Many homeowners hate the dated look and feel of a popcorn ceiling. While this style used to be popular, it is becoming more commonplace to find homeowners scraping this texture right off their ceiling in favor of something a little different. Some prefer to add a different type of texture, while others prefer the look of a smooth and freshly painted ceiling.

Scraping the ceiling clean is often a major undertaking on its own, but you also need to know what to do after removing the popcorn ceiling. The surface preparation will often depend on what the finished product needs to look like, but let’s take a closer look at just how to repair your ceiling after the popcorn is removed.

Should I texture the ceiling?

You may not realize it, but the ceiling is a very important part of your home. This “fifth wall” reflects a lot of the light in your home, making your rooms appear more open when done correctly.

Unfortunately, this same attribute can make it difficult to hide imperfections in the drywall and seaming. Because imperfections tend to be highlighted in a smooth ceiling, many homeowners wonder whether they should once again texturize the ceiling.

There are a lot of different options for what to do with the ceiling after the popcorn has been removed. Even among the various textures that homeowners find appealing, you can choose from a wide variety of styles.

Many people choose to create a texture by manually manipulating the drywall compound. You can create texture by pushing drywall compound along the ceiling with a broom, stamping it with a potato masher, or swirling it with a sponge. Each of these will create a unique look on the ceiling that can help hide imperfections that result from the scraping process.

Alternatively, there are also options for spraying on a new texture. Knockdown ceilings and orange peel ceilings can both be created by spraying special formulas on the wall. Getting the hang of applying these types of textures may take you a little while, so you may want to consider hiring a professional painter who can get the job done quickly.

What to do after removing a popcorn ceiling?

While popcorn ceilings feel dated, applying one of these newer and more modern textures is a great way to update your home quickly. If you choose not to texturize your ceiling again, you will need to know what to do after removing a popcorn ceiling. This can be a long and dusty process, particularly if you have never tackled any type of drywall project before.

Once the popcorn is entirely removed, you will need to begin the process of smoothing out the drywall. Fill in any dents, dings, or gouges that were created during the scraping process. You will also need to correct any areas where there are bad seams that date back to the construction of your home. Finally, the entire ceiling will need to be sanded in order to ensure a completely smooth surface.

You may not need to follow all of these steps if you plan to reapply a new texture to the ceiling. While you should make it a priority to cover particularly bad areas on the ceiling, an in-depth repair process is most likely unnecessary unless you plan to paint a smooth surface.

How to paint after removing a popcorn ceiling?

If you are positive that the drywall is smooth and free of imperfections, you may decide to move forward with painting it. Remember that finishing the ceiling after popcorn removal will be of the utmost importance with this method. You may have to fill gouges, tape the seams, and sand the ceiling to create the ideal surface for a new coat of paint.

Painting your ceiling should be done in a two-step process. You will want to use a primer before rolling on a final coat of paint. This will help to give you a much more polished look than simply rolling on a final coat of paint alone.

Choose a color that will complement the rest of the walls in your home. Avoid dark colors in small rooms that lack natural lighting. Many people prefer to use lighter shades to help make their rooms feel larger and more open.

Selecting a paint color that is close to the color of your walls can make your room feel slightly larger. The paint color you choose will play a dramatic role in how your home looks and feels, so be sure to consider it carefully before beginning.

Consider professional help

Keep in mind that scraping the popcorn texture off your ceiling may be simple enough, but repairing the drywall beneath is a significant undertaking. Consider enlisting the help of a professional to thoroughly smooth out and repair the ceiling before painting or applying a new texture.

With a little bit of dedication, you may be able to do it on your own, but it is a slow process to make your ceiling smooth again. Take the time to evaluate what style of ceiling you would prefer and how much time you have to dedicate to this project before you begin.

Thomas Luttrell

Specializing in building and renovating homes, Thomas Luttrell has worked in homebuilding since 2002. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English from Iowa University.
Thomas Luttrell

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