Ceiling texture is a great way to add character and detail to a room. Spraying knock down ceiling texture is an easy and inexpensive project that will change the room appearance dramatically. The name of the technique comes from one step in the project when a wide knife is used to knock down and flatten peaks of texture to give it the appearance of stucco.
Spraying knock down ceiling texture will require a sprayer, which can be rented, joint compound, and a knockdown knife. All of this together usually costs less than $80, and the project can be finished in one day.
Setting up the Project
The first step in spraying knock down ceiling texture is to rent an acoustical spray gun, a hopper and a compressor. These can be found in most home improvement or hardware stores. A knockdown finish uses sheetrock joint compound, which is sprayed in dollops onto the ceiling.
Enough joint compound to complete the job should be purchased, as well as a knockdown knife. You will also need a bucket of water and a clean towel.
All items in the room should be covered with sheets or tarps to protect them from damage. Drop cloths may be needed to cover the flooring, as spraying knock down ceiling texture is a messy project. The spray gun should be adjusted to the second largest opening, and the compressor set to 10 to 15 psi.
Spraying the Ceiling
The first step in spraying knock down ceiling texture is to mix the joint compound with water to thin it until it is slightly thicker than pancake batter. If the compound is too thick, the nozzle of the sprayer can jam. If the mixture is too thin, it will not achieve the right effect on the ceiling. A few test sprays on a piece of paper or extra material will assure that the mixture has been mixed properly.
If the mixture seems correct but the spraying pattern is not the way you had envisioned it, adjusting the air pressure on the compressor slightly can change the spray pattern. You can also change the nozzle on the sprayer for a different effect.
Spray the mixture onto the ceiling evenly, keeping the spray pattern consistent. Spraying knock down ceiling texture means leaving differing sizes of compound blobs, but there should not be a high concentration of larger blobs in one area. Once the ceiling has been covered evenly, let the compound set for about 15-20 minutes. The compound should not dry out completely, but should be tacky.
Knocking It Down
Use a knockdown knife to move across the ceiling at a flat angle close to the tacky compound. The knife should not smear or move the blobs of compound, but should remove the peaks. The knife should be moved back and forth to achieve a rough finish.
Make sure to clean the knife often, using the clean water and the towel. If any mistakes are made, spraying knock down ceiling texture to the affected spot should repair it. Any repaired portions will have to be allowed to become tacky and then knocked down like the original spray.
Once the peaks have been knocked down, allow the compound to dry. It can take 24 hours or more to dry completely. When the compound has dried, it can be primed and painted just like any drywall. Spraying knock down ceiling texture does not take long, but the effects can be something to enjoy for years to come.