Absolute best way to properly level a ceiling?

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CGPB
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Absolute best way to properly level a ceiling?

Post by CGPB » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:27 am

the absolute best way to properly level a ceiling.

I've found myself in a massive renovation and in a 1400 SQ FT house. I have had several walls removed and I want all the texture off the ceilings and want them painted smooth and level. I'm completely redoing this house but Im not sure if what this contractor is suggesting is the way to go or not... he says that we should leave the textured ceiling up and furr out the ceiling with strips after shooting a plumb line and then attach gyproc over that, he says I will lose a bit of height and these are only 8' ceilings. I really need to know if that's the best thing to do.

Visually, now that walls are down ceilings don't look unlevel but when crown was up I could tell in places it was off and I want this house to look like a new build when we are done.

The ceiling had been painted so I was told scraping and drywalling a skim coat wouldn't be the answer... another contractor said to take it all down but C1 said the trusses could be off and you still wouldn't be straight plus he says it will save me some money.

PLEASE let me know what you would suggest as I have to get this going shortly.
Thank you in advance!

DanM
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by DanM » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:02 pm

Personally I would rip down all the drywall, install strapping (1x4s) 16" on center going perpendicular to the trusses. The strapping can be shimmed (the shims go between the truss and the 1x4) to make everything nice and flat. Then the drywall gets attached to the strapping. If you aren't doing it yourself it's going to be a more expensive method since it will be more time consuming. If that's too pricey, at least rip all the old drywall down and attach the new stuff to the trusses.

I wouldn't do what the first contractor said, sure it's cheaper but just furring out the ceiling over textured drywall is just dumb IMHO. It's going to make it way harder to actually get it flat, plus it's harder to tell if you're actually securing stuff properly to the trusses.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:31 pm

DanM ... I find your feedback both helpful and interesting. Ive continued to get differing opinions on how to handle. House was built in 1979 and as I said earlier it doesn't 'appear' crooked even now with all open but I'm quite concerned that it is as level as possible as it will not have texture on it.When you bring the crown moulding back in thats where I noticed the problem.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:27 pm

So I had two more look at it and both of them feel that it looks pretty good and suggested cutting back where the walls were removed and boarding and then scrap off the rest and do a skim coat... thoughts?

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A. Spruce
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:19 pm

Replacing drywall is NOT easier, cleaner, or cheaper. On the surface, it seems easier, but when you take into account hefting drywall over head, and all the taping involved, plus the cost of materials, you could have simply spent the 8 hours to scrap and float the darned thing and been done with it. And, that is for an overlay. If you drop the existing drywall, then you've got the mess of insulation to deal with. If it's blown insulation it's even worse than batts. Removal of the existing or overlaying the existing is NOT easier, it only saves the time of scraping and floating.

Because the ceiling has been painted, removal of the texture, assuming it's acoustic texture, is definitely more difficult, but not impossible. The key here is to scrape it once to break through the paint, then spray it down with water via a Hudson sprayer, then scrape again. Is it messy, yes, is it as messy as replacement or overlay, NO!

Once the texture is reasonably knocked down/removed, then it won't take but a few float coats to smooth it out to baby's butt smooth, three coats, four at most, then a light sanding, and you should have a pretty smooth/flat surface.

If you have orange peel or knock-down texture, the floating process is even faster and simpler than acoustic texture, no scraping, just floating.

So, if you ask me, scraping and floating is the way to go. I've done it this way hundreds of times with excellent results. Replacement or overlay is not easier/cheaper, IMHO.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:55 pm

A. Spruce - I like what you are suggesting and I'm definitely finding you handsome and handy!

As I mentioned I had a drywaller and a different project manager look at it today and both say basically the same as yourself, they said to cut out and replace the gyproc only where the walls came down and then to scrape the texture off and then coat. I'm assuming that's what you mean by 'float coats'. It visually looks not bad at all and you are absolutely right in that its loose insulation and would make for quite a mess and in the end it would be very costly for me to have it all redone with new gyproc with probably little if any difference.

I'm going to move for this idea. THAN YOU SO MUCH!!!

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A. Spruce
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:06 pm

You're welcome

By "floating", I'm referring to skim coating drywall compound over the scraped surface to smooth it out nice and flat.

In my experience, companies that specialize in texture removal do a very bad job of it, and their finish work is even worse, so you have to absolutely vet such a company. If you're working from referral from a credible source, then you can relax a little bit, however, I am finding that as time passes, "good" people and companies do go bad, so you really need to vet anyone you don't know from recent interaction.

