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How to paint popcorn ceilings

We are moving into a newer mobile home very soon and the previous owners were heavy smokers. The popcorn ceilings need to be painted badly. What is the easiest way to do a good job on this kind of ceiling? Thanks for any and all advice. Donna

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Posted 2013-03-26T11:18:12+0000  by krzylilwoman krzylilwoman

Hello Donna!


Welcome to The Community!


When originally installed, popcorn ceiling is typically a dry media mixed with water and then sprayed onto the ceiling.


When re-painting this material, too much water-based paint can re-wet the media and make it bubble and fall off the ceiling.


Your best bet is to seal these ceilings with oil-based primer and then follow with water-based paint.


You also need the oil-based primer to seal the nicotine and prevent it from bleeding back through your water-based ceiling paint.


Oil primer will not re-wet the popcorn, and can be covered with water-based paint after the primer dries (in about two hours).


Since you are painting an occupied living space, make certain to use plenty of plastic and tape to prevent secondary repairs when the primer drips or spills.


Spraying would be ideal, however a 3/4-inch nap roller cover will also do the job.


Keep the roller cover saturated and apply an even coat of primer across the entire ceiling.


You'll find that eye protection, gloves, respirator, and old clothes are among the tools you'll need for this messy job.


Expect some of your popcorn to stick to each roller cover ... so you may need several to complete this multi-room project.


The pathway to your goal on this project isn't the easiest, but once complete your ceilings should look great for years to come!



Use a fan to draw fresh air through the trailer to prevent the solvent in the oil-based primer from over-saturating your work space. If your water heater, dryer, heating system, range, etc. have pilot lights, turn off the gas and all pilot lights before beginning.

Posted 2013-03-26T14:09:08+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

also has gold sparkles.  would it be any cheaper to just have it replaced?  Poor human.

Posted 2013-11-01T03:23:15+0000  by ladygimp




Aside from cost considerations, your ceiling probably is still bare popcorn. As such, it is easily removed. Popcorn has a rather dated look to it, having been more popular in decades past. Removal would also get rid of most of that nicotine staining and smell. Once removed, you could use one of the newer  water-soluble stain killers such as KilzMax to seal the underlying drywall. Once painted, you would have a more contemporary look.


Unpainted popcorn literally just  zips off with a flexible 6 inch spackle knife.


Just some thoughts for your consideration.

Posted 2013-11-01T16:12:34+0000  by ordjen
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