Patching hole in textured ceiling

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Topic by kdownes posted 05-20-2010 02:46 PM 7727 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 3995 days

05-20-2010 02:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bathroom ceiling question

We have a relatively small hole in our bathroom ceiling, right above the shower, that needs to be patched. This came from plumbers cutting a hole in the ceiling to investigate a small water leak from our upstairs neighbor’s shower. We had a contractor looking things over and investigating the source of the leak, but now he’s too busy to come back and repair the ceiling, so my wife and I are considering doing it ourselves.

Here’s the hole—it measures about 7.5 by 9 inches:

Bathroom ceiling hole

The black behind the hole is plastic sheeting the contractor put there to protect it against any further drips from the neighbor’s shower. The grayish blobs came from the unfortunate tape choice the plumbers made putting up a temporary cover after the made the hole, which I’m going to have to figure out how to get off or just paint over.

Here’s a close-up of the ceiling texture:

Ceiling texture

I’ve never worked with drywall, or with creating texture like this—to me it looks like cake frosting, and I have frosted a lot of cakes in my day… just not with joint compound or whatever the correct stuff is to use here! So the first question is: what is the best way to patch this hole? I figured we would square up the opening (it’s a bit jagged on one side in particular) and buy a small sheet of drywall from Home Depot, but beyond that I’m unfamiliar with the best procedure or materials to use. For example, do we need to remove the textured part surrounding where the joint would be to in order to patch it correctly, or can joint compound, tape, or whatever be placed over the texture? Second, how can we achieve this texture in order to blend the patched area into the rest of the ceiling?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

View UnionLabel's profile


70 posts in 4116 days

05-20-2010 04:05 PM

Ok, you need something behind the drywall to hold it in place. Get a small piece of plywood about 4 inches wide and a foot long. Slide it up in the hole so it spans the opening. Now, holding down the plywood, screw up from below through the ceiling drywall into the plywood at both ends, use wood screws to help draw the drywall up into the plywood. Now using some construction adhesive on the plywood press your patch up onto the plywood strapping and screw it into place, here use drywall screws and set them at normal depth. Try not too break the paper on the patch piece with the screws. Apply mud around the patch, press mesh tape into the mud and finish mudding all tape and screws. Allow to dry, sand, mud again, you may have to enlarge the area to make it look flatter than it really is. Get a book or use the internet and look at Italian plastering techniques, so you can blend the ceiling. Also paint the entire ceiling with flat paint as any gloss will help the patched area stand out.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View kdownes's profile


5 posts in 3995 days

05-20-2010 09:31 PM

Thanks Unionlabel—I went to check out the ceiling after reading your reply, and I’d forgotten there are studs near the hole (the hole has mostly been covered up for the last few months—not sure if “stud” is the right word for something in the ceiling). You can kind of see one on the top side in the first picture above. If I cut about an inch back from the existing edges of the hole, I’ll have studs on three sides—could I just screw a new piece of drywall on the edges into those studs? If I extend the edges of the hole so the studs are exposed that would mean it would be about 8.5×11 inches. Or would it be better to run a piece of plywood between the studs and glue the new drywall to that as you’ve suggested? Thanks!

View UnionLabel's profile


70 posts in 4116 days

05-21-2010 02:57 PM

kdownes, you can enlarge the hole, no problem. Sounds like you’ve got it under control. Happy patching! LOL

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View jamesmrosas's profile


12 posts in 3992 days

05-24-2010 07:28 PM

Hi kdownes,

How’s your wall right now?

-- http://stoneideasllc.com/

View John W.'s profile

John W.

7 posts in 4156 days

08-12-2010 10:18 AM

While you repair large holes on a textured wall,some ceiling textures are easily reproduced with a sponge or special roller. Spray-on paints can also mimic certain textures . Well! You have done a great job, by repairing it yourself.

-- www.roklinsystems.com provides the Best Concrete Repair Products

View reggiek's profile


5 posts in 3898 days

08-12-2010 06:35 PM

An answer to your second question….you could do either….but I would recommend that you cut back the existing drywall to expose the floor joists (studs) and apply the drywall directly. It appears there was no insulation between the floor/ceiling….so no issue with insulating here…I would recommend aplying some black construction paper first before the drywall to act as a moisture barrier…the plywood idea works ok…except it will make it more difficult to match the depth of the ceiling. as for the plastering….the texture you show was done by using a flat trowel…and a circular motion…it would be easy to match and can be done using some premixed plaster.

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