Home Repair

How to Paint Popcorn Ceilings?

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Ummm I'm asking for advice... not telling how to do it!

Egads my entire house has that horrid popcorn ceiling and I have no idea how to paint it!!! Any suggestions?

The popcorn ceiling IS paintable. If the pcs are not falling off and it is not stained anywhere and the ceiling has been painted before, just put 2 coats of a good quality paint with a higher knap roller (like 1/2" - 13mm) If there are any stains, or the ceiling has never been painted before, then use a stain killer type primer like Kilz first. Paint slowly so you wont knock off too many of the popcorns... You better cover the floor too!
Would you want to roll in two different directions for the two coats, or will the long nap get in there anyway?

How good will coverage be for the paint? I imagine that a gallon won't cover much?!? So maybe buy extra of a stock color so you can return it if need be?

What about using ceiling paint? I heard from a paint guy, that ceiling paint is just treated to reduce spattering as you roll it on, not for any other magical property that one might want in a ceiling paint.

(My experience with Benjamin Moore Ceiling White was mixed... I like the nice white white color Razz, but the coverage was very very poor, really needed two coats on a brand new ceiling to be able to get it even.)
Ben Moore white wall flat paint is what I use on ceilings most of the time. I personally hate ceiling paint for the same reasons plus it seems to spatter even more than the wall paint! If the ceiling hasen't been painted before then the primer would go about 200 sq ft per gallon. Then the topcoat paint should be like 400 sq ft per gal but buy an extra gallon just in case I always say. You can return it anyway. When you paint a ceiling try to go perpendicular from the window wall. If there are 2 walls of windows then it doesn't matter but the light coming in the window hides any streaks if is in the same direction. If that doesn't make sense I'll explain again if you need.
Remember wear a hat!! (unless you already have white hair!)
Hi Guru God,

Thanks so much for the advice, it's much appreciated. Ironically, I just bought some Kilz primer the previous week to paint the window sill in one of the rooms. (I had discovered mold after removing the wallpaper) Yes, believe it or not the previous owners had wallpapered the window sill. It caused me great concern to find black mold in that area. I spent quite a bit of time, mask, bleach and cleansers to remove surface area. I even gouged out some of the drywall as I wanted to make sure the mold was all removed and then respackled and primed. All that work after I thought I had finished the room entirely but for the window sill!

I had purchased some well recommended primer originally to do the room, and only bought a small pint of Kilz for the window sill. It applied so well and dried quickly, that I'm going to do the entire room again using this product. I was a bit concerned about the mold as that room is above the garage and is the only room in the home that is always cold. I will also consider buying a humidifier for that room or would a heater be best?

I searched the net regarding removing the mold and was quite frightened by what I read regarding it being considered toxic. I wanted to make sure that it was removed entirely.

Anyhow, I've jumped from subject to subject..apologies! It was after the room was primed that the popcorn ceiling (painted white originally) looked rather offwhite compared to the new paint. I've lived in this house 8 years, purchasing it 2 1/2 years ago so it probably needs to be done. The house is not ancient but not new either - aprox 23 years old.

Thanks again!

The most important thing about painting a ceiling: a Hat!
Ha! Yes definately and no problem on my end either as I wear many hats. Nyuck nyuck!

The METS???? How about the Red Sox? 2 in a row!

Have fun painting ! I actually find painting very relaxing.
Popcorn? Why not just eat it? ......
Sorry, bad joke... but I don't think I've ever seen a "popcorn" ceiling....
Mets=6 in a row! AND Pedro Pitched today and didn't even get booed. That's pretty good for New York!

Well attempted the job today and wow...not as hard as I thought - the stuff didn't come off at all and the paint applied easily enough. Although I only did half as my neck is killing me.

To stay with the topic I did wear a Mets hat.. Wink Then switched to a Red Sox hat in honor of Guru whom was so helpful.

Hey you forgot to warn me about my FACE!!!!! Egads most embaressing as my son asked me to take him to the store after I was finished. It was only apon returning home I noticed the little splatters of what resembled white freckles on my face. Embarassed You know stores are really well lite and no wonder I got second looks from people..thought I was looking pretty decent for a change..then woe is me..turned out I had paint on my face!

