Mud Swirl Ceiling Painting Tips

A young man in a bandana painting a ceiling white.

Here’s how to apply a mud-swirl texture to a ceiling.

Prepare the Ceiling

Begin by cleaning or painting the ceiling—whatever you have to do to get it ready for the swirls. This includes repairing any cracks on the ceiling.

Apply the Swirl

Make sure the mud is mixed properly. The mixture should be consistent, with no solids floating at the top. Use the same stroke in the same direction throughout the process. Leave spaces in between swirls to keep them from overlapping.

Apply light, thin coats as the first layer and leave it to dry completely. From there, add coats until the pattern reaches the desired density. This isn’t a one-day job, so plan accordingly.