Patching and repairing a ceiling is not always the most difficult job, but it needs to be done right so it looks good and lasts for years. Very often homeowners rush through this job, thinking that they can cover any blemishes with paint or that it doesn't matter how they repair the ceiling since no one really looks up anyway. In truth, a poor quality repair job can mean having your patchwork actually collapse, and it can be more unsightly than you realize. Note a few common mistakes you'll want to avoid when handling your own ceiling repairs.
1. Pulling out the patched area
When the ceiling is cracked, it's often tempting to simply pull out the area to be patched and then try to work in a new section of ceiling to match. This can be difficult, so a trick that many pros utilize is to cut a square or rectangular area around the cracked area. You can then match this size to the new patch of drywall or plaster you'll be using for your patch. Matching up a square or rectangular piece is easier than trying to match something uneven and jagged, so use a small saw or even a large kitchen knife to make a cleaner cut.
Simply adding a patch and then painting is one reason that home repairs often look very unprofessional. You want to take the time to blend the patch into the ceiling. Use drywall tape around the edges and then add plaster or filler if needed. Sand this down and ensure the patch is the same height as the ceiling. Paint will simply seep into the cracks and crevices of a patch job if you don't, and may then bubble and crack, creating a very unsightly patch job.
3. Textured ceiling
Before you try to apply plaster or any other mix to a textured ceiling, even that bumpy "popcorn" ceiling paint, you'll want to practice first. The popcorn paint mixture you purchased may not match the texture on your ceiling or it may be harder to create swirls and depth to match your ceiling than you realize. Get an old piece of plywood and whatever tools you'll be using for the ceiling and try your plaster mix or popcorn paint on that first. Note if you might need to add some dry powder paint mixture so you get the right texture or use a larger or smaller brush to make the right lines and swirls. Practicing will ensure you get it right before you actually apply anything to your ceiling.