Painting stippled ceilings

I live in a 15 year old house that has unpainted stippled ceilings. They're old and stained. I was just going to paint them, until a friend told me that it's not a good idea. He claimed that the paint makes the stipple so heavy it just falls off the ceiling, resullting in a ceiling that looks like hell and will need to be redone entirely.
As a result, now I have 4 questions:
1) Is it correct? Will paint make the stipple fall off? 2) If so, is there any way to get a stippled ceiling cleaned or painted at all? 3) If it can't be cleaned, how difficult is it to get of the stipple entirely and be done with it? 4) Are there tools that make the job easier if I need to get rid of the stipple?
Thanks in advance. Wally
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wrote:

Don't think so. It will suck paint though.

I have heard of companies specializing in cleaning such ceilings

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I have used Zinsser alcohol shalac primer on stiple and got very good results. No water to get in the stiple and a great water barrier for follow up latex. Do Be Cautious with the vapors. Bone dry in 45 minutes so forget reusing the roller. Louis
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