All About The Painting Daily

All About Popcorn Ceilings and How to Remove Them

Jul 8

A popcorn ceiling is a type of batten or textured ceiling that was popular in the 1960s. The texture is created by spraying popcorn to fill spaces between wood planks, hence the name popcorn ceilings. They were popular because they could be easily painted and were inexpensive to install. However, over time popcorn ceilings have fallen out of favor. This blog post will go over why this happened and how to remove them from your home if you still have one!

Do Popcorn Ceilings Contain Asbestos?

Any projects involving an existing popcorn ceiling should be carefully weighed before tackling the task. The material of choice for popcorn ceilings was asbestos until it was banned as a health hazard in 1978. Instead of paper fiber, manufactures switched to using asbestos that year. Suppliers continued to sell existing stores of asbestos-laced material, not warning consumers or switching to a different type of material beforehand. This means that popcorn ceilings installed in the late '80s could contain asbestos, which will be dispersed into the air when disturbed. This is especially bad because microscopic fibrils can cause illness and occasionally cancer.

When it became known that some popcorn ceiling textures contain asbestos, their popularity as a home improvement choice began to decrease. This is especially true if the popcorn ceiling was sprayed with a fire retardant containing asbestos. Asbestos creates friction and can catch on clothes or hair easily which could lead to exposure!

You can test a popcorn ceiling for the presence of asbestos by scraping a small bit into a plastic bag and having it tested at an EPA-accredited lab. Due to the risks of asbestos present in every popcorn ceiling, homeowners must hire a professional company to remove them. Calling your local government authority about the removal of asbestos is the first step to determining what disposal methods are going to be safest (and most legal).

How to Patch Popcorn Ceilings

A ceiling damaged by unsightly stains or cracks can be repaired, but obtaining an exact match of the original texture and color can be challenging. If your popcorn ceiling needs a patch, you have two options to choose from: an aerosol can or a premixed container. Drywall compound used to texture new ceilings is not recommended for popcorn patching because it contains water, which can cause existing textures to come off.

How to Paint a Popcorn Ceiling

As long as your popcorn ceiling is structurally sound, painting it can be a good option. Painting popcorn ceilings helps to reduce the potential for water damage and removes stains from popcorn texture paint jobs gone wrong. Begin by brushing the popcorn ceiling with a soft-bristle brush attached to an extension pole. Apply stain-blocking ceiling primer to the top of the popcorn before staining. When dry, use a heavy nap roller or paint sprayer to apply paint. Fill all the nooks and crannies with ample supplies of paint when getting your materials.

Covering Up a Popcorn Ceiling

There are many different ways that you can cover up an existing popcorn ceiling without having to completely remove it. Here are some options:

  1. Installing a more aesthetically pleasing surface can hide the popcorn ceiling, such as rigid foam ceiling tiles, drywall panels, or wood planking.
  2. Adhesive-backed decorative foam ceiling panels can be installed either with adhesive or by attaching the panel to wood.
  3. When a ceiling is more than 8 feet from the ground, you may want to install a drop ceiling. A drop ceiling is made up of a metal grid that holds individual panels just below the existing ceiling.

How to Safely Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

There are many conventional ways to remove popcorn ceilings, but before you start any project it is important for safety and the longevity of your home that you use a respirator mask.

A few common methods of popcorn ceiling removal include: adhesive remover or drywall mud; cutting through the popcorn with an electric knife or abrasive blade; using heat.

Removing a popcorn ceiling is not necessarily difficult but the process can be messy and time-consuming. After spraying the ceiling with water, it’s safe to scrape away all of the old popcorn texture using a putty knife.

If the popcorn ceiling has been painted over, the only way to get rid of it is with a stripping product. Removing popcorn ceilings can be a messy and tedious task, but you can find solutions to make the process easier when you go through your local home improvement store or online. These solutions, often in gel form for dripless application, can be rolled or brushed on. Once the solution has softened, use a wide trowel to scrape away both the paint and texture.

Be prepared for some dirty work. Wear a facemask, eye protection and old clothing that you can dispose of when the job is done. Applying a wet texture to prevent fibers from dispersing is required for popcorn ceilings.

To find a reliable Denver popcorn ceiling removal company, visit Harmony Painting - Denver Interior, Exterior, and Commercial Painters at their website:


Harmony Painting - Denver Interior, Exterior, and Commercial Painters

2008 S Corona St, Denver, CO 80210

(720) 571-0500