Ceiling revamps: Leave the popcorn to the movies
Calling all DIY enthusiasts: Those popcorn ceilings have to go. They don’t get much love from homeowners or homebuyers, and they can really bring down the overall look and feel of an otherwise attractive room.
Popcorn ceilings haven’t really represented stylish home design since disco was on the radio, though they’ve certainly lingered a little longer.
Whether you’re interested in a fresh look for your own family or updating your home before putting it on the market, upgrading from a popcorn ceiling is a great investment. As the largest uninterrupted space in any room, the ceiling gives you a golden opportunity to add interest or infuse your personality.
Mark Clement, a general contractor and blogger on MyFixItUplife, regularly advises homeowners on the best ways to create the most value and appeal in their home. “Ceilings really do make a greater impact than people realize,” he says. “The right choice can help a room soar — but you probably won’t get that effect with a popcorn ceiling.”
“New ceilings are a great update, and with today’s options, they’re incredibly easy to install yourself,” Clement says. “Stylish ceiling details really turn heads, and a new ceiling can make a dark or uninviting room feel bigger and brighter.”
But, before you grab your scraper, Clement has a few words of caution about tackling popcorn ceiling removal as a DIY project. “To remove a popcorn ceiling, you have to really be committed to the task. You can certainly do it yourself, but be forewarned that it can create a gigantic mess. You’ll want to consider all of your options carefully, from removing to simply covering it up, based on your time and budget. Patience is also a factor!”
If you know you want to make a change, but you’re not sure of the best way to move forward, here are a few key factors you need to consider when addressing your popcorn ceiling(s):
Stains: You can’t put lipstick on a pig.
Water problems, cracks and other issues that leave blemishes on your ceiling can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you have a popcorn ceiling that makes it difficult to simply paint over. Covering or removing that ceiling allows you to fix the noticeable, distracting blemishes overhead and clear the path for a stylish upgrade.
Scraping: Get ready to get messy.
Popcorn ceilings don’t get enough credit for tenacity, really. Once applied, they’re not easy to remove! At best, you’ll be soaking your ceiling with water (and possibly your walls along the way) before scraping the resulting slop off with a drywall knife. At worst, the water won’t get through all of your layers of paint, and you’ll be breaking out the heavy machinery to sand or scrape through it all, kicking up dust. It’s doable, but it’s a lengthy process and not for the faint of heart.
Cover it up: The easy way to fix ugly.
Don’t worry though — you can always cover up your popcorn ceiling by installing a new ceiling over the existing one. Manufacturers like Armstrong Ceilings have many options: wood planks, metal tiles or patterned panels. How-to videos show how easy it is to install a new ceiling in as little as a day.
To our modern eyes, popcorn ceilings definitely look a bit stale, but the good news is you’re not stuck with them. There are a number of options to freshen up your look and turn your ceilings into the fun, festive spaces that match your true style.