How to Repair a Water Damaged Stucco Ceiling

A stucco ceiling, also known as a popcorn ceiling, is textured with plaster in such a way that resembles small mountain-shaped points. As with ceilings composed of paneling and drywall, a popcorn ceiling can suffer from water damage due to a leaky pipe or hole in the roof. Once water damage has occurred, the stucco ceiling may swell and, if left long enough, turn brown or yellow and begin to mold, crack, or peel. Fortunately, you can fix a stucco ceiling that is water damaged yourself, removing both the damage and the potential molding issue.

Prepare Yourself and the Room

First things first, you must put on a face mask or respirator, safety goggles, and gloves to avoid contact with irritating dust that potentially contains asbestos. In addition, you need to prepare the room so that cleanup is easy and you don’t risk damaging the carpet or flooring. Hang a sheet from the ceiling around the damaged area using tacks or a staple gun. Lay a disposable plastic sheet on the floor, then place a large trash can or cardboard box on the floor beneath the damaged area.

Remove the Damage

Using a metal or plastic putty knife, carefully scrape the damaged stucco until all of the plaster has been removed and the ceiling is smooth. If there is drywall underneath the damaged stucco, you’ll need to cut it out with a utility knife and paste a new piece into place using drywall tape and putty.

Protect the New Surface

Paint a ceiling primer substance onto the area where you removed the stucco; aerosol primer is available if that is more convenient. Make sure the primer dries completely before attempting to apply the texture, otherwise it will not adhere to the surface properly, and will either drip off or will dry with a poor texture design.

Apply the Texture

Purchase spray cans of ceiling texture. Hold the can approximately one foot beneath the ceiling and spray the can, moving it in even, swift movements. Once the texture has been thoroughly applied and looks similar to the rest of the ceiling, stop spraying and allow the plastic-like substance to dry.

Paint the Texture

To ensure that the new texture matches the rest of the ceiling, be sure to paint the stucco once it dries with paint that is the same shade as the rest of the ceiling. One coat is often sufficient, but you may need two of there’s an obvious line between the old ceiling and the new ceiling.

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