One Of My Favorite Ceilings, Finished…

This master bath ceiling project was fun from the beginning.   The client was looking for finish samples that were colorful  and textural  the safe neutrals got passed over quickly.


She picked this finish, bottom left

for this master bath ceiling

The sample needed less green, and more brown and red, so I created a new one (on the right)  which got us on target

I started by troweling two colors of lusterstone metallic plaster, and created textural fossils as I went along

The next layer involved troweling RS Wax tinted with a custom brick-red  color

and some RS Wax tinted with several metallic mica powders

I know, it makes no sense now…  Think of it like this,   all the colors that are buried in these crooks and crevices

are all colors being troweled on  INSIDE a wax medium –  buried, layered….

and then REVEALED by buffing the wax.   Huh?  Buffing?

Yes, the absolute, hands down, WORST part of this finish – BUFFING THE LAYERS OF WAX!   (Can we play neeeee neeeeeee neeeeee music – the kind they play in creeper movies where the girl in the shower is soon to get slashed?)

See, below, how the lower part of the photo is starting to lose its milkiness?  That part is buffed

I found, through trial and error, that my palm sander’s velcro bottom worked best to power-buff the finish.  Working on a ceiling I NEEDED all the power  I could get

Seriously?  Yup, I took a photo of myself grueling overhead – so I’d remember the pain 🙂

I finished buffing, only to start over and trowel more RS Wax, this time tinted with an Antique Mahogany, over the whole ceiling

Looks familiar right?

Logistically, it was a tough reach getting the section over the tub – I had to stand on the ‘do not stand on this ledge’ part of the ladder and still could barely reach

Don’t mind that warm silver glazed finish on the tub above – that will be in a different post.

More buffing

Notice the palm sander is different?  I was overheating the other one so had to stop and make a Home Depot run

At this point , I am asking myself WHY I even allowed this to happen… was I a fool?  Layers of buffing overhead?   At the same time,  I was loving the anticipation – I could see the finish evolving…


Yes, one last layer of RS Wax, this time tinted with black

One thing about this finish – you have to trust your knowledge and instinct of the application, because you don’t know what you really get until the end.

The last BUFF

Almost there….

My arm grew

Silly me, palm sanders are for distressing cabinets!

Worth it!

A custom piece of artwork  – perfect for this client!


8 responses to “One Of My Favorite Ceilings, Finished…

  1. I can just imagine soaking in that tub looking up at that beautiful ceiling……. Really lovely, Patty!

  2. How long from start to finish did this project take? It is beautiful.

    • Thanks Robin , I kept good notes, it took
      3 1/2 hours to tape, trowel first layer, build texture, and clean up.
      2 hrs to trowel wax layer 1
      2 hrs 20 mins to buff layer 1
      1 1/2 hr to trowel wax layer 2
      2 hrs to buff layer 2
      1 1/2 hrs to trowel wax layer 3
      1 1/2 hrs to buff wax layer 3

      with the ceiling and tub trim i’d bid it a day less than i thought it would take – but this client was awesome and, knowing i was there an extra day, compensated me kindly!

  3. AWSOME JOB PATTY!!!!!!! Love it!!! I bet you don’t need an upper body work out today!! Me thinks you need a bigger buffing pad!


    • ya, that was a good upper body workout for sure – but one armed…. i tried to use both, but i’m not that good with my right side. right now im on a nothing but glazing job and i’m getting NO workout!

  4. That has got to be one of the most beautiful ceilings I’ve ever seen. What texture and depth. BET it’s even better in person. Perfect, Patty! BTW, I have a buffing tool I think you’ll love. Will message you privately.

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