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Ask Andy Lambert Your Own Question
Andy Lambert
Andy Lambert, Building Inspector
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 162
Experience:  City building inspector 14 years. Contractor 30 years. RI Dept. of Health Certified.
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Customer Question

Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Glenn replied 11 years ago.


are you referring to a plaster ceiling ? and what's wrong a hole?

please answer this and we'll take it from there

thanks glenn

Expert:  Andy Lambert replied 11 years ago.

"Bubble" ceilings are either silica sand that was mixed with joint compound and paint at the time of application (can rip the skin off your knuckles if you want to test it) or is most likely a mix of oatmeal and paint that was sprayed on using a spraying machine. You can do the hand wipe test and it will fall apart in your hand.

In any case you will need to scrape it all off around a hole for example and after repairing the hole you can either re-spray the oatmeal type, use a paint roller to re-establish a matching swirl, or use a hand whisk broom to match any swirls if there are any. You cannot add new "oatmeal" material without spraying it on as it has no lines if you noticed.

If you need to do the entire surface you are going to have a problem unless you scrape off the entire ceiling. If it's silica sand it won't happen. Tear it down or put drywall over it. If it's oatmeal it's rather easy, just scrape if off with a ( 6 inch or wider) drywall knife available at Home Depot or Lowes.

By the way, oatmeal was put into the mix because it would disintegrate in the mixture after it was sprayed. This would leave the air "bubbles" you are talking about. It's also referred to as "popcorn" ceiling. Once the oatmeal ceiling covering is removed you can them Spackle over any gouges you may have made and then prime the entire surface. You can either put another coat of what you had or go with a flat paint. The choice is yours.

Hope I Helped :)