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Old 05-25-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
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Brittle popcorn, water stains: Gardz and/or BIN


The ceilings are popcorn in my new house, and I have not had a problem with the upstairs bedrooms -- the popcorn seemed pretty hard actually, and had nothing come down.

Now I've moved to the kitchen, and it's a different story. I see 3 issues:

1. The popcorn here is brittle and comes off somewhat easily. So far I haven't tried to paint it, just cleaning off cobwebs and such with a feather duster. It seems worse in the area right around the range, sink, and dishwasher, less of a problem in the breakfast nook area.

2. Some bare or sparse patches of popcorn that could use patching. My little tub of Zinsser pre-mixed popcorn texture recommends priming with Zinsser BIN to seal off water stains.

3. I do see a few water stains, though not in the areas that need patching. That would indicate Zinsser BIN.

Problem 1 applies to the whole area, so I would apply Gardz to the whole ceiling. Is Gardz considered a primer though, i.e. can I put ceiling paint after that? I know it is used as a primer on bare drywall, but am not sure about popcorn.

Problems 2 and 3 are for spots, but then I wonder if I should use only Zinsser BIN in those spots, or use Gardz first?

My original plan was to coat it all with Gardz to harden up the popcorn, patch the bare spots with additional popcorn, and then coat is all with BIN to prime it, and then finally paint it. Now I'm wondering if priming it all with BIN is necessary.

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:23 AM   #2
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Brittle popcorn, water stains: Gardz and/or BIN


I say again most popcorn ceilings are the work of the devil. Rid the evil Satanic stuff from your home! Remember what it probably is. Cheap texture in the cheapest of ceiling paint over non-taped drywall seams and most probably with no primer under it.

If yours is brittle and coming off in chunks? Expect more to stick to your paint roller when you attempt to paint it just from the surface tension of the roller to the ceiling. You might get a coat or two of paint on spraying if you must keep it. But, you will be patching eternally from now on and it will never match or look right.

I know it sounds daunting but you will be surprised at how easily the whole mess will come down if you use a nice wide drywall blade. It will amount to some work but you will be happy you got rid of it.

Then tape and mud seams if they never were. Prime with a high bond primer and paint.

Gardz is great stuff but putting it on the surface of the popcorn ceiling will do nothing to remedy the failing adhesion problem of the popcorn to the ceiling. In essence you cannot glue or otherwise fasten from the surface back to the substrate layer.


Last edited by user1007; 05-26-2012 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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Brittle popcorn, water stains: Gardz and/or BIN


Thanks much for your time in responding. I don't think adhesion is the problem, my previous house had popcorn with the classic symptoms where you paint it and the stuff falls off exposing the drywall. Not so here. Here what I have is that when I run my feather duster across the ceiling, it knocks off a certain amount of longer aggregate, but most of it stays. I didn't mean to say it's randomly falling off the ceiling. The popcorn in the upstairs bedrooms was almost rock-hard, I feather dusted it, vacuumed it various places, gave it 3 coats in 3 of the rooms and nothing came off. It's here in the kitchen, right around the stove where it seems different.

I totally agree with your general sentiment about popcorn. Neither my wife or I like the look, and I would remove it if I thought it would be a net win. But it overall seems stable enough that it will work.

The bare patch I mentioned in #2 was my intentional scraping with a 10" taping knife to see how it would go to remove it. I didn't wet it, just dry-scraped it. I was not getting down to the drywall doing that, and I gave it up.

In just looking at it, it seemed like a layer of Gardz to harden the surface should help the problem of knocking off more aggregate, and I put that layer on successfully.

I think my real puzzlement was whether a layer of Gardz and then a layer of BIN primer to block stains and provide a better backing for the ceiling paint made sense, or whether the BIN primer should go first.

Whether for good or ill, I decided to harden the surface with Gardz first, and then do a primer layer for the hiding benefit.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Brittle popcorn, water stains: Gardz and/or BIN


Don't use Gardz on the popcorn. Popcorn is moisture-sensitive and the Gardz will introduce alot of moisture to it before it dries. Use BIN or Cover-Stain to prime it and stop the staining. All rolling will knock off some aggregate - just keep moisture away from it.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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Brittle popcorn, water stains: Gardz and/or BIN


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Originally Posted by Mr. Paint View Post
Don't use Gardz on the popcorn. Popcorn is moisture-sensitive and the Gardz will introduce alot of moisture to it before it dries.
So... the Gardz label is just marketing when it talks about applying it to popcorn to harden it and prevent moisture from additional layers saturating it?

At this point, it's all done, and it *seems* to be working as I expected. The coat of Gardz did seem to harden everything, and none of the aggregate came off when applying primer or topcoat.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:20 AM   #6
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Brittle popcorn, water stains: Gardz and/or BIN


You did fine, the Gardz did what it was supposed to despite what the other guy said.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:47 AM   #7
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Brittle popcorn, water stains: Gardz and/or BIN


Technically, popcorn ceilings should be sprayed. A water based primer, like Gardz, will temporarily soften the popcorn, but it will dry, cure, and harden everything in place. But if you roll it, the roller will damage the texture in the softened state. On the flip side of using Gardz to seal it to make it easily paintable, you've also made it more resistant to removal in the future.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:17 AM   #8
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Brittle popcorn, water stains: Gardz and/or BIN


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On the flip side of using Gardz to seal it to make it easily paintable, you've also made it more resistant to removal in the future.
Yeah, I thought that would be the case.

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