Painting with Popcorn Ceilings

Updated on July 17, 2009
D.S. asks from Kings Mountain, NC
8 answers

I need to paint, but we have those horrible popcorn ceilings. I really don't need the ceiling painted, but do need the walls. Is there a trick to painting against the popcorn and not getting any on it, while still getting a good straight coverage for the wall?

Or do I have to paint the ceiling and if so, how? Are they a mess to do and do I need a special roller/paint?

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answers from Salt Lake City on

I have several rental properties, and I am constantly having to paint one of them. I use a painters tape that is green called frog tape. It is very sticky and gives you a staight line without leaking underneath it. It should be about 2 inches wide. It is expensive about $8-$10 a roll, but well worth it. I found it at Lowes

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answers from Salt Lake City on

No you do not have to paint the ceilings. You can just take your paint brush and make a line at the top of the wall. If you want to paint the ceilings you need to buy a thicker roller to get it applied right. Hopes this helps.
I do alot of painting if you have any more questions let me know;)



answers from Denver on

My husband and I own a painting company in Superior, so you can consider this "professional" advice :)

The way we make clean lines with popcorn ceilings is to tape and caulk them. Run tape along the edge of the ceiling, then run a tight bead of caulk over the tape to seal any leaking of paint through the tape. Popcorn ceilings are tough, but you'll get a pretty good result that way.

If you'd like a quote, feel free to check out our website and give us a call.

B. and Joe



answers from Fort Collins on

I sympethize with your delima... we had the same problem when we bought our house... We ended up scraping the popcorn stuff off the ceiling. It looks MUCH better but it made a horrible gross mess when we did it. (TOTALLY WORTH IT!)
If you decide to do that you just get the ceiling wet (with a sray bottle) and use a putty scraper to scrape it off. I found that it helps to let it soak a little before scraping.
If you don't do that Use a paint brush to finnish your edges and if you get it on the ceiling then just pull the popcorn off where you got paint



answers from Denver on

Don't you love those popcorn ceilings? Ugh! I have some myself, fortunately mine are not throughout the entire house. I actually did paint mine when I painted my walls. If you end up doing this, there are special rollers covered with slits that help to get between the bumps more easily. It's still kind of a pain, but not too bad. Good luck with whatever you end up doing!



answers from Colorado Springs on

I understand that the popcorn is just a texture that can be scraped off the ceiling. That's a chore, but at least it'll be gone. If you don't want to do that right now, my way of keeping the paint where I want it is to buy a roll of wide blue masking tape and use it liberally. I'd put it around the top edge of the wall on the ceiling side (so the tape is on the ceiling) - and I'd probably do two widths' worth of tape, so that the ceiling is a little safer from my paint. Taping, too, is a chore, but a worthwhile one if you want a neat paint job. Have fun!



answers from Denver on

If you go to the Devine Colors website, it is a paint company by Gretchen somebody, she has articles that she has written to help with painting questions. One of her articles is a how to about painting popcorn ceilings. My husband has been slowly taking off the popcorn and then repainting the ceilings. It actually comes off very easily but is very messy. I don't know how old your house is but at one point they did use asbestos for the popcorn ceilings so make sure that isn't the case with yours before you mess with it. We had ours analysized just in case. If you do have asbestos they say it is often better to leave it alone or you have to do proper abatement which is very expensive. Happy painting.



answers from Boise on

In my experience renting a paint sprayer is the best. No matter how hard you try not to bump the ceiling that popcorn stuff falls down, gets in the wet paint, sticks to the brush, etc. Last time we had popcorn ceilings we just gave up and used the sprayer and it was much less of a hassle and very easy. We also found that once the ceiling had been painted that stuff fell off less.

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