Can Popcorn Ceilings Be Re-Textured Over the Top?


Popcorn ceilings hit popularity nearly thirty years ago. The acoustical plaster created an ideal sound barrier in rooms. Contractors realized popcorn ceilings hid all drywall flaws and realized drywall work no longer needed to have perfect standards on ceilings. Still, homeowners quickly learned that popcorn ceilings collected dust, cobwebs and stained easily. In recent years, many homeowners have preferred a knockdown plaster finish or other forms of texture over a popcorn ceiling finish. Still, retexturing a popcorn finish is an option to refresh an existing popcorn ceiling texture.


  • Respraying popcorn texture will freshen up an existing ceiling. The new texture will be bright in color and will disguise any stains or watermarks. It also will add an additional roughness and thickness to the ceiling. Only add the same texture over popcorn texture. Knockdown or other textures that need to be troweled on will not look the same with popcorn textures.


  • Before the additional popcorn texture can be sprayed onto the ceiling, the current popcorn texture must be cleaned. The new layer of texture will not stick to the surface if dust, spiderwebs or layers of soot are present. Wash with a damp rag and sponge. If the ceiling begins to crumble or peel, it may not be adhering well to the attached drywall. Adding an additional layer of popcorn texture may not be ideal.


  • The second layer of popcorn texture may not match the current layer in color. You may need to paint the entire ceiling once the new layer of texture has dried. Paint with flat latex paint. Flat sheen paint is often used on ceilings because paint with sheen reflects light on ceilings and distracts the eye. Use a rough nap roller when painting your ceiling to ensure paint covers all areas.


  • In some instances, removing a popcorn ceiling may be your only option, which may be ideal if your current ceiling is dirty, stained or peeling. Do not remove your ceiling when living in an older home built prior to the early 1980s. The ceiling must be tested for asbestos first. Call a local asbestos company for accurate testing. If the popcorn texture is negative, wet the plaster and allow water to saturate it for about 20 minutes. Scrape with a plastic putty knife. The job is messy, but you can retexture your ceiling in the surface design of your choice.

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