Holes in the Ceiling

Holes in the Ceiling

Holes in the Ceiling

pWas someone playing golf in your home to give you that Swiss cheese ceiling? /p

pWe don't mean to poke fun, but more than likely you can fix this yourself end up with the ceiling you've been dreaming of. Now, that said there are a few things we need to take into consideration before making any suggestions. /p

pThe first thing you need to know is what caused the holes to begin with. Do you have leaks? Were these holes the result of a rampant rodent or simply punctures made from hanging plants or old light fixtures? If there are problems from the top down (leaks, rodents, et al), you'll need to address these first otherwise, you'll be plagued with this same issue again and again. /p

pAdditionally, you didn't specify whether or not your ceiling is a drywall ceiling, a plaster ceiling, or wood. All of these will determine the way you'll go about solving your problem. /p

pSince most ceilings nowadays are made of drywall, we'll assume yours is too. Now we need to know whether your ceiling is an acoustic ceiling (ceiling drywall that has a texture on it commonly known as a popcorn or cottage cheese ceiling) or a ceiling that has used drywall mud or joint compound as a texture base (sometimes called a skip-trough ceiling). /p

pIf you have the popcorn ceiling, you may want to consider removing the material completely. This process is quite easy to accomplish, but there are a few things you need to be aware of:/p

ol

liIf your home was built prior to 1980 there is potential that the popcorn could have some asbestos in it. For a fee, there are a number of companies who will test a sample of your ceiling to be sure. If you find that there is asbestos in your acoustic ceiling, then you must hire a professional to remove it. If not, you can remove it yourself simply by using a spray bottle and spraying it down with a little bit of water and then scraping it away with a wide putty knife. Be sure to lay down a plastic tarp on your floor before you get started as this is a messy process. Again, under no circumstances do you want to attempt to remove the popcorn on your own until you're 100% sure it's asbestos free./li

liIf you're able to remove the popcorn on your own, or even if a professional does it, you have approximately 48 hours before the newly exposed drywall on your ceiling will begin to warp. At the very least, you'll want to quickly repair any drywall holes first (using the techniques outlined below) and then use a primer made for your ceiling to protect it. /li

/ol

pAnother thing to think about is if you don't like the current lighting layout in your room now's the time to change it. You might consider adding recessed lights, or moving an existing light to another part of the room. After all, you're going to be repairing holes in the ceiling anyway, so what's a few more? /p

pNow, once you've got your ceiling repaired and primed, here are some thoughts on final finishes you might consider:/p

ol

liPaint it: You can certainly paint your ceiling any color you wish. Be sure the surface is clean and smooth before getting started. Start by cutting in at the corners and edges with an angled brush and then use a roller with an extension pole to save your back and your neck for the larger areas. Apply at least two coats letting the first coat dry before applying the second. When it comes to choosing a color, we love Behr Paint's 8' foot rule — if your ceiling is 8' or less, use a color that's a shade lighter than your wall color to help give the feeling that the room is a bit larger. If it's 8' or taller, than use a shade that's a bit darker than your existing wall color to 'cozy' up a larger room. Be sure you choose paint that's made specifically for application on a ceiling as it will make the process easier and the outcome more effective./li

liTrough It: Using drywall mud or joint compound and a wide putty knife, you can apply a thin coat to your ceiling with wide, sweeping motions to give it a modern look and feel. This process is referred to as a 'skip trough.' It's sometimes spelled differently, but the idea is the same. Don't apply a coat much thicker than 1/8 as it will crack and won't dry properly. Many home improvement superstores carry a wide variety of colors of joint compound. You may want to practice your technique on a spare piece of drywall before applying it to your ceiling./li

liTin It: Adding tin ceiling panels is another option to consider. These panels are relatively easy to apply and give a room a very classy upgrade. They can also hide all glaring imperfections. /li

