How to Texture a Ceiling by Hand. Texturing a ceiling by hand is tiring work, but yields dramatic results. Your ceilings can make as bold a statement as your walls or furnishings. Here are a few steps to enhance any room and create a textured ceiling.

Step 1

Purchase a large bucket of premixed drywall joint compound from your local home improvement center, lumberyard or hardware store. Also buy a wide-bladed taping knife or straight-edged trowel (8 to 12 inches wide) for spreading a thin coat of compound on the ceiling. (Spreading directly with your hand is perfectly acceptable if you're going for a rough look.)

Step 2

Clear as much furniture as you can from the room to be textured. Cover any remaining furniture and the floor with drop cloths.

Step 3

Strip any wallpaper from the ceiling rather than texturing over it. The high moisture content of the drywall compound can cause the paper to "let go" - and leave you with a time-consuming mess. The drywall compound should adhere to most painted ceilings without a problem.

Step 4

Start by edging the entire ceiling with a thin layer of the compound. Apply a layer of about 1/8 of an inch (unless you want a very rough texture - in which case you will want to go thicker). It doesn't have to be exact - after all, a varied texture is what you're looking for.

Step 5

Achieve the texture you want in wide assortment of methods: use old paintbrushes, wallpaper brushes or sponges to stroke or swirl on the wet surface; use your fingers to make all kind of designs; use stencils to apply a pre-created design.

Step 6

Alternate between applying the compound and texturing it until the entire surface is covered.