Sounds to me that you're shopping for someone to do this work for you. I would highly recommend that you decide exactly what you want done, then call at least 3 different companies to give you a bid based on what YOU want, not what they want to do. When you receive those bids, make sure that they cover exactly what you want, with no vagueness. Those that provide you honest bids go into the "possible" pile, while those that do everything BUT provide what you asked for are put solidly into the "no" pile.

Above all else, trust your gut! Find someone that you are comfortable working with, no pressure, no drama, no BS. Hiring a contractor is much like getting married, you want to want to be around the person you hire.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:23 pm

A.Spruce... You couldn't have said it any better!

THANK YOU for all your help and advice, much appreciated and I will be doing exactly as you said.

Thanks again!

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A. Spruce
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:13 pm

Report back, let us know how your project goes. 8-)
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:58 pm

I absolutely will! Ive got so many things to deal with in this house I'm sure I will continue to ask but I will definitely keep you posted... if I can post photos here I will do that also.

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A. Spruce
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by A. Spruce » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:54 pm

Yes, you can post images here, use the attachment feature below the response box or a photo host and link them here. 8-)
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:14 pm

Photos as promised...

I think these cover most if not all the ceiling work and as you can see a lot of other work coming!
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CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:21 am

So the contractor that had originally suggested furring / strapping and putting up drywall over top ... when I mentioned the scraping off texture and float coating he said and I quote " wherever those trusses are imperfect when you have flat skim coat on there you are going to see it in the light, any waviness to the ceiling will be visable as there will be no texture to hide it"

So then he goes back to what DanM said and says to do that...

I just want a smooth level ceiling without going broke, he and a couple others are scheduled to come by... this ceiling is driving me crazy!

Clarence
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by Clarence » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:45 am

Ask the contractors why they can not remove the texture than skim coat & using say a 8 or 10 foot straight edge fill in all low areas so the entire ceiling is on the same plane.
In the plaster trade we make ceiling & walls finishing to be on the same plane all the time.
Now a day they can even use a laser to indicate what the low / high areas are & how much material would be required to skim smooth.
I have used a large amount of the plaster product called Master of Plaster to correct the same problems that you have with grate success. Also ask if they have ever used a slicker to make the ceilings appear to be on the same plane. Contact a Plastering contractor & explain what you want & ask him to price it.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:59 am

Thank you Clarence... I really think what A.Spruce and yourself suggests is the way to go, contractor is coming by later this afternoon to look and discuss and Ive made notes of everything here.

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A. Spruce
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:23 am

IMHO, the contractor is simply trying to sell you on whatever is easiest for HIM, not what is actually easy or cost effective for you.

I also think it a bit unrealistic to think you're ever going to get a perfectly flat surface, no matter what techniques are implemented. What I can tell you is this, I've done plenty of walls and ceilings with no texture and they have had the appearance of being flat, with no more than a few coats of mud floated across them, then hand sanding, sanding with one hand, feeling the surface with the other. Sanding in this manner, you can feel lumps, bumps, and divots. I mark these spots with a pencil to come back and float a little more mud in those areas if they can't be sanded out sufficiently, then touch-up sand the spots. If you can't feel it with your hand, your eye is not going to see it when it's done.

I follow this with two good, even coats of primer and two good even coats of paint. The first coat of primer seals the surface, the second evens out the shadows of the first coat. It is imperative that the primer be put on as evenly as possible, because any highs or shadows in the primer are going to show through the paint, thus creating the illusion of an uneven surface. So, two even coats of primer, followed by two even coats of paint and you'll be good to go.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:42 am

Great information ... I'm taking all of this and going to see this through!

Clarence
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by Clarence » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:30 pm

Check out the web site for Master of Plaster ALL of the work on the Church ceiling that is displayed on the logo was compleyed with no sanding , Also Dock Street Theater was all completed with NO sanding.

CGPB
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by CGPB » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:45 pm

Thank you! Will check out right now!

Clarence
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Re: HELP... this gal needs to know fast...

Post by Clarence » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:48 pm

990204814_006.jpg
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This is the Unitarian Church Charleston SC. Master of Plaster NO SANDING required.

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Shannon
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Re: Absolute best way to properly level a ceiling?

Post by Shannon » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:37 am

In most cases unless you have high windows where sunlight can flood in and across the ceilings you will be fine.
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CGPB
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Re: Absolute best way to properly level a ceiling?

Post by CGPB » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:49 am

I hope so Shannon!

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