How to Finish a Garage Ceiling

What You'll Need
Drywall compound
Large bucket
Plastic drop cloths
Masking tape
Variable-speed drill
Mixer bit
12-inch drywall knife
Safety glasses

People tend to forget about the garage ceiling. They’ll finish the garage walls but ignore what’s over their heads. The ideal solution for finishing a garage ceiling is with spray texture. It looks great and it's functional.

Step 1 - Prepare the Garage

Remove any large objects from the garage floor so you’ll be able to move around easily. Cover the walls and floor of the garage with plastic drop cloths. Fix these to the top of the walls with pushpins. Also wrap plastic around the light fixture on the garage ceiling and secure it with masking tape.

Step 2 - Mix the Texture

To mix the texture, pour about half of the drywall compound into the large bucket. Add water to this to a level about 2 inches above the compound. Put the mixer beater on the variable-speed drill and mix the substances in the bucket until the solution creates a consistent liquid of the same consistency as heavy batter. This will pour easily but will still stick to the garage ceiling.

Step 3 - Apply the Finish to Your Garage Ceiling

Put on the safety glasses. Now take your compressor and attach the hopper. You need to put some of the drywall compound mixture into the hopper, but don’t fill it completely; this will make it easier to move.

Hold up the hopper, aim it at the ceiling and switch on the compressor. The texture will spray on the ceiling. Cover an area of 4 feet by 4 feet; then stop.

Step 4 - Flatten the Texture

When you’ve sprayed the small area, turn off the compressor. Take the drywall knife and climb the stepladder so you can reach the area you’ve just sprayed.

Hold the drywall knife at a 45-degree angle to the ceiling and start to flatten the texture gently. Move the knife in straight lines over the area. You’ll only need to apply very light pressure; too much will leave a completely flat surface and ruin the effect.

Step 5 - Repeat over the Area

Having completed one area, you can progress across the rest of the garage ceiling. Add more compound to the hopper and spray another area of the same size; then flatten that as well. You will probably have to mix up more of the compound to finish the entire ceiling. Once you’ve sprayed and flattened the entire garage ceiling, leave it to dry. Allow several hours for it to harden completely.

Step 6 - Clean Up

To clean up, remove the drop cloth from the light fixture. Then remove the plastic drop cloths from the walls. If you want to discard them, wrap the wall cloths in the floor cloth for disposal. If you plan to do more home improvement projects or painting, you may want to keep the cloths. Make sure all texture on the cloths has dried before you fold and store them.

Clean the hopper with cold water to remove all the drywall compound.