|Photo of the gross ceiling before the Exhaust Fan Replacement.|
Step 1- Spray the ceiling with water to dampen it. Using a sprayer like this is super helpful, but if you don’t have one you can use a spray bottle if you don’t mind a little carpel tunnel.
Step 2- After the water sits on the ceiling for about 5 minutes, go back with a wide drywall knife and scrape off the popcorn. It’s that easy. It will fall like a snow storm, and it will be beautiful.
Step 3- Use your drywall knife to then thinly spread drywall mud over the entire surface. This is called a “skim coat.” I definitely recommend using lightweight joint compound for this, not the regular joint compound. I just put enough on my knife to apply a thin layer to a section of the ceiling, and then I went back with my knife at a 45 degree angle and scraped it smooth. As you can imagine, you’re working against gravity here, and let me break it down for you, gravity is going to win. Expect clumps of compound to fall off your knife, onto the floor, into your hair, etc... For this reason I would carefully cover your floor, or if you’re like us, tackle this project first when your floor is already torn up so that you don’t have to do anything more than scrape up a few chunks once they dry.
Step 4- Wait 14-24 hours for your compound to dry, and then comes the fun part- sanding. (I’m being sarcastic, you got that- right?) Make sure you wear a good ventilating face masks for this, and protective eyewear too as the sand will likely cover every exposed inch of your body. I hate how drywall dust feels in my hair, especially when you wash it and it gets all pasty in there, so I took a few extra precautions.
There are special drywall sanders that you use, with screens that attach to the paddles instead of sandpaper. We had a version with both a handle and an extension pole, but I found the handle and a step stool a little easier to work with.
Step 5- Clean up and if necessary, do it again. Unfortunately I had a few spaces around my repair patch where the drywall tape was noticeable, so I had to go back with another layer of compound, and wait another 24 hours, and then sand again. But I mean, who wouldn’t want to look like this again?
Cover your eyes, here comes the close up!
We still have to prime and then paint the ceiling, two more of my least favorite projects, but In the end we'll have a smooth and beautiful ceiling, and you could never tell that at one point it was raining frozen water. I’ll tell you this much, I’ve never worked so hard for, or been so proud of a ceiling before. But the last thing we wanted to do was spend a lot of time and money in this room, and have the ceiling be a stained and chunky mess. One step down, only about a thousand more to go...