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Old 02-28-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Popcorn Ceiling Questions


Hi all.

First off I'd like to say I love this forum. I'm a member of several on-line forums (Auto detailing, electronics, car repair, pool care) and this is by far the best and most responsive form I have ever been on - so kudos to you guys! Keep up the good work. Your advice really helps guys like me.

Anyway, on to the issue at hand. I had my home inspection yesterday. During the inspection I mentioned to the inspector that I wanted to paint the popcorn ceilings in the house. They don't look too bad but I am willing to bet they would look 100% better with a fresh coat of white paint. It's sort of a medium "grain" popcorn for lack of a better way to describe it. Not sand but not full blown chunks of popcorn that I have seen in some houses. Anyway, the inspector (who is not a professional painter obviously) mentioned that when we do paint the ceilings we should use oil base ceiling paint. He said that if water based is used, I may run the risk of having the popcorn loosen and fall from the ceiling.

Based on what I have been reading on line, you don't necessarily need to use an oil base if the ceilings have already been painted. Is that accurate info? I'm assuming that they have been painted at least once because the house was built in 1979, they do look fairly white and the popcorn doesn't loosen up when I run my hand over it.

So given that - is it ok to use water based paint or should I still use the oil base? I'd love to go the water based route if at all possible because I hate the clean up of oil base and for some reason I have gotten god awful headaches the few times I have used oil based paint indoors.

Would there be any issues if the prior painter painted the ceilings with oil based and I went at it now with water based?

Also, in terms of a roller, I found this one on line. Does it look ok for what I will be doing???

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BPARSO

Thanks!!
Dan

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Old 02-28-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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Popcorn Ceiling Questions


Popcorn can be tricky. Sometimes it comes off with the use of a latex paint. Sometimes it doesn't. I will say that I have never used an oil topcoat on popcorn. Now, for popcorn that I suspected would come off as I rolled over it, I primed with B-I-N or CoverStain primer to play it safe. It's one of those rare cases that you really should try a small area to see if it will paint up without any problems........maybe do a closet or a small section in a corner to see what you've got. You will use LOTS of paint, usually double that of a plain flat ceiling.

Your choice of roller cover is fine.

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Old 02-28-2013, 07:19 PM   #3
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I never used oil on ceilings either but it is frustrating when the texture starts wrapping around your roller.As long as the ceiling has not been exposed to a lot of moisture it will most likely be fine.Don't roll back into the wet paint, just lap enough to cover it.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #4
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Your roller is fine. Actually any 3/4" quality roller would be fine. I'd avoid a finer roller like 3/8", because then you'd have to press too hard and go over it several times - exactly what you don't want to do. On the other hand, the 3/4" roller with deliver a heavier load of paint - i.e. heavier and wetter, which you don't really want either So try a small area and be careful at first.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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The thing about popcorn is we use water to remove it so if you use water based paint it comes loose. Now having said that the exception is if it has already been painted. If it has and this sounds like it has, then it's been sealed, most likely with oil base, so the water base now should not penetrate and you will be fine. But to sure do a spot first and see if it gets loose.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
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If it has and this sounds like it has, then it's been sealed, most likely with oil base
I'm not too sure about that. I don't know many people who have painted their ceiling with oil paint.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:16 PM   #7
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lots of people paint their texture ceilings with oil. it is normal but is not necessary
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:18 PM   #8
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If it has been painted with oil base in the past, is it ok to go over it with water based ceiling paint?
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:00 AM   #9
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I'm not too sure about that. I don't know many people who have painted their ceiling with oil paint.
If it's been painted it is most likely oil because latex even sprayed will make popcorn fall off the only way for it not to be oil would be to seal it first with Bin then use latex but either way it's sealed. The reason I say it sounds like it's already been painted is he says it looks like it and when you rub your hand over it it doesn't come off.
If it has been painted with oil already yes.
And your right on oil for most ceilings but this isn't just a ceiling it's a popcorn ceiling

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Old 03-01-2013, 08:07 AM   #10
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I've painted popcorn MANY times with latex. It does not always fall off. If I am suspicious I spray it- but with a latex primer. Gardz is actually recommended for this if you read the can.
Once painted with anything- it is most likely no problem to roll anyway.
Those who say the word ALWAYS with this subject, are in my experience, wrong.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:11 AM   #11
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And your right on oil for most ceilings but this isn't just a ceiling it's a popcorn ceiling
You know that and I know that, but most people don't come here and therefore just paint their ceiling with latex paint. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it does, then there you go - you have a ceiling painted with latex paint that has held together. Rarely does anyone use oil paint on a ceiling, considering all the homeowners that paint their own ceilings. They just assume the popcorn is well adhered to the ceiling, because in lieu of other information, why would they assume otherwise? Sometimes they are in for a rude surprise, oftentimes not.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cdaniels View Post
I never used oil on ceilings either but it is frustrating when the texture starts wrapping around your roller.
This might just be the most frustrating thing that can happen when painting ceilings.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:01 AM   #13
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It's hard to determine if a popcorn ceiling has been 'painted' already - or if it's the original paint-and-compound mix they used when they put it up...good luck with that determination.

But as I understand it, oil-based paints dry slower and without shrinking and thus are better for painting a popcorn ceiling. Latexes shrink a bit upon drying and can tear off the popcorn.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:37 AM   #14
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There is no doubt that from a technical standpoint, non-water based paints are better for popcorn ceilings. The issue has more to do with ignorance of how shoddy popcorn ceilings really are, and dislike of using non-water based paints for other than performance reasons.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:51 AM   #15
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Popcorn has made me a lot of money here where I am popcorn out numbers any other ceilings 500 to 1 at least. Most of my calls are for removal 2nd is I tried to paint my ceiling and it's coming off. You go and there is the roller with popcorn wrapped around it. And you get the call we had a leak, fixed it and now the ceiling is falling off. What do all of these have in common water
And yes by spraying you put the odds a lot more in your favor. Usually the problem with spraying latex is it just falls off in spots-NOT ALWAYS-and yes the ideal thing is to spray with Gardz or even BIN this almost eliminates the chance of failure. And yes I realize some have rolled, brushed and gotten lucky but is it worth the chance.

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