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Shoddy ceilings

B. Kirk Brown's picture

I have been in my home that we had built for 10 years now.  All of our ceilings were finished poorly.  I have been told by a couple dry wall people that the final skim coat was never applied to the taped joints.  when you look up, especially on our high ceilings (of which we have 3) you can see the outline of all the joints.  Our celiling were skim coated (I believe that is the term) where they applied the mud and then took a squeegy and pulled it along.  I realize that my term (skim coat) may not be right, but I think you understand.  My ceilings are not smooth finished, they have a mild texture.  When I asked my builder about it he basically told me not to worry, no one would notice, and that it would be too messy to try and fix.  The 2 dry wall men I alluded to earlier told me that the ceilings would have to be sanded down and the joints would have to receive the final coat that they should have received the first time and then be re- skimmed for the texture.  My question is: is there any easier way to make this look better without going through all the mess and work?  Would it be possible to use a textured wallpaper on the ceiling to hide the shoddy tape joints?  Any help would be appreciated!  


Thank you


I do not think a photo would help, it is exactly how you would think it would look...every joint is visible.

Sorry, there are no short (post #207402, reply #1 of 7)

Sorry, there are no short cuts to fixing the ceiling. It's a common problem not that it helps you any. I'd have the joints worked out about 2 feet from each side of the center line then re-texture. It'll problaby take at least 2 coats to get it smooth enough not to bother you.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

B (post #207402, reply #2 of 7)

These ceilings have been painted?   They just didn't do the knockdown texture and called it done?  You are seeing humps or depressions, not a whiter color, is that correct?


A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


The ceilings have not been (post #207402, reply #3 of 7)

The ceilings have not been painted.  Knockdown is the word I was looking for.  The joints are depressed (they left out the final coat of mud).

ok B (post #207402, reply #4 of 7)

I was trying to fill in the blanks.

These two other guys showed you the depression.  When those type of ceilings aren't painted, you will naturally see the difference in color/sheen/whatever it's called that draws your eye.  Even with knockdown, you can use a straightedge and tell if there's a void in the taped joint.

Are these the butts or the tapered joints that are bad?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Whe I look up I see big (post #207402, reply #5 of 7)

Whe I look up I see big rectangles (the size of the drywall boards).  Full rectangles, all edges where the boards come together.  I tried to paint a section with flat white ceiling paint, and you can still see the depressed defects thru the paint.

ok, (post #207402, reply #6 of 7)

then I guess you're screwed.

Did these drywallers give you a price on doing the work?

If I were doing it, I might just scrape down the nubs if any........then,

I'd skim (true meaning of the word) one direction on the tapered seams and maybe twice on the outside edges of the butts.  Then go back and skim the whole ceiling one way, then the other-sand and prime.

You could easily have 900.00 on a 16x16 room of semi easy access (you mention high ceilings in some rooms-vaulted?)

If they had a drywall sanding tool with vac-(Porter Cable)- then if it's not been painted, they should be able to grind down the damn thing and then coat the seams.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


im not a big fan of (post #207402, reply #7 of 7)

I'm not a big fan of wallpappers but people seem to like it, i do believe it might work however but i dont like the aesthetics of it, anyways if you have a look at this site you might find some other ideas as well.