Texture paint a ceiling
While texture-painting a ceiling is not a solution for deep cracks, it is an attractive way to conceal light ones and add interest and dimension to an otherwise flat surface. After patching and sanding the minor cracks, texture painting is a topcoat application that creates a decorative finish with swirls and stippling effects that call attention to the ceiling.

A painting contractor will charge $513 to make minor repairs and apply a primer and latex texture paint finish to a 300-square-foot ceiling, or in a 15-by20-foot room. That price includes the material and labor. You can buy the patching compound, primer, paint and tools for $80 and do it yourself, saving 84 percent. The materials are sold at paint stores and in the paint sections of hardware stores and home centers. A number of different tools can be used -- including a whisk broom, putty knife, sponge, trowel, wallpaper brush or heavy nap roller -- to create different effects. Before working on the ceiling, practice and experiment on a scrap piece of wallboard to help decide what suits your ceiling best.

To prepare the room, remove the ceiling fixture by lowering and loosening it from its collar plate. Then thoroughly clean the ceiling with a dry mop to remove any dust on the surface and in the corners. You'll need a sturdy ladder and drop cloths to protect the furnishings and floor. Try to remove as much furniture as you can so it's not difficult to reposition the ladder as you move around the room.

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Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$513 -- $80 -- 7.1 -- 9.0 -- $433 -- 84 Percent