After we scraped the popcorn ceilings in our master bedroom and man cave, we couldn’t just leave them bare (although I was tempted to for a hot minute).  Now it was time to finish the job by patching & painting the ceilings!

We set aside a few week nights and the weekend to knock out the 2 rooms we started with and got to work… because the carpet was being installed that Monday and my mom was coming to visit a few days later – gotta clean up the dust!

Note: I feel like I should tell you we aren’t professionals, although we may try to pull off the Chip & Joanna vibe and love them.  We have the help of a father & the internet behind us, so we’re sharing our experience & tips!

Patching, Sanding, Priming & Painting Ceilings

What you’ll need:

  • 12″ Taping knife
  • Joint compound
  • Mud pan
  • Face mask
  • Pole sander
  • 120 grit drywall sanding paper
  • Shop vac
  • 3″ cut paint brush
  • Ceiling primer paint
  • Roller brush
  • Roller frame
  • Paint tray
  • Extension pole
  • Ceiling paint

Alright, your ceilings are scraped and you want to finish making your ceilings beautifully smooth. First you need to patch any dents on the ceiling with the joint compound.

Get a little compound and scrap it over the divot using the scraping knife.  Continue this process as you move around the room and all imperfections are filled.  Since we will be painting the walls too, we went ahead and patched some dents in the walls as well.

Let the mud dry overnight. Now for the messy part.. sanding the excess mud.  Use your pole sander with sand paper on it to evenly sand the ceiling and make it completely smooth.

When we sanded the master bedroom, I tried to be nearby with the shop vac to suck up some of the dust, but it still got everywhere and wasn’t really worth the hassle.
Once the sanding is done, let the dust settle and then try to vacuum up as much of the dust as possible so you don’t paint it into the walls.

Now you’re ready to prime the ceilings!  We used the ProBlock latex primer paint from Sherwin Williams and used about a gallon per room, but got 3 for good measure.  Use the cut in brush to get the trim of the room first, then paint the rest with the roller brush.

Since we were going to be replacing the carpet a few days later, we had no furniture in the rooms and 0 concern with paint dropping or spilling on the carpet.  Obviously that won’t be the case 95% of the time, so make sure to have your drop cloths down and any furniture covered!

Let the primer paint dry for at least 5 hours.  If there are any noticeable imperfections, you’ll need to sand those down and then continue.

Now it’s (finally) time to paint!  We used Sherwin Williams ProMat latex ceiling paint in white and were planning on doing 2 coats so it took 4 galleons for both rooms.

Just like when priming, you’ll want to use the cut brush to get the trim and then the roller to get the rest.  Try to go in one direction with the roller for one coat and the opposite (sideways vs longways) for the second coat, leaving at least 5 hours in between the coats to allow enough time to dry.

The biggest help was when our friend stopped by and helped Hunter Saturday night and again on Sunday morning to finish the second coats and save Hunter hours of time – which let us enjoy the pool on Sunday afternoon!

After the second coat is dry, you’re done!  It’s almost hard to remember what the popcorn ceiling looked like, so let’s do a little before and after.. and don’t worry that outdated fan & light fixture aren’t going back up.

Now we have 8 smooth ceilings, and 4 popcorn ones left, if my counting is right.  We’ve decided that scraping / painting ceilings is kinda like doing your taxes: It’s great to do it yourself once or twice, and you’re capable of doing it if the need arises, but we’re happy paying professionals to do it from now on!

Next up for the master: Replacing the old carpet and moving our furniture in! We’re going to paint the walls, but don’t want to rush into a decision so we’ll move our existing furniture upstairs and start actually using the master bedroom.  We need to replace the air registers (vents) and get a new fan & overhead light, so that will happen in short order as well.

Next up for the man cave: Replacing the carpet, figuring out what to replace the old light & fan with, and moving the 1-2 pieces of furniture in that we think will work up there.  Longer term: Close in the opening to the living room, add a closet (to technically make it a bedroom) and a fresh coat of paint!

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