How To Paint Popcorn Ceiling

How To Tape Off A Popcorn Ceiling For Painting

How to Repaint Popcorn Ceilings: No crumbling or Peeling

Taping off a popcorn ceiling is a crucial step thats often overlooked. Many people underestimate how easy it is to drip paint on the wall accidentally. The truth is it doesnt matter how careful of a painter you are paint will splutter off rollers, and overspray is just a byproduct of spraying.

Here are the steps to properly tape off your popcorn ceiling:

Step 1:

Tack a line of painters tape along the top of the wall, making sure its not sitting on any of the texture. Make sure the top is firmly sealed while the bottom remains loose.

Step 2:

Grab your plastic, find the top edge and attach it along the bottom of the tape. Press the tape into the plastic to secure it over the wall.

Step 3:

Make your way around the entire room, unfolding the rest of your plastic, so it drapes down the wall. If youre spraying, its a good idea also to tape the plastic to your floor so there are no gaps that paint particles can get into.

Step 4:

Do the same for any furniture in the room, covering them with plastic and taping it to the floor.

Step 5:

Lastly, wrap plastic and tape the top edge of any lights, fans or other fixtures on the ceiling.

Diy If You’re An Experienced Home Improvement Buff

Painting a room is relatively low on the DIY difficulty scale, but a popcorn ceiling requires a bit more know-how. As you’ll read below, popcorn ceilings are fragile and absorbent. Using the wrong paint or roller may cause the popcorn texture to disintegrate or chip. Use too little paint, and you won’t see much of a difference in its overall appearance.

All this aside, the process is not overly advanced. It just takes a bit more pre-planning and some extra patience.

What Color To Paint Popcorn Ceiling

The most common colour to paint a ceiling is white it makes the room feel bright and large. I know there are hundreds of shades of white, so were going to suggest two that are extremely simple and always look great:


The industry standard, just plain white. While it may seem boring to some, the contrast it creates with most wall colours looks fantastic. It also gives your home a crisp, clean look.

1 Drop of Black

The second option is close to the first the difference is you add one drop of black paint per gallon.

It may not seem like much, but it will help with coverage if youre trying to paint over a ceiling thats darkened or yellowed over the years. While it may look grayish when youre putting it on, it still looks crispy and white when its dried.

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Professional Popcorn Ceiling Removal In Sacramento

If after learning how to paint a popcorn ceiling you decide youd rather have it removed, its time to call in the professionals at Paintrite Pros. With over 25 years of experience in the Sacramento area, we have the experience to remove your popcorn ceilings safely and efficiently. We guarantee our work from start to finish. We serve the entire Sacramento area including Dixon, Roseville, Stockton, and more!

Additional Tips For Painting Popcorn Ceiling Texture

Painting Popcorn Ceilings  REFASHIONABLY LATE
  • Use a roller with an extension handle to avoid getting paint on your face or clothes.
  • Wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling any particles.
  • Paint in small sections so that the texture doesnt have a chance to dry before you can finish painting it.
  • If you need to touch up any areas, use a small brush.
  • Once youre finished painting, clean up any paint drips immediately.
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    When Was The Use Of Asbestos Banned In The Us

    In 1973, under the EPAs Clean Air Act, most spray-applied asbestos products were banned for fireproofing and insulating purposes. And in 1989, the EPA issued the Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule, which hoped to impose a full ban on the manufacturing, importation, processing and sale of asbestos-containing products.

    What Type Of Finish Should Be Used On Popcorn Ceiling

    There are a few different types of finishes that can be used on popcorn ceilings, but the most popular option is to use an acrylic-based finish. This type of finish will provide a smooth, clean look to the ceiling and will also help to protect it from future damage.

    Other options for finishes include latex-based paints or even polyurethane-based finishes, but these are not as commonly used on popcorn ceilings. Whichever type of finish you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions carefully in order to ensure the best results.

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    Can A Popcorn Ceiling With Asbestos Be Painted

    Before 1978, the texturing agent for this material contained asbestos. Only professionals with training in handling this toxic element should handle such conditions. Having asbestos professionally removed costs an average of $2,000, but it is often worth it to get the toxin out of your home. You can also cover it with drywall or planks but leaving the hazardous material there may negatively affect the value of your home.

    Shop For The Tools You Need

    How to paint a popcorn texture ceiling

    No asbestos? Youre in the clear to take this job on yourself. Delucia recommends buying the following:

    • Plastic sheeting

    I would also rent an airless paint sprayer at one of the larger hardware stores, she says. This is especially important if your popcorn ceiling has never been painted before. If it has been painted, you can also complete this project with a roller. Look for one with a thick napabout 9/16 of an inchwhich will help get paint into all the nooks and crannies of the surface.

