Do walls have to be sanded before ceiling texture is applied?

Normally the walls are sanded after the ceiling texture is applied. This way I am able to apply paper and tape in the top angle to protect the wall.

unsanded walls before ceiling texture to apply paper and tape

Some homeowners hire a taper to tape and mud the walls and ceilings who prefer to be finished before the ceiling texture company arrives and do not plan on returning after the texture has dried. In this case they like to sand everything, walls and ceilings before the ceiling is textured. This is not optimal.

One option, in this case, is to take a very wet cloth and soak down the angle wiping off all the sanded mud and dust. The angle would then need to dry for at least an hour before I can apply paper and tape to the once sanded angle. This would need to be done before I arrive because if I wet the sanded walls myself I would be sitting around for at least an hour wasting yours and my time.

Another option is for me to staple my plastic sheeting (poly) an inch from the ceiling and then scrape off the over sprayed texture. This is not the best option because the angle, once dry will have a rough finish and require a detailed sanding to return it to the perfect angle it once was.

I arrive on some sites with sanded wall angles and the builder says “don’t worry I will dust it off with a broom or give it a quick wipe with a damp cloth.”

I then put up masking paper and tape, it seems to stick, but as soon as I begin to paint with my high pressure paint sprayer, the paper is blown right off the angle and off the wall and I end up wasting paper and having to staple the paper up above the stapled plastic doubling the staples which need to be patched afterwards. A waste of time and material and creating more work in the end.


How long will it take to texture my ceiling?

1000 sq ft of new drywall in an area with unfinished walls and floors will take approximately 5 hours to apply ceiling texture.

How long it takes to texture ceilings in an unfinished area

An unfinished room with walls that still need to be painted (so I can staple my plastic sheets to protect the walls)

and floors that have not been installed yet (basically concrete or base flooring I can just scrape off texture and paint over spray after the ceiling is finished)

with little to no furniture or items in the area (an empty room)

will take 4 to 5 hours to spray a knockdown texture and an hour or so less for popcorn or splatter depending on ceiling height and how complicated the ceiling is (lots of bulk heads, corner bead work and pot lights etc that need to be protected with paper like in this picture of a room being prepped for knockdown below…

new drywall basment prepped for knockdown potlights protected
If you remove the light vent and electrical box covers in almost any home you will see paint and texture carelessly sprayed inside. This picture shows how I protect these areas with masking paper and tape. Make sure the ceiling texture company you hire does this as well.

How long it takes to texture ceilings in a finished and/or lived in area

The best way to renovate or finish an area is to start up and work down. Ceilings then walls and then flooring. This makes the most sense for the trades work.

In a home where the homeowner has or has hired someone to scrape the old popcorn texture off  or for what ever reason has new drywall on the ceiling with painted finished walls and finished flooring I will have to cover every inch of the walls and floors to ensure no damage occurs to the finished areas. In the pictures below I have protected the floors first and the second picture is the walls being protected with plastic before I texture the ceiling.

protecting the floors with plastic and tape before ceiling texture

protecting the walls before ceiling texture with paper and plasic

Protecting the walls by taping up the plastic and creating a solid layer of plastic on the floor by either taping or gluing the sheets together (full room bag out) adds an extra 2 hours of work approximately per 1000 sq ft.

knockdown texture will take one hour longer than splatter and popcorn texture per 1000 sq ft due to the time it takes the mud to set up before it can be knocked down and the detailed trowel work it takes to smooth out the ceiling (knock it down).