short, yep you can use texture ceiling paint for the ceilings for this project! To me, it actually rolls on easier and faster to work with than joint compound. It has acrylic in it which is easier to deal with for DIY'ers or sloppy painters such as myself :smileytongue:



Also, to answer your second question, if you use your roller and then stomp the application brush directly to the just applied texture paint. Since it is thinner than joint compound and works better when applied by roller first.


If it is joint compound, you apply it directly on with the crowfoot brush, due to its thickness and quick drying time.


Any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask,


Thanks and have a great day,



Posted 2011-04-04T17:30:52+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
Can I use a looped roller to texture a ceiling with joint compound?
Posted 2012-01-15T01:45:19+0000  by Chief16
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