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Old 01-03-2012, 10:30 PM   #1
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Popcorn Ceiling Painting. How?


I have painted many walls in my day but have never painted a ceiling, let alone a popcorn ceiling. I am in the need of painting a bathroom ceiling that has many areas that have been hit by poor wall painting over the years.

Can someone provide me with tips and tricks to use to undertake this project? Preferred materials needed? Does it need to be primed first? Are there certain ways to undertake this project without creating a huge mess?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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Old 01-03-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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Popcorn Ceiling Painting. How?


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Originally Posted by kennykenny View Post
I have painted many walls in my day but have never painted a ceiling, let alone a popcorn ceiling. I am in the need of painting a bathroom ceiling that has many areas that have been hit by poor wall painting over the years.

Can someone provide me with tips and tricks to use to undertake this project? Preferred materials needed? Does it need to be primed first? Are there certain ways to undertake this project without creating a huge mess?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.
You might be able to spray it. But you might want to seriously consider scraping the popcorn texture off the ceiling, skim coating it, then prime & paint. It'll be more work, but the end result will be much better.

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Old 01-03-2012, 10:46 PM   #3
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Popcorn Ceiling Painting. How?


If your saying there's a pop corn ceiling in a bathroom the best thing you can do is get rid of it all together.
A textured ceiling in a bath is bad enough. but a pop corn one is really bad.
The dust, and mold must just love it.Cover everything with plastic wet it down with hot water and a dash of liquid fabric softner or dish soap with a pump sprayer, let it soak in, then spray it again. Scrap it off with a wide dry wall knife. Once off touch up any flaws with drywall compound, sand it, prime it, then paint it.
If you try to paint it the popcorn is just going to fall off and get all over your roller.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:13 AM   #4
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Popcorn Ceiling Painting. How?


Kenny, the only way to paint it without damaging the popcorn texture is to spray it. I'll join in and recommend stripping it off and being done with it. If you paint over it now, it will be with you forever as the paint will make it extremely difficult to remove in the future. Cost wise, it will cost you more to paint it than remove it. I just removed it from a large bedroom ceiling, the whole removal process took about two hours.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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Popcorn Ceiling Painting. How?


Listen to the guys above me.............trust me, painting popcorn with a brush and roller is T-O-U-G-H. I've done it and it CAN be done. It depends on the popcorn. Some popcorn ceilings are really hard (rock hard) & can be painted up decently, although they suck up paint like nobody's business. Some are soft and parts of the popcorn will pull off of the drywall. WHAT A FRICKIN MESS! The last one I did soaked up EIGHT gallons of paint.........that was just one coat on a kitchen/living room area.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Popcorn Ceiling Painting. How?


I painted apartments years ago, and from time to time had to do a popcorn ceiling. The complex (about 300 units) went through a phase years before where they were popcorning the nasty ceilings. They had to be done last because the paint in the tray was like oatmeal after it was done, and the popcorn looked even nastier than before, and mess, hell yeah, I would be covered in it. It would take a long time because, as Gymschu said, you get about four sq ft per roller load, and if you tried to go fast you did more damage to the popcorn and the threw the junk off the roller even moreso. It's a nightmare, to say the least. Personally, I've never seen the attraction of popcorn ceilings. Coming from the smooth walled region of the USA, popcorn ceilings were an afront to my sensibilities. It was a 70's/80's fad. And, if the popcorn wasn't enough, they would adorn it with glitter, Yeah. It really added to the effect of the disco mirror balls. I'll stop now, I think I've offended enough people. Strip it off.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
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Popcorn Ceiling Painting. How?


Most popcorn ceilings were the work of the devil. As I have posted before, most consist of the cheapest paint money could buy in the day. The paint was mixed into a slurry of stuff and the popcorn gunk and paint sprayed on ceilings so contractors could skip off the job without having to to mud, tape and prime them properly.

You can buy cans of popcorn ceiling repair but they allow you a few seconds max. I you can buy bags of pellets to try and match the texture and roll or even paint it on.

It will never look right though. The suggestion to just scrape it all off is the best that can be offered. With a nice thin drywall blade, it will take you surprisingly little time.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:28 PM   #8
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Popcorn Ceiling Painting. How?


I agree that removing the popcorn is, in the long run, the best idea. However, that may not fit into your idea of how this project should go for whatever reason. In that case, to actually answer your direct question, is to spray it. You can find moderately priced HVLP units at the big bue box that will do the job with minimal overspray. I never tape off a ceiling, I use a sheild. With a little experience and care it works great.

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