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Applying knock-down finish to a smooth plaster ceiling


Gecko's Avatar
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03-18-05, 09:07 PM   #1  
Applying knock-down finish to a smooth plaster ceiling

I am redoing my kitchen and part of this process is going to be removing the soffits that are above the old cabinets. The current ceilings are plaster and have a smooth finish with a few hairline cracks (3 or 4). The house built in the '50s so I find this normal.

I like the smooth ceiling, but know I will never be able to patch where the old soffits were good enough that I won't see the lines and think it unacceptable, so I have decided to add a knock-down texture to it.

I live near Minneapolis in Minnesota.
The kitchen is about 300 square feet and I will be tearing out the old cabinets and floor. I will do the drywall work to patch and tape to a close to smooth finish. I will also drape poly around the walls.

I was thinking it would go much faster and I would get a better final result if I hired a subcontractor to do the ceiling... until I got my first bid.
The bid is for $3200 to do the ceiling (just a textured finish, not even a knock down), cap one gas line, and move one gas line 5 feet. The room under the kitchen has removable acoustical tiles.

This seems like an absurd amount of money for spraying the ceiling and what should be less than 2 hours of gas work. Am I wrong?





Second...
What is the process for adding a knock down finish and how much work and time will it take if I do change my mind and decide to do it myself?


Thank you for your thoughts.

Pete

 
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03-19-05, 04:52 PM   #2  
Maybe you can't patch the ceilings but a plasterer can and leave them smooth. As for the price. Don't know. There are some variables that you have not described.
To do a knock down might be just a little tricky due to the difference in suction between the new drywall and old plaster. (Why don't you plaster the patch?) If you prime all the lid first it should even out the suction and just spray it and knock it down when it is partially dry.

 
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03-19-05, 09:51 PM   #3  
texturing or knock-down texturing of walls will not hide poorly finished walls. The walls or ceiling must still be close to perfect or they will telegraph imperfections to the surface. Texture may help hide minor imperfections, but it will certainly not make a sloppy job look better all by itself.

The technique for applying a knock down texture is to use a hopper and spray on mud that has been thinned to the proper consistancy. Then... ever so lightly... you glide a wide knife along the high points. But it takes a steady hand and a lot of skill to do this without wiping off too much and leaving lines and gouges in the wet mud. I don't think this is for the beginner. Once it dries, it is lightly sanded to take out the minor grooves made by the edges of the knife.

You can certainly try it yourself, but it will be an awful lot of sanding if it turns out poorly!

 
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03-21-05, 03:00 AM   #4  
aj3
I disagree tha this is too hard for a beginner.. and I'm speaking from recent experience.
Yes, you do need to have a pretty smooth surface to start with, and you should prime before you spray it to prevent telegraphing any absorbtion differences, but I found it a lot easier to do than I expected. I've done 3 rooms of my basement in the last 3 months and to be honest, it's hard to tell the difference in my knock down finish to that applied by the builder on the upper level.
Unless the guy is expecting to put in many hours preparing the ceiling, the price is daylight robbery - it would only take him 2-3 hours to spray it and knock it down.

Good luck

Alan

 
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03-21-05, 03:07 AM   #5  
aj3
One more thing in response to the last post

The technique for applying a knock down texture is to use a hopper and spray on mud that has been thinned to the proper consistancy. Then... ever so lightly... you glide a wide knife along the high points. But it takes a steady hand and a lot of skill to do this without wiping off too much and leaving lines and gouges in the wet mud. I don't think this is for the beginner. Once it dries, it is lightly sanded to take out the minor grooves made by the edges of the knife.

Don't use a regular steel knife! Buy a knockdown blade. This is about 14" wide and is like a rubber window squeegee. Because the edges are soft, they don't leave grooves. I didn't need to do ANY sanding at all after my knock-down.

Alan

 
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