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Stomp Ceiling Techniques

Julie Hampton

Stomp ceiling textures use different brushes and tools to stamp a design into wet plaster. Once the plaster dries, it often receives a coat or two of flat latex paint.

Stomp texture creates imprints using a vareity of tools, including paintbrushes.

Ceiling texture creates a sound barrier in rooms and reduces echo; the stomp texture in particular is useful for hiding any flaws in the drywall installation and requires a lower level of professional installation. Dings, seam and nail pops are quickly disguised with the layer of plaster.


Stomp ceiling techniques use a variety of brushes to create different textures. Round or oval bristle brushes can create an imprint in wet plaster; large plastic bags or crumpled-up plastic sheets pressed into the plaster also create interesting textures. The technique involves rolling plaster onto the ceiling and then pressing the chosen tool into the surface. Clean your tool often using water so the imprint is clean and does not contain excess wet plaster.


One material commonly used to apply a stomp technique is joint compound. Artisans use joint compound because it is readily available in nearly all areas, and relatively inexpensive. Always mix the joint compound prior to beginning the project to ensure it is moist and has a smooth consistency.


Surprisingly, a textured ceiling application often costs less and is less work than leaving a ceiling with a smooth finish. Creating a perfectly smooth, flawless finish on a ceiling is difficult and time-consuming, but a applying a stomp ceiling is fast and hides any installation flaws. This actually saves the homeowner or contractor both money and time.


It's acceptable to leave the plaster unpainted once it is dry, but this finish attracts dust and is difficult to clean. Finishing a stomped plaster ceiling typically involves applying two coats of paint. The ceiling often immediately absorbs the first coat of paint; the second coat is the outer coating. Additional stains and color washes brushed over the plaster can create a distressed and antiqued ceiling finish.