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Video:Repair a Popcorn Ceiling

with Alex Nice

Popcorn ceilings have a unique texture that can be difficult to repair if they are cracked or stained. Check out this video tutorial to learn how to repair a popcorn ceiling to retain the textured style.See Transcript

Transcript:Repair a Popcorn Ceiling

Hi I’m Alex Nice, and this is, like so many ceilings nowadays, this one has a texture to it. These are commonly called popcorn ceilings. If you have an area that's stained, or chipping, or the popcorn is cracking, you may be wondering, "how the heck am I supposed to fix that?" If you try to spackle it, and just paint it, your creating a smooth patch in an otherwise textured ceiling. Today, I’m gonna show you how to fix that patch, and give your ceiling that textured look.

To Repair a Popcorn Ceiling, You'll Need:

  • painters tape
  • old newspapers
  • paint brush
  • paint stirrer
  • stain blocking primer
  • a ladder
  • five in one scraper
  • sand paper
  • safety goggles
  • baseball cap

Prep Your Area Before Repairing the Ceiling

And last but not least, your popcorn texture spray. First thing you wanna do is set up your ladder, so you take those old newspapers and set them on the floor and then set your ladder on top of them. Your gonna wanna double up on those papers, this is to catch any debris that might fall on the floor. For small jobs like this, old newspaper can be a good, cheap alternative to buying a big roll of painters plastic.

Start with putting a piece of tape, on the ceiling itself on a straight line. You wanna tape the edges of the newspaper leaving half the tap open so you have something to stick to the tape on the ceiling. This will be a messy job. You wanna drape that plastic or newspaper off the ceiling like a paper shield, boxing in any messy off-spray. Prepare the damaged area by clearing away and scraping the damaged texture and peeling paint, and what you find underneath, sand it down smooth.

Prime the Ceiling and Apply Texture

Now you are ready to prime the area you just prepped. Stir up the primer, put some on your brush, and get up there and prime it. You wanna make sure you get the edges, in particular. If you don’t prime that area, then your texture just isn’t gonna stick. Now that your primer is dry, you wanna pop open this can of spray on texture, it’ll come with a little nozzle. That’ll screw on to there. You wanna shake this stuff up for about a minute. Put on safety goggles to keep it outta your eyes, and a baseball cap to keep it outta your hair.

You wanna keep your nozzle about twelve inches away from the ceilings surface. Pull down on the nozzle all the way down, in short bursts, sweeping over the area in a steady motion. For a heavier texture, just keep applying thin coats, at least until you get it matched up to the texture you have on your ceiling. The popcorn texture should take about twenty four hours to dry. And then you can paint it whatever color you want. Now that we got your popcorn ceiling popping, you are gonna have to look around your house for other stuff to do.

For more information, go to, I’m Alex Nice, and I’ll see you next time.


Safety Note:  In this project, we have determined that the popcorn ceiling does not contain asbestos.  Popcorn and other textured ceilings may contain asbestos, a substance that may cause significant health problems.  Test your popcorn ceiling for asbestos before removal.  If asbestos is found, contact a certified asbestos abatement company for proper removal and disposal.

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