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    How Do You Repaint A Popcorn Ceiling To Freshen An Old Coat

    If youve already painted your popcorn ceiling in the past, then youre familiar with picking the right paint and colors. When refreshing the coat, you can either stick with your current color or pick something new.

    If you want to cover up old stains, you dont need to choose a dark shade. Instead, we recommend using an oil-based primer to hide discoloration.

    Tips For Spraying Painting Popcorn Ceilings

    • Use a quick sweeping motion with your hand, never stop moving your hand.
    • Overlap each stroke by 50%.
    • Start moving your hand and spray gun before pulling the trigger and let go of the trigger before you stop moving your hand. This will help prevent runs and large globs of paint.
    • Overspray onto your walls. You will be painting over them later. I like to start and stop the paint on the walls. If the ceiling paint gets too heavy on the walls and runs, I can roll this out when Im done and even sand it if necessary.
    • On your first coat spray from north to south and on your second coat spray from east to west. This will help ensure you dont have any paint lines on the ceiling when completed.
    • Finally, check for any runs on the walls after spraying as this is a very common issue even for experienced painters. Keep a brush on hand and just spread out the runs on the tops of the walls after spraying your ceilings.
    • Make sure to wear a paint respirator. Your lungs always need to be protected when spraying, even if the paint doesnt smell or is a zero VOC .

    If you do plan on spraying your ceilings, make sure to check out our post on The Best Paint Sprayer For Every Painting Project.

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    Cover It With A New Texture

    If a completely smooth ceiling isnt the right look for your home, you can also look at creating a different kind of textured ceiling. However, creating a new finish does still require some prep work. First, the ceiling will need to be cleaned and prepped with quick-set drywall mud. Once dry, a bonding agent will need to be applied, and then the finishing texture can go on top of it. Before getting started, its a good idea to get a contractor or other expert to take a look at it, to ensure the ceiling is sturdy enough to handle the extra weight of the new materials needed to cover the popcorn finish. Its possible that adding more compound could be too heavy and cause the ceiling to come down.

    Using An Airless Sprayer

    # Budget upgrade Good Bye Popcorn Ceiling #homeremodelingtips

    You can rent an airless sprayer from a paint store for around $50 to $75 per day. When spraying a ceiling over finished walls, the walls need to be covered with plastic first.

    The easiest and fastest way to mask walls with plastic is by using the 3M hand masker, equipped with 99-inch masking film and a 1 1/2-inch roll of blue tape. The 99-inch plastic comes in a small roll that easily unfolds to cover the entire surface of the wall. Using a hand masker to mask walls is a huge time saver.

    When spraying a textured ceiling with an airless sprayer, a good spray tip size to use is either 517 or 617. A 517 spray tip produces a 10-inch fan, while a 617 tip produces a 12-inch fan. Either tip throws out enough paint to cover a ceiling in a short amount of time.

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    B Removing Ceiling Stains

    The common stains in a ceiling are water stains, grease stains or unknown stains. Sometimes it could be hard to paint over these stains. That is why you need to remove them. Even if you use flat paint, you may not hide the stains since when your paint dries, the stain sips through.

    Professional painters recommend using a stain-blocking oil-based primer to achieve the best result. You can put your paint in an aerosol can to minimize the pull and maturation of the material. If you use a roller, roll on it so long as you avoid pressing too hard. It would be best to let it dry before painting it again.

    What Is The Best Paint To Hide Imperfections

    Eggshell paint is slightly reflective. It shows more imperfections than flat paint, but not as many as glossier finishes. Satin paint is similar to eggshell, but it stands up well to moisture and is the best choice for hiding problems in a heavily used area. Semi-gloss and high-gloss paint are extremely reflective.

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    How To Clean A Popcorn Ceiling: Step By Step

    If your popcorn ceiling is from 1980 or earlier, it could contain asbestos. Asbestos is dangerous if inhaled, so youll need to check your ceiling for it before cleaning.

    Since popcorn texture crumbles, prepare the room by laying tarps or sheets over furniture and floors. Youll also need to wear safety goggles, a mask, and gloves.

    What Is Textured Ceiling Paint


    This is the initial product applied to create texture. It is not a particular type of paint that is used to apply new coats on textured ceilings.

    There are a variety of options available, from smoother and more subtle applications to those that create a thick, plastered appearance. Popcorn is one of the options available and the process involves spraying it on.

    Ready to start your Ceiling Painting Project?

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    What Paint Should You Use For Popcorn Ceilings

    The truth about ceiling paint is that you can get away with using really cheap paint on a ceiling.

    Ceilings are never touched, bumped or abused, so cheap paint works perfectly on them.

    If you go into any Home Depot or Lowes you can find Behr or Valspar ceiling paint usually for $15 per gallon if not cheaper.

