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Mud Swirl Is the top shelf, most expensive drywall texture out there. 

It dries pure white and looks great even unpainted.

If you are going to do a mud swirl on your ceiling and you don't want to paint it, make sure to use all the same brand of joint compound. If you mix 2 different brands, it might dry in 2 different shades of white.

You can try and pull this one off on your own but it would be a little tough. Get a buddy to help out and things will be much easier.

One person will be the roller, one will be the swirler. The whole key to this texture is to not let it dry out too quick. Turn the heat down, turn off the fans

 If your doing an old ceiling: Mask

 If you are doing an old ceiling: Mask Off Walls

This step is for those of you who are doing an existing ceiling in your home, get yourself a 9" masking machine. Using a crate, stilts, ladder or anything to stand on,  work your way around the room masking off the walls and any light fixtures.

You can now jump right to step 2



You will need a paint roller (and pole). I like to use a 3/4" nap roller skin, you could use a 1/2" if you want.

The brush is nothing more then a wallpaper brush. You can see by the picture below, mine is a custom made deal. I cut 3" off of my brush so it is 9" wide, I screwed an old drywall taping knife onto the brush. You could also just screw on a chunk of wood for a handle. A wallpaper brush can be purchased at any paint store. The one shown here was purchased at Sherwin Williams.


Step 1: Sand

Using a sanding pole work your way around the room sanding off any edges, goobers, lines.

I like the new round sander made by


Not only does it remove more material faster, It really makes your joints flat.

A regular square sander might make a butt joint smooth but it will leave it humped.

A medium sanding sponge works great for your angles, corners and detail work.


Step 2: Mix Your Mud

Mix up your mud using a mud masher (Stomper) or an electric drill with a paddle. Add as much water you need to get the mud thin (Like Pancake Batter). Usually one box or bucket of joint compound will do one good sized ceiling. For more about mud and how to mix it,  click the link below.

All about Joint Compound


Here are 2 video's that might help, The one on the left shows you how to mix mud, your going to mix your mud much thinner (more water),  the one on the right will show you how thin the mud should be and how to load up your roller.


Before you start your ceiling decide what way you want your swirls to go. Say you have a room that is 10' x 16'.

It's easier to do your swirls on 10 foot long rows then it is on 16 foot long rows.

Also consider what way you actually want the swirls to face? The 1st row will be the round end of the swirl. Every row after that will overlap the bottoms of the swirls from the previous row..



Step 3: This Is For The Designated Roller Guy, Dip It, Shake It, Slide It

Dip your roller all the way into the mud, when you pull it out, shake it a little bit. Now slide it across the edge of the bucket. You want to end up with a nice roller full of mud but, you don't want it dripping all over the place. If you do this right, you won't have mud goobers hitting you in the face while you're rolling.


Step 4: Roll Out 1st Row

Starting in the corner roll out the mud until the roller is empty. As you can see from the picture, one roller full will get you about 6 to 8 feet.

Re-dip your roller, Keep going until you have one complete row, rolled out (from end to end)

NOTE:  Soon as you put your 1st roller full of mud on, the clock is ticking. The trick here is to have the swirl guy right behind the roller guy. If the swirl guy falls behind and the mud starts setting up things could get ugly. Work as a team. Don't let mud sit up there without getting swirled right away.




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