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How to paint ceiling after removing popcorn?

HI there,


I'm going to be tackling what I think is a huge project for our little home here, which is to remove the popcorn ceiling.  Aside from that (which I've found posts on here on the HD forums), my question is about covering up the drywall after the popcorn removal.


First off, what is the difference between these things, and can they all be used to retexture/paint the ceiling directly on the drywall?


  • drywall compound
  • joint compound
  • textured paint

Do I need to use all of these in different steps?  Or could I just paint on some textured paint directly onto the drywall for a quick job?  If I applied drywall or joint compound to the drywall, I found out I can texture the compound afterwards.  Would I need to paint over this as a final step?  Does using either compound or just paint hold any advantages over the other (i.e. in terms of temperature insulation, sound insulation, protection from unsuspecting leaks, etc)?




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Posted 2013-08-28T19:20:36+0000  by kurisu kurisu




First, texture paint will not hide a bad drywall job.  Bad seams and dings will show through. After removing the popcorn, the ceiling should be sanded and bad seams and the dings need to be "topped off" After topping off and sanding, it is wise to prime  the ceiling before trying to roll on texture. Bare drywall will suck the moisture out of the paitn and prevent you from distrbuting the texture evenly. Even with a primed  surface, rolled  texture looks rolled on! It will not look nearly as good as a sprayed on texture. you would be much better advised to rent the texturing machine from your local Home Depot with a Rental Center.


To answer your question: drywall compound and joint compound are essentially the same thng. There is a "topping compound" which is used for the last coat or two. Topping compound spreads and sands easier that the heavier joint compound.


There are dry mix texturing compounds which are used in the spraying machines. Some painters also just thin down the drywall compound to form a sitable slurry.


How ever you end up applying the texture, the texture should then be primed and painted. Use a "drywall sealer' followed by the sheen of your choice. Most dedicated "ceiling paints" are dead flat.


Neither paint nor texture afford any protection against "temperature insulation, sound insulation or protection from unsuspected leaks". To the extent that a good paint job does restrict moisture transfer, it might help the efficiency of the insulation above by helpinp to keep it dry. Wet insulation loses its insulation value.


Hope this has helped.


Posted 2013-08-28T20:40:57+0000  by ordjen

Hi there, thanks for the response.


I guess what I need to ask is, what are the steps I need to take to get to the end product?


After removing the popcorn ceiling, do I need to trowel the entire ceiling with drywall compound?  Or do I just use a little drywall or joint compound on the seams/tapes?


I've been watching some youtube videos, and notice some people painting right over the drywall (primer first, then paint), some people applied knockdown texture directly on the drywall (what are they using?  drywall compound?  mud?  are they the same thing??), and i've seen others skim drywall mud across the entire ceiling.


Do I absolutely need to skim drywall mud across the entire ceiling?  Or could I just do either:


a) sand the ceiling lightly and just prime then paint?

b) go over the joints/seams with some drywall compound, and leave the rest as bare drywall, then prime and paint?


Also...instead of priming then painting as a 2-step process, could I just use paint with primer already in it?

Posted 2013-08-30T07:19:42+0000  by kurisu




Popcorn texture is literalyl nothing more than gypsum chaulk. The residue left after scraping will normally just sand off or might even come off with a dampened block sponge. In the process of scraping, you will probably knick the drywall a bit. Also, the seams may need a little topping off and then be sanded smooth with a drywall sanding block. As i said, texture does not hide a really bad drywall job.


After the drywall is smooth, prime the whole ceiling with drywall sealer. This will he ilight any spots that might need additional patching. If you choose a rolled on texture, it will allow you to distribute the texture more evenly as the moisture will not be sucked out of the material. Behr does have a paint and texture in one prduct which does not  need to be final coated with paint, although if you choose another color, it may be painted again.


Knock down texture is accomplished by applying a heavy sprayed on coat, letting it set for a couple minutes and then dragging a broad knife oover it to literally "knock down" the peaks.


My preference would be drywall primer followed with conventional paint or a ceiling paint." Ceiling paints" dry to a dead flat finish. Flat finishes tend to hide imperfections better, but do not provide the washability of conventional paints.


Hope this has helped

Posted 2013-08-30T17:11:06+0000  by ordjen
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