Popcorn Ceilings: How To Remove Or Paint Them

If your home was built in the 1970s or 1980s, chances are it has a popcorn ceiling. These textured ceilings were once all the rage, but now they're considered outdated and many homeowners want to remove or paint them. Here's what you need to know about popcorn ceilings and how to deal with them.

Popcorn Ceilings: What Was the Reason?

A popcorn ceiling (also known as a textured ceiling or acoustic ceiling) is a type of finish applied to ceilings in order to create a more textured, decorative look. Popcorn ceilings were popular in the 1970s and 1980s, but fell out of favor in recent years due to the difficulty in repairing them.

Popcorn ceilings are made by spraying a textured coating onto the ceiling. The texture is created by using an air compressor to force the coating material through a small hole in the applicator nozzle. This results in a fine, uniform spray that creates a textured surface.

There are a few reasons why popcorn ceilings were popular in the past. First, they were relatively easy and cheap to install. Second, they did a good job of hiding imperfections in the ceiling. Third, they helped to absorb sound, which was important in homes where people watched a lot of TV or listened to music.

Today, however, many people consider popcorn ceilings to be dated and ugly. They can be difficult to remove, and they often trap dust and dirt. If you're considering removing your popcorn ceiling, you may want to consult with a professional first to see if it's feasible.

Removing Popcorn Ceilings:

You can remove popcorn ceilings by scraping them off with a putty knife or a specialty tool, or by sanding them down. You may need to use a ladder to reach the ceiling, and you'll want to wear protective gear, including a dust mask, to avoid inhaling any particles. Once the popcorn ceiling is removed, you can then paint or finish the surface as desired.

It's critical to know that most popcorn wall paint and finishes from before 1979 included asbestos and lead, which can be harmful if breathed in. Both have the potential to be poisonous if released into the air. If your home is more than ten years old, talk to a professional about testing for lead and asbestos. You'll also want to make sure you cover all surfaces with drop cloths since dust will undoubtedly start flying.

Before painting the wall, sand it down, apply drywall plaster, and then sand it again to assure a completely smooth surface. It's difficult to do correctly and time-consuming to complete on your own, therefore hiring experts to take care of it for you is usually the best option.

Painting Popcorn Ceilings:

There are a few different ways that you can paint popcorn ceilings, but the most common method is to use a roller. First, you will need to protect any furniture or flooring in the room where you will be painting. Then, you will want to lightly sand the popcorn ceiling to help the paint adhere better. After that, you will apply a primer and then start painting with your roller. It is important to go slowly and evenly when painting popcorn ceilings so that you don't create any texture issues.

It's also possible that you'll need to purchase additional paint. Textured surfaces often require more paint to ensure complete coverage, so you may expect your usual quantity to double. If you're hiring professionals to paint for you, keep this in mind because you'll have to budget for more paint than normal. If your ceiling is currently un-painted, an oil-based ceiling paint will give the best results. You may tell if your ceiling isn't painted by softly running your fingertips across it. If the popcorn crumbles as you go, it is still unpainted.