Types of Popcorn Ceiling Products

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Popcorn ceilings built before 1976 are often dangerous to remove due to high asbestos levels.

Popcorn ceiling products come in a range of purposes from simple patchwork to popcorn ceiling removal or coating. Also known as acoustic ceilings for their ability to muffle sounds, popcorn ceilings are made with a thick layer of textured plaster. The process of scraping this plaster off is messy and can be dangerous, since popcorn ceilings made prior to 1976 often contain asbestos. For small ceiling repairs, popcorn ceiling patches and sprays offer a simple, low-cost solution. For large repairs, ceiling tiles create a smooth finish that covers the popcorn ceiling. For a modern finish, popcorn ceiling removal products help peel away the acoustic texture to convert the ceiling into a smooth surface.


Popcorn Ceiling Patch

Like drywall plaster, popcorn ceiling patch comes in a quart container and requires no mixing. For small drywall ceiling repairs, such as water damage, staining or peeling, use a painter's brush to dab on the ceiling patch. Made with aggregates that mimic the popcorn finish, the product adheres to the surrounding popcorn texture and blends in with the rest of the ceiling.


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Popcorn Ceiling Spray

Easier to use than popcorn ceiling patch, acoustic ceiling sprays contain polymeric chips that mimic the texture of a popcorn ceiling. Select the appropriate setting on the nozzle to increase or decrease the size of the textured bumps. Spray the product directly onto the ceiling at a distance of 12 inches, overlapping the undamaged popcorn areas to blend the repair with the rest of the ceiling. Wear goggles and a protective mask and select low-odor versions of this popcorn ceiling product.


Popcorn Ceiling Tiles

Ceiling tiles adhere to the popcorn texture.

For large-scale repairs, popcorn ceiling tiles adhere to popcorn ceiling texture without the need to remove or repair it. Ideal for older ceilings that may contain asbestos, popcorn ceiling tiles come in a wide range of colors, sizes and textures, as well as a tongue and groove design to simplify installation. Using a chalk line, mark a horizontal and vertical line across the middle of the ceiling. Begin the installation of the ceiling tiles at the midpoint where the lines meet in an X. Smear a thick coat of adhesive to the back of each ceiling tile using a putty knife.


Popcorn Ceiling Removal

For easy popcorn ceiling removal, use paint instead of water to soak the acoustic texture.

To give the ceiling a smooth, modern finish, remove the popcorn ceiling layer by moistening its outer surface. In a spray bottle, mix water with liquid detergent and spray the popcorn ceiling, then scrape the moist texture with a putty knife. Alternatively, paint the popcorn ceiling with latex paint, then scrape the moist popcorn ceiling before the paint dries. Once the ceiling is bare, refinish it with drywall compound.


Painted Popcorn Ceiling Removal

To remove a popcorn ceiling that was previously painted, use a chemical paint stripper to penetrate through the dry latex and moisten the popcorn layer. Wear a mask, goggles and rubber gloves for protection as you scrape the popcorn ceiling off with a putty knife.



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