/ol

pNow, onto repairs. Again, we're assuming that your current ceiling is made of drywall, so we're going to provide you with a couple of different techniques to repair most drywall problems. Many of these steps assume that you've taken the steps outlined above before getting started, so be sure you have. These techniques can be used for patching a wall as well. Before getting started make sure you are wearing gloves and protective eyewear as you'll be surprised at the amount of stuff that can get in your eyes especially when you work on the ceiling! We'd also suggest you use a mask when sanding. /p

pHere's a quick step by step on how to fix small holes or cracks: /p

pbStep 1/b/p

pTake a sharp blade and cut off any torn drywall paper that might be loose around the hole. /p

pbStep 2/b/p

pApply spackle with a small putty knife, feathering into the ceiling as best as possible. /p

pbStep 3/b/p

pOnce it is dry take fine to very fine #120-180 grit sand paper and lightly sand the surface to blend in. /p

pbStep 4/b/p

pIf you find that the hole is still visible repeat steps 2 and 3. /p

pbStep 5/b/p

pOnce you are happy with the outcome, if the ceiling is flat you can prime it. /p

pIf you have popcorn ceilings and they're still in relatively good shape, apply popcorn ceiling patch (it comes in a small spray can and is available at most home improvement stores). We recommend that you try it on a piece of scrap or cardboard so that you can practice spraying a similar pattern to that already on your ceiling. /p

blockquote id=janetipJane Tip: Buy more than you think you'll need — it will save you a trip to the home improvement store. /blockquote

pFixing larger holes can be tricky so we have two different techniques for you. If the hole is fairly large (more than 3 in diameter) we recommend you use the first technique. If it is a smaller hole you could use the second technique. /p

pFixing holes 3 inches wide or bigger: /p

pbStep 1/b/p

pCut into the dry wall, leaving a square shape where the hole used to be. /p

pbStep 2/b/p

pCut a small scrap of wood (1x1x10) and slide into the square so that it extends past the sides of the square. /p

pbStep 3/b/p

pSecure the wood with drywall screws, letting the wood overhang on each side of the square. Insert the screws through the ceiling and into the wood. You'll need to hold on to the wood as you apply pressure with the drill. Counter sink the screws (a.k.a. place them deeper than the surface of the ceiling) to make it easier to fill later. You will need at least an 8.5 volt drill for this, preferably higher. (We suggest you try to pre-drill this in order to allow the screws to go in easily.) /p

pbStep 4/b/p

Holes in the Ceiling

pWas someone playing golf in your home to give you that Swiss cheese ceiling? /p

pWe don't mean to poke fun, but more than likely you can fix this yourself end up with the ceiling you've been dreaming of. Now, that said there are a few things we need to take into consideration before making any suggestions. /p

pThe first thing you need to know is what caused the holes to begin with. Do you have leaks? Were these holes the result of a rampant rodent or simply punctures made from hanging plants or old light fixtures? If there are problems from the top down (leaks, rodents, et al), you'll need to address these first otherwise, you'll be plagued with this same issue again and again. /p

pAdditionally, you didn't specify whether or not your ceiling is a drywall ceiling, a plaster ceiling, or wood. All of these will determine the way you'll go about solving your problem. /p

pSince most ceilings nowadays are made of drywall, we'll assume yours is too. Now we need to know whether your ceiling is an acoustic ceiling (ceiling drywall that has a texture on it commonly known as a popcorn or cottage cheese ceiling) or a ceiling that has used drywall mud or joint compound as a texture base (sometimes called a skip-trough ceiling). /p

pIf you have the popcorn ceiling, you may want to consider removing the material completely. This process is quite easy to accomplish, but there are a few things you need to be aware of:/p

ol

liIf your home was built prior to 1980 there is potential that the popcorn could have some asbestos in it. For a fee, there are a number of companies who will test a sample of your ceiling to be sure. If you find that there is asbestos in your acoustic ceiling, then you must hire a professional to remove it. If not, you can remove it yourself simply by using a spray bottle and spraying it down with a little bit of water and then scraping it away with a wide putty knife. Be sure to lay down a plastic tarp on your floor before you get started as this is a messy process. Again, under no circumstances do you want to attempt to remove the popcorn on your own until you're 100% sure it's asbestos free./li

liIf you're able to remove the popcorn on your own, or even if a professional does it, you have approximately 48 hours before the newly exposed drywall on your ceiling will begin to warp. At the very least, you'll want to quickly repair any drywall holes first (using the techniques outlined below) and then use a primer made for your ceiling to protect it. /li

