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How To Cover A Popcorn Ceiling

By Edited Mar 24, 2016 0 0

Does your house have the stucco ceiling? Or what is known as the popcorn ceiling? Do you want to cover a popcorn ceiling?

If you like this look, then you can give it a quick coat of paint, using a thick roller for rough surfaces, and it will look brighter, and your room is done.

But if you don't like it, and are looking to either get rid of or cover the popcorn, then there are a couple of ways to go about this.

Cover popcorn with tiles.

Before you have visions of suspended ceilings, installation, money and losing height in your room, don't fret! There are ceiling tiles on the market now, that you can glue right to the ceiling and cover the popcorn ceiling.

You will need a few tools, but not many. Try and have these ahead of time so it will make your job easier, and you will quickly cover that popcorn ceiling for good!

How to Cover a Popcorn Ceiling

 

Foam Decorative Ceiling Tile - Astana 50cm x 50cm (~20"x20")
Amazon Price: $2.50 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 24, 2016)

Ceiling tiles - You can get these from your local home improvement store, the thinner plastic style ones work well here. Don't go for a heavy tile. But you should take a day and really look at your options in the ceiling tile department. There are some newer products that actually clip together etc just for ceilings and look amazing. For this project we are using the thinner tiles that you can simply cut to size if you need to at the edges. You can get them patterned, which adds fun to your ceiling.

You can get some that look like tin ceiling tiles. These cover popcorn ceilings quite well. But really take a good look around.

Acrylic glue (get a tub of this, it is designed for gluing tiles)

Chalk line

drywall type scraper for putting the glue on the back of the tile or "buttering" the tile

Styrofoam crown molding for around the edge to finish off your ceiling. You can get these in lightweight foam that is easy to cut.

Find the center of your room and using the chalk line create a grid on the popcorn ceiling so you don't go off on an angle!

Then with your first tile butter the back with lots of glue, as the glue needs to get into the spaces of the popcorn to adhere. You can get this glue in a calking gun style, but depending on the size of your ceiling, this tub of glue might be the most economical. . You can peel it back to see if you have enough on. Once in place, then you can start your next tile, and make sure to butt the tile right up to the first one, it glues quite fast.

Do this in sections, and take a break as it can be hard on the neck, keep looking up! It is good to have a second person there to make sure you are staying straight with your chalk lines and help you with a step ladder or hand you the buttered ceiling tile. This is one of the quickest ways to cover popcorn ceilings. You don't even have to do much prep in the room, and is the least disruptive as it gets done quickly.

When you get to the edges, you can trim tiles to fit.

Now take your Styrofoam crown molding and install them at the ceiling with the glue, this will cover your last tile edges. You can get the Styrofoam crown moldings at the local home improvement store as well, and you can get them with inside or outside corners already cut for you. These look just like the wooden ones, very realistic.

After you have installed the Styrofoam crown molding, then you can take a calking gun and fill in any blank spots that are created with a slightly wobbly wall. Once complete, you can stand back and take a look at this great ceiling.

Astana Copper (20"x20" Foam) Ceiling Tile
Amazon Price: $3.60 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 24, 2016)

Other Options to Cover Popcorn Ceiling

To cover popcorn ceiling with decorative tiles is a easy way. But what if you don't want tiles? What if you really just want plain smooth drywall? Then this is a bit messier, but this is the best way to do it.

Empty the room completely, as it will get messy. Cover your floor with plastic sheeting and come up the walls to cover the outlets. You don't want water getting into them. If you can turn the power off to your outlets that would be good.

Now take plastic sheeting and cover the walls. Now you are ready.

Using a garden sprayer, like the ones you would use to spray trees or a pesticide style sprayer works well, not a high pressure sprayer.. You can use a spray bottle, but this is hard on the hands as you keep pressing the pump.

Now spray a section of about 3 feet by 3 feet with water. You don't want to be blowing the ceiling apart, so nothing with too high a pressure, but you do want to get the popcorn wet.

Wait a few minutes, and then taking a drywall scraper, start scraping the popcorn off the ceiling. It will land onto the floor. Start a new section the same way.  You will see more here on how to remove stucco.

After you have scraped all the popcorn off the ceiling, now you need to let it dry a bit, and then take a drywall sander (usually on a pole) and sand the ceiling. Fill in any spots with spackle that need filling, sand and then paint. Taking the popcorn off is the hard part, you could possibly pay to get it professionally finished by a drywall installer at this point for a perfectly smooth ceiling, and still save money as you have done the worst part of the labor.

Cover Popcorn Ceiling with New Drywall

Another way to cover popcorn ceiling, is to simply add another sheet of drywall right over top. This will depend on the height of your room, and whether you can lose some height or not. But then you will be starting with a freshly dry walled ceiling. This will need taping and sanding. You will have to allow extensions for light fixtures etc.

..or Work with it!

Before you embark on this project to cover a popcorn ceiling. Take a look at all the options. Trying to remove popcorn is a very messy job, and if this is an important room, it will have to be out of commission for the length of the project. If your popcorn ceiling is in good shape, and you are just tired of it. Or maybe it doesn't meet the walls very well, or you just want to upgrade the look. Then this is another option.

Paint the popcorn ceiling with the basic ceiling white paint. Give it two coats, this alone can make a huge difference. It is amazing just how dingy a popcorn ceiling can get. It can yellow after a while. Then invest in some Styrofoam crown molding at the top of the wall. This will add class to your ceiling, and cover up any unsightly edges where the ceiling and wall boards meet. We did this, and what a difference it made.

Sometimes to cover a popcorn ceiling might mean working with it instead!

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