Dealing with Textured Plaster Ceilings

When we first visited our new home during an open house, I found the ceilings totally distracting. The house didn't have popcorn ceilings, it had decorative plaster on the ceilings. The swirls were everywhere, even in the bathrooms.

I told Marc that if we bought the house, the ceilings had to go and it wasn't a DIY job. I knew some bloggers who had taken popcorn ceilings down, but taking plaster down would be a totally different project. 

Marc asked around to see if any of our friends had suggestions for a drywall company that could do the job. The first person who came out to see the place seemed intimidated by the job. A few of his buddies said "don't look up" or "you won't even notice it after a few weeks" when he asked for referrals. I guess some people wouldn't notice them after a while, but I would.

I did a little research online and found some great reviews for a drywall contractor, Ed Sawyer Drywall. Our house didn't seem like a huge job compared to some of the ones on his company Facebook page. I was really happy when he gave us a competitive estimate and said he could start within a week.

Ed told me that people used to pay a good amount to get ceilings like this. His father could put designs on ceilings -  medallions, flowers, and continuous circles that went from a light fixture to the edges of the room. These days, people like their ceilings smooth. He understood why we wanted the little swirls gone.

Unfortunately, the ceilings had been painted, so the plaster wasn't going to come down easily. Ed Sawyer's crew sanded for days to get the little stalagtites of plaster worn down.

Once the ridges and points were worn down, the crew started to add a smooth layer of plaster. I wish I could show you some action shots, but I was limited to take pictures when I got home from work each night.

While this was going on, we lived in one room in the house so we could stay out of the crew's way. We're lucky that we had moved from such a small condo. We didn't have many belongings to get out of the way.

Here's where the blog catches up to present day. I'm away on a business trip right now and I think the work should be finishing up today!

It might see odd to do a cosmetic project at this point, but it seemed like a good time. With all the rain we were having, we probably wouldn't be able to have the roofing and gutter contractors working. What's more, when those folks start up on the roof, I can be working on finally getting us settled inside. Though we moved in a few weeks ago, the ceiling project was the reason we weren't really moving into the whole house.

Now, we have a decision to make. Where to we start now that we can start painting and decorating?


  1. Textured ceilings are the worst! Two of our bedrooms have textured ceilings, with random points, rather than swirls. We had the same thing in a downstairs room and pulled it down ourselves and installed a beadboard ceiling.

  2. It makes a ton of sense to get this taken care of right away. Sounds messy and space-intensive - not something you want to tackle a year after you've gotten settled!

  3. I actually like swirl ceilings like this we had it in the house I grew up in, however two differences were the swirls weren't as small, they were the same type of swirl but on a larger scale and we had 12' ceilings. Ceiling height really makes a difference when you have a textured ceiling. I see why you chose to get rid of yours though ;)

  4. although since hate it in rental so. bathroom might make feel good but guess not cheap

  5. maybe paint the room you are in the most?


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