How To Apply Ceiling Texture Using A Texture Sprayer

Project Overview

Spraying texture to a celiing with a texture sprayer

If you would like to add a bit of visual interest to an otherwise bland surface, or if you're trying to match an existing texture finish in your house, then spraying texture may be just the solution you're looking for.

Printer-friendly PDF

Safety Notice: Whenever operating spray equipment, take proper safety precautions, stay alert, and be mindful of potential hazards. Wear protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses/goggles, spray sock (hood), hat, proper footwear, dust masks and respirators. Make sure there is adequate ventilation. If you’re painting in the vicinity of appliances, turn them off. (See Safety Precautions in your Sprayer Operation Manual.) Always refer to the specific instructions and safety procedures for the spray equipment you are using.

Related Project: How To Paint A Texture Ceilings

Suggested Tools & Equipment

  • Graco Texture Sprayer
  • Powdered texture mix
  • Empty buckets for mixing texture, priming sprayer and cleanup (three needed)
  • Handheld drill and mixing paddle
  • Tarps, drop cloths, or plastic sheeting
  • Masking tape
  • Knockdown knife (if needed)
  • Spray shield
  • Pump Armor storage fluid (see pump protectant product details)
  • Cleaning rags
  • Stiff nylon brushes for cleanup
  • Safety and protection equipment – safety glasses/goggles, dust mask/respirator, spray sock or hat to cover head

Getting Started/Prep

  1. Move as much of the furniture out of the room as possible. Move any remaining furniture to the center of the room and cover it completely. Allow plenty of space for your tools and equipment.

  2. Cover everything you don’t want to get texture on. Apply masking tape and protective paper around and over the floor, doors, windows and trim.

  3. Turn off the electricity to the room and remove cover plates from electrical fixtures, outlets and switches. Remove heating and air conditioning vent covers. Apply masking tape over the remaining switches and outlet receptacles, and cover over any ductwork openings.


  1. Select the texture nozzle that’s best suited for the texture you will be spraying.

  2. In a five-gallon bucket, mix your texture following the material’s directions. Use a handheld drill and a mixing paddle to thoroughly blend the mixture to a smooth, lump-free consistency. Allow the mixture to set for at least 15 minutes, then remix prior to use.

  3. Use a Material Thickness Gauge to determine if the mixture is thin enough to pass through the pump. To do this, gently set the ball end of the Material Thickness Gauge on the surface of the mixture. If the ball sinks completely, the mixture is ready to spray. If it does not sink within 10 second, add more water, mix and try the test again.

  4. Pour the mixture into the sprayer’s hopper, prime the gun to make sure the mixture is coming out of the hose consistently, and then spray a test area such as a scrap section of wallboard to become comfortable with the spraying technique.

  5. Spray the perimeter of the ceiling or wall first, “banding” the area that you will spray and cutting in any corners. Apply the texture with a smooth, sweeping motion. Make repeated passes, keeping the gun approximately 4 feet from the surface you’re spraying.


  1. Allow significant time for the texture to dry before removing any masking tape or protective plastic.

  2. Remove all coverings from furniture and other areas, and replace any lighting fixtures, cover plates and vent covers.

  3. Clean your airless texture sprayer after each use. Use 2 to 4 gallons of clean water and follow the directions in your user’s manual to clean all texture residue from the hopper, hose and gun, and use a soft bristle brush to remove any remaining texture particles. For more information, refer to your Sprayer Operation Manual.

  4. Move furniture or other items back into place.