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I’ve done my house and a reno house. Trick is not to go back and forth like painting walls. Buy the ceiling paint for popcorn and use a thick pile roller. Yes it stinks but only lasts a day. Two coats will be required and second coat is applied opposite the first coat.


Retired guy from Southern Manitoba, Canada.
 

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Renting here, popcorn ceiling dirty and dark, can I prime and paint it without much brushing off of the dust?
Some popcorn ceilings are not done with water but actual paint and they won't flake off.

If it's been done with water rent a low pressure paint sprayer and save yourself some heartache. Just use ceiling paint.
 

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Painting old popcorn can be tricky. Old unpainted popcorn is prone to partially dissolve from the moisture in latex paint or primer and then fall off of the ceiling [usually just in spots] There are 2 work arounds; spray the paint [but not too heavy] or coat it first with an oil base primer.


Since you are renting make sure you consult the landlord first!
 

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Make sure you ask your landlord if you can paint it.

That said, get an extendable paint stick and some high nap rollers and have fun! Be sure to cover /everything/ with a sheet of plastic, paint goes everywhere when rolling :p
 

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+1 on checking with the landlord. I mean, even if your intentions are good, well, you could end up with quite a problem if the popcorn peels off (and about 1/2 the time it does). Now, the landlord has to bring in someone to remove the mess you created and redo the ceiling. Popcorn also soaks up the paint. Buy about twice as much as you would for a normal flat ceiling.
 

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As others have mentioned, if you are renting, best to ask the landlord before doing any painting. In fact, get permission in writing. Often there are restrictions on tenants doing any painting written into the lease.

Personally, I would advise against a tenant attempting to paint a popcorn ceiling in a rental. It's a crap shoot. You can do everything right and still things can quickly go bad. Then, somebody will be responsible for repairing the damage, and most likely it won't be the landlord.
 
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