How to Make a Mud Swirl Ceiling

mud swirl ceiling
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 800-900
What You'll Need
Stomp texture brush
Drywall mud
Drywallers pan

A mud swirl ceiling is a great decorating technique that can make any ceiling look attractive. It can also give a bold and colorful statement to turn a plain-looking ceiling into a more attractive one. Homeowners can give their ceiling this classic look by following these steps.

Step 1 - Prepare the Ceiling

Completely cover the floor with old newspaper or tarpaulin; secure them all around the edges with tape. Everything valuable in the room should be covered completely because doing a mud swirl texture on the ceiling is a very messy job.

The ceiling surface should be smoothed before applying the mud swirl texture. For older ceilings, it may not be necessary to flatten them completely, as long as the previous pattern and plaster depth is removed. Use the scraper to remove the previous pattern in the ceiling. Stand on the ladder to better reach the ceiling and remove the previous pattern and plaster. Be sure to stand on the ladder with feet apart for added leverage.

Step 2 - Apply Drywall Mud

After the initial preparation, chances are that there are still lines and cracks in the ceiling. You need to even those impurities with drywall mud. Fill the cracks and slowly spread the mud over the lines. Doing so provides a smoother surface to texture the ceiling.

Take several cups of drywall mud and place it in the drywaller pan. Make sure that the drywall mud is mixed well. There should be no liquid on top. Scoop the mud from the pan and lightly apply it to the ceiling. A lighter finish means less time spent later when you sand to remove the lines. Apply more mud whenever needed after it dries. Another advantage of a thinner layer is that it will dry faster, which will be beneficial in more humid conditions.

Step 3 - Create the Texture

Take the trowel and apply a thin layer of drywall mud. Slap lightly with the flat side of the trowel, then randomly put the drywall mud on the surface. The key is to make random twirls by swirling in various directions as you move across the surface. The texture should not be left solid; instead, leave some small holes on the surface. Make sure that there are no lap marks on the outer edges of the texture when you go back to an area you previously worked on. Experienced workers start by doing small areas of the surface a little at a time.

An alternative is to use a stiff brush that will be tied at a certain distance to a dowel. Slowly twirl the stiff brush and make small circles or spirals. Mark the angles before getting the trowel and subsequently applying the drywall mud.