I recently moved into a house with popcorn ceilings. The granules look
to be up to 1/4", and I think the paint is latex. The ceilings need
painting, but I've gotten several stories as to how to do this.
One - you have to spray paint, else the popcorn will just fall off
when it is wet down with a brush or roller.
Two - you don't have to spray paint, just don't thin the latex paint
and use a very long-napped roller.
Three - "shudder" - just strip the stuff off the ceiling.
Any advice would be appreciated! TIA
"Two" worked for me - I forget how many total coats went on, but the first
coat was Kilz (latex, not oil-based). One coat of Kilz, one or two of
ceiling paint. I actually don't know why one couldn't just paint with Kilz
and forget the ceiling paint if white is what's desired. Anyway, you want a
thick nap on the roller. Easy as pie.
I just did one in a bedroom with Kilz, and it was a pain in the ass. It
looks good, but it took 2 coats with a super thick nap roller, and then
going around and hitting all the little spots I missed. Of course I did
it in a dark red, and it was originally white, so white to white would
be alot easier.
LOL. My 12 yr old wanted to pick his own colors for his room. Slate
grey, with burgandy trim and ceiling, with salt and pepper carpet. We
promised him that his room would be the first one we re-modeled when we
moved, since moving is hardest on kids. I wasn't excited about his color
choice, but it actually turned out really nice, but I won't ever paint
another popcorn ceiling anything but white, or whatever color is on it
already. I might possibly try spray paint next time. Should have this
time, since we were painting everything else and the carpet was getting
replaced...oh well, live and learn.
replying to Curt Martin, JE (Elaine) Lawless wrote:
When I previously mentioned SPRAY paint for the ceiling, I should make
clear - NOT to use the aerosol cans to spray, cut a paint sprayer if you do that
sort of thing. I had my new ceilings done (flat paint the painter chose).
But when I found them impossible to clean from accidental spewing a ceiling
with a soft drink, I covered with Kilz then semi-gloss acrylic/latex.
After a New Years champagne stain and a granddaughter using a mixer that
wasn't turned off outside the bowl ...well,Further damages have been easily
With a 12 yr old - I'm sure you understand accidents!
THey make specials rollers for this. Trick is DO NOT ROLL BACKWARDS. If
you miss an area get it with the second coat. If you roll backwards you
risk picking up the popcorn. In other words do not hit an area twice.
Actually, scraping off the popcorn is not so bad. It's messy, but doable.
Lay down a tarp and just scrape off the stuff, fold up tarp and shake
outside. Of course, wear safety goggles, mask, etc. so you won't be wearing
popcorn in all parts of your anatomy.
It really dates a house. It has some acoustic properties. Other than that,
it's not very attractive, especially if the previous owners smoked and you
don't. If that's the case and you paint, you are sealing in the gunk. Have
you called a sheetrock guy in your area or a painter or called a local
Sherwin Williams or Pittsburgh paint outlet. (stay away from any advice you
would get from Lowe's or Home Depot)
My ceilings are not white, but not overly colorful either. They are
textured, orange peel, but not popcorn.
Base your decision on the long run..
If I should ever have to replace a ceiling - I would look into alternatives over
popcorn. Replacing because it's not the current style isn't worth the time or
cost. (style will change again!) Scraping a semi-gloss painted popcorn ceilings
- would be way too much work, hire someone and write the check.
As someone who just finished such a job, I suggest the following:
Don't try to "clean" the ceiling; simply brush off any loose particles;
protect the floor with visqueen, etc.
Buy a slotted foam (not long nap) roller and an extension handle.
Use Sears ceiling paint--guaranteed to cover in one coat, and it does.
Ceilings that receive opened spewed liquids of various kinds will always
'show' the spots and grow worse with time if not CLEANED.
There is no 'brushing off' house dust that includes any form of oil and
this always happens..and flat latex just soaks it up & shows through.
Cake batter when a child is trying to 'help' can be found on the ceiling
and everything below. Using semi-gloss paint - the stains can be removed
with any good cleaner...no additional painting required.
This is by far the fastest. Just get a big roll of visqueen, staple it
to the walls an inch below the ceiling, spread it out so it covers the
floor and all the room contents, and have at it with an airless sprayer.
Buy 2.5x as much paint as you think you will need. Popcorn drinks the
stuff. I did my house with latex eggshell titanium white.
This can be done, but it's a royal PITA. DO NOT try to roll over a wet
surface, or the popcorn will just wrap around your roller. If this
happens, there is an aerosol that you can use to patch the hole, but it
is very messy. Staple visqueen an inch below the ceiling and cover
everything in the room before using it. :)
Also do-able. Be aware that the original sheet rocker paid no attention
to ceiling finish, because he knew it was getting sprayed. Chances are
he didn't even topcoat the tape seams. You will have some finish work
to do, but then you can brocade or eggshell.
I never give advice. I like to watch a man work. It can be very
My house has pop corn ceilings, too. I painted the ceiling in the laundry room
using a Wagner spray painter (cheapest kind) - it was a lot of trouble and it
only looked so-so when I finished.
My DH painted the great room and eat in kitchen . He started with an
expensive, long napped roller that I bought especially for the job. He didn't
like it - switched to one made out foam rubber (roller) with little slits in it
- also recommended for the job. He hated that one. Then he switched to the
cheap ones - you know the kind that come three to a package and you just throw
them away. They worked best of all. He had to roll it and then when it dried,
he had to roll it again.....from different direction. It still looks like he
missed some places but it's all right. We can live with it.
We used regular white ceiling paint.
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