Willowsprite - popcorn ceilings resemble....popcorn..bumpy- like, not smooth. I think it may have been an 80's craze..not sure. This house was built in that time frame and I also have that awful brown glass (window side lights) and a big one above the front door. That's on my wish list...would love to get stained glass but that's way above my budget. So I'll settle for frosted glass even.

You know you're getting old when you get more excited being in home hardware stores than clothing stores. Confused

Thanks again for all the advice

You can take stained glass classes, it isn't as hard as it looks. You can also rent a how to video. Maybe you could do your own windows. Other than the glass itself(which varies in price) a good grinder is the biggest expense and you can buy those for $100. US. Then you can make OES stepping stones for your garden Very Happy


Marianne wrote:
Then switched to a Red Sox hat in honor of Guru whom was so helpful.

Thanks again for all the advice
I hope you didn't get paint on the Red Sox hat!!!
Glad all is going well. If you are using a roller put it on a 4 foot extending handle and it will be easier to do the ceiling!

Nope no paint at all got on my clothing, hat,...just the face.

Great idea Holly! Thanks!

This is sooooo unbelievable and wishful thinking on my part perhaps! My teenage son just got a job at a Glass factory!!! He has no experience but they were willing to train him, his first day he even asked about a staff discount. Very Happy

We'll see what happens in a few weeks, I may get my wish after all.

You may be able to find a grinder cheap at a yard sale, etc. If I wasn't clear across the country you could use my stuff. I also have a few OES patterns that will make nice garden stuff. I can send you any patterns if you want to do glass. The glass is $$$ so your son got his job at the perfect time Very Happy and of course you have nothing else going on right now Laughing
Hi Bestdogs,

Hey thanks for the kind offer and too bad you lived across the country. It's always been on my wishlist to take a stained glass course. Perhaps I will do that after I've taken Merlin and Panda for their next set of obedience classes. Would be a nice winter project to do and be finished in time for Spring. I will then take you up on your offer to get some stained glass patterns for sure.

Marianne and the boys
Many of the flecks can be avoided in ceiling painting with one of those
plastic caps that fit over one side of the roller so that only the side that
is touching the ceiling is exposed and the flecks fall inside the cap - OR
you could be cheap like me and tape a large paper plate to the handle a
few inches away from the roller. Worked pretty well actually and also
tape a paper plate to the bottom of your paint can that way you never
have to worry about where you put it down.
Thats me- take the cheap way out!

Hi Shellie,

Thanks for this fabulous idea!!!!! I will be forever in your debt! I finished painting the ceiling after work and had to answer the door for the gas/water person. He burst out laughing and said to me,"painting a popcorn ceiling are you?" Embarassed I had more of the stuff all over my face!

My entire house has this type of ceiling so having this info will save me numerous scrubbings - as Kilz is oil based and doesn't come off with just soap and water. Thanks again for the info!

no problem - I have a head full of almost totally useless information- glad
someone could use it! I spent a summer with paint in my hair from
painting at the family cottage - and only noticed it because someone
else pointed it out long after the job was done. What does that say
about my family?!
Pain in the butt getting oil based paint out!!

Hi Shellie,

I haven't had the opportunity elsewhere so hope Guru forgives me for using this forum. I just wanted to tell you how much I really love your Avatar pic...such a precious photo!

Marianne and the boys
How sweet of you! Thanks
They are great buddies.


Marianne wrote:
Hi Shellie,

I haven't had the opportunity elsewhere so hope Guru forgives me for using this forum. I just wanted to tell you how much I really love your Avatar pic...such a precious photo!

Marianne and the boys

No problem at all! Just leave a quarter in the slot!!! Laughing
A quarter? I was going to give you something far more valuable!

A piece of my mind....to make you smarter! Nyuck Nyuck

Egads I'm thinking all those paint fumes are making me say cornier jokes than usual.

I have one question, what type of paint should i use? latex or oil? which is better? ok 3 questions Very Happy


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