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Skip Troweled Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings were sold as an enhancement for many years by tract developers, advertising ease of maintenance by virtue of being white, so as not to require painting, and it acoustic properties in reducing sound. Both of these claims are of dubious value, when the reality is that it was cheaper for builders to spray ceilings rather than finish them.

A typical taping job requires a tape coat, a cover coat, and one or more finish coats to produce a smooth finish. By eliminating the ceiling finish coats builders saved time and labor by spraying ceilings. Some builders would not even apply a cover coat, but would spray the texture on extra heavy. Cheaper for them, a pain in the ass now.

Having removed the popcorn on the current project, we were luck in that the builder did use a cover coat before spraying the ceilings.
We still have work as scraping ceilings is not an automatic process. Here is a scraped ceiling.

The popcorn is gone but the ceiling is rough. Because of time and budget constraints we are going to texture the ceilings using a ‘skip trowel technique.

Skip troweling is a technique that used regular taping mud applied to create a cover and a texture. This is what it looks like in process.

Here is Rich using a wide knife to apply the compound.

If you look closely at the knife you can see that the compound is thick at the edges and thinner in the center. When he applies it, the thin areas get skipped as he applies the mud, giving the skipped appearance. A quick troweling smooths the ceiling giving it the illusion of depth while making it easier to paint and clean. This can be done using smaller knives, it just takes more time. And a lot of practice.
Here is a ceiling just finished but still wet.

This gives you a better idea of the ceiling with the new texture.

Remember that you will need to use a primer/sealer before final painting.

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