DIY Network

How to Repair a Ceiling

Once the texture on a popcorn ceiling is scraped away, there is bound to be some damage to the ceiling. Learn how to repair a damaged ceiling with these easy steps.

More in Remodeling

replacing molding and repairing cracks in drywall
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Smooth the Ceiling

Spray down the ceiling again.

Using a sanding sponge, work in a circular motion and smooth out the surface of the ceiling.

smooth the ceiling

Step 2: Cut Away Loose Paper

Use a utility knife to cut away any loose paper from the ceiling (Image 1). It should just peel right off. Scrape off the rest with a 6" putty knife.

Make sure to cut off only paper that is loose; the goal is to just cut what’s visibly loose and then patch it (Image 2).

Step 3: Secure the Plaster and Apply Compound

Fasten as many screws as needed to the ceiling to secure the plaster to the lath (Image 1).

Use a drywall compound and a putty knife to spread a thick layer of mud over the screws (Image 2), after it is dry put on another coat. Mud the other patches and repaired areas with the drywall compound.

Sand down any excess drywall compound and then prime.