How to Roll on a Ceiling Popcorn

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Many homes and apartments utilize a popcorn texture for ceilings, which can hide imperfections, stains, uneven surface and painted patches. The popcorn or acoustical ceiling texture is usually applied with either a roll-on method or spray method. This effect on the ceiling can dramatically change the way a room looks, and it is relatively easy to care for. The popcorn texture is also sometimes used on walls, and a similar technique is common for garage floors.

Things You'll Need

  • Popcorn ceiling texture
  • 1/2-inch nap paint roller
  • Dropcloth or plastic
  • Paintbrush
  • Edge tool
  • Ladder
  • Cloth rags
  • Bucket
  • Sandpaper (if needed)
  • Painter's tape (if needed)
  • Plaster compound (if needed)

Lay dropcloths or plastic under the area of ceiling being painted. If you can't remove furniture or carpets from the room, cover them with plastic as well. If there are any cracks in the ceiling, patch them using plaster compound. Allow it to dry completely, then gently sand over to even the surface. Gently wash the ceiling surface to remove dust and cobwebs.

Apply painter's tape along the edge of the wall where it meets the ceiling, if desired. Otherwise, use the edge tool and paintbrush to apply the ceiling texture along the perimeter of the room. Also use the paintbrush for corners of the room, around light fixtures on the ceiling and any other hard-to-reach areas.

Apply the ceiling texture with a roller, trying to go over a single area only once with the roller, allowing the texture to stick in place. For best results, start in one corner of the room and work outward along the wall, then work back, covering the area next to that first section and so forth until the opposite wall is reached. Allow the texture to dry for a minimum of 12 hours before applying a second coat. If you choose not to apply a second coat, allow the ceiling to dry for a full 24 hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • If painting the entire room, do the ceiling texture first. Once that is dry, remove the painter's tape from the edge of the wall and use the edging tool to paint the top edges of the wall along the ceiling. Then continue with the rest of the room.

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