    These ceiling paints typically come pre-colored to a ceiling white that is slightly tinted lower than bright white in order to help reduce shadows and imperfections on ceilings.

    If you want to read a more in depth post about the best ceiling paints, check out my post The Best Ceiling Paint For Your Home.

    Preparation For Painting Popcorn Ceiling

    Painting popcorn ceiling is a huge paint drip, splash and splatter experience. Paint is going to rain down in all directions. So first thing you need to do is remove as much furniture as you can, from the room being painted. If removing furniture is not possible, cover the furniture with plastic sheets or cloth. Spread sheets on the floor to avoid a floor scrubbing project later! Use masking paper, masking tape and plastic to cover the walls and furniture. To prevent them from getting painted, remove all the light fixtures from the room or pack them thoroughly. Also, before you start off, cleaning popcorn ceiling is important. Do not clean it roughly. Take care not to dislodge the texture. You may use a feather duster for the purpose.

    There is one more consideration before you go ahead. How to paint a wall with a popcorn ceiling? You have to decide whether you are going to paint the walls along with the ceiling or not. If you paint the walls along with the ceiling, which is recommended, you wont have to engage in a lot of masking. Of course it is recommended that you paint the walls after painting the popcorn ceiling. That way, you can choose a matching color combination for the walls and ceiling. However, if you are happy with your wall color, then you have a huge wall masking task ahead. Use a lot of masking paper, plastic and tape. Make sure all of it is covered properly. Plan the entire project well and your work will be simpler.

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    How To Paint A Popcorn Ceiling

    Heres an important note before you start: Not all popcorn ceilings can be a DIY project. Before you paint a popcorn ceiling, its important to get the ceiling tested by a certified professional to see if asbestos is presentespecially if your home was built before 1977. If theres asbestos present, its best to hire a professional to do the painting.

    Disadvantages Of Popcorn Ceiling Paint

    11 Tips on How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling Faster and Easier

    Popcorn ceilings may make the home ceiling look more outdated since there is competition from flat ceilings in the market. Another disadvantage is that popcorn ceiling textures were dated in 1977 to contain asbestos.

    Therefore, if you will have popcorn ceiling paint on your older ceiling, you should test it for asbestos and be careful not to disturb its texture, then remove it. Let us now discuss how to paint the popcorn ceiling.

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    Best Touch Up Paint For Popcorn Ceiling

    Sometimes you need to touch up parts of your popcorn ceiling because it was scuffed or stained. The best product for the job will depend if your ceiling has been painted and what youre trying to cover up.

    Painted With A Few Scuffs

    If your ceiling has been painted and youre not trying to cover up a stain, then using latex paint will work. If you arent sure of the colour, using untinted white colour in a flat or matte finish is a good place to start.

    Unpainted Or Stained

    If your ceiling hasnt been primed or painted, or youre trying to cover water or smoke stains, youll need something a little stronger than latex paint. Use an oil-based spray primer or any strong stain-blocking spray primer, so you dont disturb the texture.

    If youre just covering a stain, but your ceiling has been painted, you can then use latex paint afterwards to blend the area into the rest of the ceiling.

    Texture Spray

    If some of the texture has been bumped and fallen off, you can use a ceiling texture spray.

    Can You Prime Or Paint Over A Popcorn Ceiling

    Lets begin by answering the first questions most homeowners have. Yes, you can prime and paint over your popcorn ceiling. Its a great alternative if removing it doesnt fit within your budget or if you want to keep the textured look.

    Its a similar process to painting a flat ceiling, but there are a few extra precautions youll have to take.

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    Refinishing A Popcorn Ceiling

    Now that youve removed the popcorn ceiling, it is time to turn our attention to what comes next. Youre most likely left with a rough-looking ceiling, perhaps a little like the drywall that your home was built with. No matter what you plan for your new ceiling decor, there are a few steps to take to prepare the surface:

  • Sand it down. After youve removed the popcorn texture, its time to sand down the ceiling, making it as smooth as possible. It is best to use a hand sander while wearing protective goggles to protect your eyes. Once everything looks as smooth and even as possible, your ceiling is prepared for the next stage.
  • Get rid of remaining residue. If you scraped the popcorn off of your ceiling, you may notice that there is still residue left behind. After you sand the ceiling, remove any stubborn residue by using a dampened block sponge.
  • Apply new texture. You can utilize a joint compound as a base for a new texture on the ceiling. While popcorn ceilings are not in anymore, different textures and designs can help give your home a bit more of a modern look. All you need to do is use a joint compound as the base and go from there.
  • Prime the ceiling. If you choose to apply a smooth coat of paint rather than a new texture, consider using a drywall sealer to prime the ceiling. This can help you identify spots in the ceiling that may need to be patched, and make the painting phase a lot more efficient.
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