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Textured Surfaces

Quick inexpensive way to rejuvenate walls and ceilings that have minor blemishes is apply a textured finish. Their rough surfaces of swirled plaster, grainy paint, and the like adequately cover old patches, chipped paint, and other irregularities.

The drawback of textured surfaces is they are difficult to apply by brush (but can be sprayed or rolled on), they are rough to the touch, and they are hard to clean. Heavy, sprayed-on textured finishes are also difficult to repair or cover over later. For these reasons, they are often applied to ceilings but not to walls.

Professionals often spray on rough finishes, instead, use a special roller which is the easiest way to apply the product for a novice. Textured paint comes in both latex and alkyd varieties. The latex type is good over wallboard because it covers seams and goes on without a primer.

Experienced contractors usually can save money by using textured coating rather than first preparing smooth ceilings and then applying paint. Here is how textured coatings compare at price to patching and painting a ceiling in a 10 x 12 -ft room that would need several hours of patching work if it were to be painted:

Patch and Paint
Scrape ceiling $45.00
Patch cracks and feather edges $105.00
Apply two coats of flat latex paint $80.00
Total $230.00

Textured Spray
Scrape ceiling of loose material $30.00
Spray ceiling with perlite containing coating $75.00
Total $105.00

Prices, of course, may be different in your area, but they probably will stay in the same relationship.

The example shows that because plaster patching and painting are avoided with s textured, spray-on coating, using a textured surface is far cheaper than using a smooth one. In addition, textured coatings can have a soundproof effect in a room, much like acoustical tiles. Note, however, that examples also show if little patching is needed, or you are doing the work yourself, a spray-on ceiling will be more expensive. And keep in mind if the job is limited to a single room rather than a whole floor or whole house, the contractor sprayer is likely to charge more the fixed cost of setup and cleanup will be the same for one room or ten.

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