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Why Does the Drywall Texture on My Garage Ceiling Flake off When I Retexture It?

Applying texture to your garage ceiling gives it a finished look and offers a measure of camouflage that conceals small taping problems. If you’ve replaced a damaged section of ceiling drywall, you might have to retexture the entire ceiling so the texture design blends evenly. Most of the time, you can add new texture over old texture without a problem, but in some cases, the new texture might not adhere well. If the texture is peeling or flaking, you might have to prep or remove the old texture before texturing again.
  1. Painted Ceiling

    • Rolling paint over a textured ceiling is a great way to add color to your garage, but if you’ve painted over the texture with a glossy paint or enamel, any new texture you add to the ceiling might not adhere well. If this is the case, you can attach a drywall-sanding pad to an extension pole, and lightly sand the surface of the texture to remove the gloss before retexturing.


    • A leak in the garage roof that dampens the ceiling drywall can make texture flake or peel off. In addition to the texture falling, you’ll notice brownish or dark yellow stains that indicate water damage. If moisture damage makes the ceiling drywall bulge, replace the damaged sections after repairing the leak. If the drywall is still in good shape, sand off the old texture from the stained area, brush on a stain-blocking sealer, and then retexture.

    Acoustical Texture

    • During the 1980s, acoustical texture was in style, and contractors sprayed interior ceilings and garage ceilings with the rigid, foam pellets. Unfortunately, acoustical texture tends to collect dust and traps it, leaving the ceiling looking dank and dirty. If you’re applying standard texture made from thinned drywall compound, the moisture in the compound will loosen the acoustical texture, encouraging it to fall off. The best remedy for an acoustical ceiling is to scrape off all the old texture and sand the ceiling before applying new texture.

    Other Considerations

    • While the most common causes of flaking drywall texture are related to leaks and non-adherence to a glossy painted surface, occasionally grease and soot might filter upward if you use a pellet stove, grill or turkey fryer in the garage. This can leave a thin layer of soot or grease that prevents the new texture from adhering well. If you use your garage as a workshop and spray sealer or shellac, it can form a film barrier on the ceiling that can prevent texture from sticking.