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TheNewGuy 10-23-2009 02:58 PM

Touchup on Popcorn Ceiling
I recently moved into a house with the older popcorn ceilings. Unfortunately I don't have the time, money, or patience right now to scrape all the popcorn, but small spots on the popcorn ceiling have old water damage stains that were never repainted.
How do I repaint the spots without removing the popcorn and is there a special type of paint/roller I should be using?


user1007 10-23-2009 03:26 PM

Ah. A product from Hell lives above your head! I am assuming from your post that the popcorn is still in place? Or do you have to try and fill in some spots where the popcorn is missing?

If you need to patch it they sell material in aerosol cans that is a mess but works---almost or to a point. You get about a 30-45 second explosion out of them and they are costly. Half goes everywhere but on the ceiling. You can buy additive material you can mix with paint and I find it a bit easier to use.

The problem with popcorn ceilings is that they often got sprayed on to bare ceilings with no primer or anything so they adhere to nothing after a time. Anything you paint with that puts any tension on the surface at all will start breaking or peeling it loose in either small pieces or large chunks. The adhesion in those places that got wet is probably even more questionable.

Try a thicker nap roller cover that holds a fair amount of paint so you don't have to go over it more than once if you try to paint that way. Use a large brush and plenty of paint for the same reason and cross fingers on the hand you are not using to paint. You may get lucky but don't bet on it.

If it is just a flat white ceiling and the spots not too large (or too many) I would be tempted not to touch it at all and use something like a flat white spray paint or even a stain blocking spray primer (I think Kilz comes in cans?). This should hold you until you can take the stuff off once and for all. If it has been on for any length of time, this is probably going to go a lot faster than you imagine by the way so you might not want to shy away from the project. You may end up having to do it anyhow if you try painting it and it comes loose so have the contingency in mind.

shapeshifter 10-23-2009 03:28 PM

We had good success using a very thick roller. We would paint a specific area rolling the surface one time only and let that dry. Load up the roller and move on to the next part of the ceiling, rolling parallel to the first. Then we rolled on a second coat at a 90 degree angle, again rolling over the surface one time. It took a little time but the result was worth it. I reccomend a good primer, we personally prefer KILZ. We had even considered just using primer as a color but we haven't tried that yet.

TheNewGuy 10-23-2009 04:05 PM

Thanks for the speedy replies! The popcorn is still in tact on the ceiling it just needs to be touched up in certain spots. I know the removal is inevitable but I was hoping it would be a project for later rather than sooner!

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