The definition of the swirl texture is determined by several factors like the viscosity of the compound, the device or brush used to swipe the surface and the overall pattern that is chosen.
What sets the swirl apart from other textures is planning for the uniformity of the pattern and the work time available for completing the ceiling. It is key to minimize the amount of time spent on each seperate swirl, so the wetness is maintained throughout. Of course if the room temperature is above the mid to upper 70’s or is exceptionally dry, you may want to cool the air and adjust with a humidifier.
The rather uniform pattern of the swirl will leave less room for inconsistencies in the underlying drywall, than for certain other high build textures. The two main types of swirl texture patterns are straight rowed swirls and concentric swirls. If you happen to not have mush experience with swirl textures you might want to try the straight ones first until you feel comfortable with the process. If there is a center hanging light base it should be removed.
1) Apply the compound to a trial piece of drywall. Make sure this a large sample as you not only wish to establish the swirl markings and their arc’s but the overlap between each swirl and the next successive rows, so two rows at the mimum.
2) With either a scoring comb or a stiff brush, pivot an arc across the damp compound, in a single motion. Overlap the ends from 1/4 to 1/3 as you start the next. But experiment with the overlap, the swirl width and the pattern tool until you gain the balanced effect while working in a straight line. When starting the first row on the ceiling, the arcs highpoints are started near the wall.
3) On the second row, the swirls should conceal roughly one half the height the 1st row with the same pattern (variable with personal preference). Decide on whether the pattern is to appear staggered for a pillowing look or whether it is repetitive and orderly, with the columns of arcs aligning across the surface of the ceiling. Usually the portions of arc below the central swirls of each pattern do not show. Work continuously in the same direction.
4) Be sure to account for an ending off, these will not be full swirls as they weren’t at the sides. For the most balanced pattern, measure off a calculated length of the swirl row and center in the room prior to beginning. And be sure to account for the ending of the final row — as the arc-heights too could be centered in the other direction.
A chopped swirl utensil of the same kind might come in handy for the partial swirls.
Start at what would be the very first course on the ceiling, with the arc tops angled toward the center of the ceiling. The pattern is normally round for square ceiling and roundish for rectangular ceilings. This texture will focus the attention toward the center of the room with both.
Working from the reverse, starting at the outer borders and progressing the rows inward, is more difficult given that the scaling begins from the four sides to meet in the center.
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