Invest time or money in ceiling repair

QAn upstairs bedroom has spots where the ceiling meets the wall where the paint has come loose and the sheetrock is bad because of water leaks. The leaks are fixed, but now I need to patch the ceiling and walls and repaint. Problem is the ceiling is textured and the walls are not. The texturing is gone from the ceiling when I patched it. Some of the areas are as big as four to five inches in semi circles. The smooth walls are no problem. How do I repair the texture on the ceiling so it looks good again? I don’t know how the ceiling texture was put on but it is fairly pebbly.

AThere are two approaches to solve the problem — a cheap way that requires a little work and an easy way that requires some money.

You can buy any number of sand finish or texturing powders to add to paint to texture the ceiling. You get a lot for $5. Mix the texture compound with the paint according to the package instructions and apply. Most of them recommend that you paint on a heavy coat and then stipple it with the tips of a brush to match the existing ceiling texture. If that doesn’t produce a match, try a cellulose sponge to stipple it.

If the original was sprayed on, you can get a small sprayer to try to match the original texture. You might need to do it twice to get the desired results.

That said, you have already invested more than the second alternative. If you have a large area, this might not be the good alternative. Buy a spray can of spray texture. It will set you back about $10 but it is convenient. It will cover between 25 and 50-square-feet. One brand that I have used, Homex orange peel spray texture, has an adjustable spray pattern that mimics from a fine texture to a heavy splatter.


Patch the area to be covered. Mask off the wall where you don’t want the texture. Then try the spray at the manufacturer’s setting. If it is too light, turn the nozzle to a heavier spray. Too heavy? Switch to a lighter one.

Again, you might have to recoat to achieve the desired results. You can prime it within a half-hour. Who said money doesn’t buy time?

If you have a question or comment, send to About the House, 18 First Ave. S.E., Rochester MN 55904. Or e-mail questions to

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