/ol

pAnother thing to think about is if you don't like the current lighting layout in your room now's the time to change it. You might consider adding recessed lights, or moving an existing light to another part of the room. After all, you're going to be repairing holes in the ceiling anyway, so what's a few more? /p

pNow, once you've got your ceiling repaired and primed, here are some thoughts on final finishes you might consider:/p

ol

Holes in the Ceiling

liPaint it: You can certainly paint your ceiling any color you wish. Be sure the surface is clean and smooth before getting started. Start by cutting in at the corners and edges with an angled brush and then use a roller with an extension pole to save your back and your neck for the larger areas. Apply at least two coats letting the first coat dry before applying the second. When it comes to choosing a color, we love Behr Paint's 8' foot rule — if your ceiling is 8' or less, use a color that's a shade lighter than your wall color to help give the feeling that the room is a bit larger. If it's 8' or taller, than use a shade that's a bit darker than your existing wall color to 'cozy' up a larger room. Be sure you choose paint that's made specifically for application on a ceiling as it will make the process easier and the outcome more effective./li

liTrough It: Using drywall mud or joint compound and a wide putty knife, you can apply a thin coat to your ceiling with wide, sweeping motions to give it a modern look and feel. This process is referred to as a 'skip trough.' It's sometimes spelled differently, but the idea is the same. Don't apply a coat much thicker than 1/8 as it will crack and won't dry properly. Many home improvement superstores carry a wide variety of colors of joint compound. You may want to practice your technique on a spare piece of drywall before applying it to your ceiling./li

liTin It: Adding tin ceiling panels is another option to consider. These panels are relatively easy to apply and give a room a very classy upgrade. They can also hide all glaring imperfections. /li

/ol

pNow, onto repairs. Again, we're assuming that your current ceiling is made of drywall, so we're going to provide you with a couple of different techniques to repair most drywall problems. Many of these steps assume that you've taken the steps outlined above before getting started, so be sure you have. These techniques can be used for patching a wall as well. Before getting started make sure you are wearing gloves and protective eyewear as you'll be surprised at the amount of stuff that can get in your eyes especially when you work on the ceiling! We'd also suggest you use a mask when sanding. /p

pHere's a quick step by step on how to fix small holes or cracks: /p

pbStep 1/b/p

pTake a sharp blade and cut off any torn drywall paper that might be loose around the hole. /p

pbStep 2/b/p

pApply spackle with a small putty knife, feathering into the ceiling as best as possible. /p

pbStep 3/b/p

pOnce it is dry take fine to very fine #120-180 grit sand paper and lightly sand the surface to blend in. /p

pbStep 4/b/p

pIf you find that the hole is still visible repeat steps 2 and 3. /p

pbStep 5/b/p

pOnce you are happy with the outcome, if the ceiling is flat you can prime it. /p

pIf you have popcorn ceilings and they're still in relatively good shape, apply popcorn ceiling patch (it comes in a small spray can and is available at most home improvement stores). We recommend that you try it on a piece of scrap or cardboard so that you can practice spraying a similar pattern to that already on your ceiling. /p

blockquote id=janetipJane Tip: Buy more than you think you'll need — it will save you a trip to the home improvement store. /blockquote

pFixing larger holes can be tricky so we have two different techniques for you. If the hole is fairly large (more than 3 in diameter) we recommend you use the first technique. If it is a smaller hole you could use the second technique. /p

pFixing holes 3 inches wide or bigger: /p

pbStep 1/b/p

pCut into the dry wall, leaving a square shape where the hole used to be. /p

pbStep 2/b/p

pCut a small scrap of wood (1x1x10) and slide into the square so that it extends past the sides of the square. /p

pbStep 3/b/p

pSecure the wood with drywall screws, letting the wood overhang on each side of the square. Insert the screws through the ceiling and into the wood. You'll need to hold on to the wood as you apply pressure with the drill. Counter sink the screws (a.k.a. place them deeper than the surface of the ceiling) to make it easier to fill later. You will need at least an 8.5 volt drill for this, preferably higher. (We suggest you try to pre-drill this in order to allow the screws to go in easily.) /p

pbStep 4/b/p


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