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The following describes our process for priming and installing knockdown texture to a ceiling or walls.  Each project will vary but we’ve found this process provides amazing results.

We’ve created a material list, a step by step guide and a quiz to test your knowledge.

Tools Needed:

Many of these tools can be purchased from your local hardware store.  We’ve included links to our Amazon store, which helps support our how-to program.

1.  Pre-Arrival

Please refer to service standards post for instructions on how to communicate with a client and organize for a job.

2. Room Preparation

If removing popcorn texture, please refer to our room preparation post on how to prepare a room for popcorn ceiling removal.

3.  Popcorn Removal

If applicable to this situation, please see our post on how to remove popcorn texture.

5.  Skim Coat Ceilings/Walls (If necessary)

You may have to skim coat walls or ceiling.  Visit our skim coat process to learn more.

6. Prime Ceilings

  • Prime ceiling.  If the drywall paper has yellowed after removing popcorn and re-texturing, use a stain blocking primer such as Coverstain oil primer or Kilz odorless oil primer.  This step is controversial and could be avoided in new construction.  When spraying primer use 621 tip with pressure set to 2500-3000 p.s.i and a 50% overlap.  Apply from corner to corner.

Why we think priming now is good?

  1. In aged homes, smoke can build up from candles, natural fireplaces or smoking which causes yellowing.
  2. Priming provides a consistent substrate so the knockdown texture dries evenly and the texture looks more consistent.
  3. Applying knockdown adds moisture to tape seams which could cause the seams to release.  Priming helps lock down tape joints.

7. Apply Texture

  • Using a drywall drill and paddle, mix unaggregated ceiling and wall texture compound (powder form).  Or, thin all purpose joint compound (pre-mixed).  If using a texture machine we’re looking for the consistency of pancake batter.  If spraying using a hopper, the mud can be slightly thicker than pancake batter.  Texture machines cannot handle thicker texture and they will not be able to pump the mud.   Use a sponge to add water towards the latter stages of mixing the mud.  It’s best to let the mud sit for a few minutes, then give it one last mix with a bit of water before loading mud into your machine.
  • With the tip of the gun roughly 2 ft from the surface, apply texture in a circular pattern so the texture is uniform.  The tip orifice size should be set to knockdown which is typically the largest of the settings.  Setting air pressure to high will typically result in smaller spits of texture, lower pressure will result in larger spits and heavier texture.  We first lay down a quick coat with smaller texture and then go over the ceiling with larger pieces.
  • Watch for the sheen of the tips of the mud to become dull (roughly 10-15 minutes) and knockdown with a combination of a plastic knockdown knife and 6 inch taping blade.

8. Circulate Air

  • Place box fans throughout areas being textured.  Run a utility blower exiting inside air out for roughly 20 minutes immediately after spraying texture.  Set thermostat to 72 degrees if possible.  Run de-humidifier if possible (Home depot rents these for roughly $60 per day).  Open vents so air can circulate through home.  If you do not do this step, the mud could take through the next day to completely dry depending on how thick you applied your texture.

9. Next Steps

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