Patching a Knockdown or California Ceiling

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Posted by: from Guelph
2/1/2013 at 7:49:07 PM

We are planning on taking the bulkhead down in our kitchen above the cabinets. The entire ceiling on the main floor is the knockdown texture, unpainted.

Is it possible to do patchwork over the sink and over a peninsula in the kitchen and have it look normal to the untrained eye?

I have heard it can't be done perfectly, but can be done well enough that if you didn't know, you wouldn't be able to tell.

I'm interested in the techniques out there to get this job done.


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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time2/1/2013 at 8:19:20 PM

Most bulkheads contain ductwork, plumbing or structure beams. Best inspect each bulkhead prior to removing the first one to ensure you can take them all away. Nothing worse than removing 3 only to find the 4th must remain.

Not sure if this would change your need for new ceiling ideas or not.

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Date/Time2/1/2013 at 8:58:27 PM


I agree with Robert in that you better make sure you can do what you are thinking. Bulkheads are there for a reason and they conceal something.

As to the re-plastering, It can be done but remember you will be replacing old plaster with new. The old ceiling will have normal age stains in it and a colour match will be difficult. I'd suggest contacting a professional plasterer to find out more. You can get some information through a drywall supplier.

Another option would be to make the new area a highlight of a different colour or some crown moulding. This would show the renovation as being different but would add some character to the room.

Good luck.

Regards from the west.


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Date/Time2/1/2013 at 9:17:35 PM

Call a professional taper or you'll be sorry.

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Marc from Finishes By Hahn in Ajax
Date/Time2/1/2013 at 9:29:22 PM

The way to achieve the best results is to apply the same type of product the same way. We do a lot of stucco repairs and have tried many of the "spray products" in the can. They do not look anything like the existing. We purchased the Wagner PowerTex which is a small turbine and a hopper that sprays stucco in the same manner as the builder.

The one thing that is needed is PRACTICE. Do a couple of sample boards before attempting it in your finished area. If what you have is truly "knock-down", a trowel is used to smooth the spray shortly after applied. Do your research and find the best way to work it.

Did we mention this is messy? We lay plastic on the floors and then tape plastic to the walls. When finished we just carefully pull down and roll up all the mess.

It is also important to realize that you cannot just apply that product in the areas missing stucco. You will need to scrape away, flatten and feather the area to a much larger working area and then blend the stucco in.

Patching a Knockdown or California Ceiling
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Date/Time2/1/2013 at 9:37:09 PM

Yes it can be done, but best if you hire a pro.

Califoria drag

Step one

Tape new drywall, let dry.

Step two

Coat areas that been taped, let dry.

Step three

Rough sand areas.

Step four

Use a drywall sealer (primer), over entire are, let dry.

Final step

Use a bag of rough ceiling texture, mix with water to a soup consistency, and apply it to the ceiling with a putty knife by dragging the material on the knife accross the ceiling in a concistant pattern.

Knock down

Same as above steps 1 to 4

Final step

Rent a hopper (texture machine). Use a bag of span tex (smooth ceiling texture). Mix it to a soup consistency. Fill the hopper, and spray the ceiling, in a fan type pattern. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the texture to harden slightly, then flatten the texture with a putty knife or trowel.

Best to do a sample first, and see if you can do it, otherwise hire a pro. Its harder, and costs more to fix mistakes.

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Date/Time2/2/2013 at 12:35:03 AM

Please, don't even try. Take the time to scrape, sand and then do a little plaster repair.

Smooth the ceiling out completely, then paint the ceiling. While you at it you have the opportunity to add some pot lighting in the ceiling if it does not already exist. Pocking a few holes and drilling through some stringers in the cieling will let you run the lines and then buy pots that clamp into pre-drilled holes.

It is work, but you will end up with a modern great finish. And modern recessed lighting.

Now having said all this. I would cut open a couple of 4"x4" squares in the bulkhead you are talking about and see what is up there. I would be suprised to find the whole length of the bulkhead to be clear.

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