Can You Paint a Popcorn Ceiling?

If you’re wondering whether you can paint a popcorn ceiling, the answer is yes! Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have a new, fresh look in no time.

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Painting a popcorn ceiling

A popcorn ceiling, also known as a textured ceiling, is a type of ceiling that has a textured surface. It is usually made of acoustic materials such as fibreboard or styrofoam. Popcorn ceilings were very popular in the 1970s and 1980s, but they are not very popular now.

Assess the condition of the ceiling

Before you decide to paint a popcorn ceiling, you’ll first need to assess the condition of the surface. If the popcorn material is in good condition, meaning it’s not loose, cracked or damaged in any way, then you can proceed with painting. However, if the surface is in poor condition, it’s best to remove the popcorn material before painting.

Choose the right type of paint

There are different types of paint you can use to paint a popcorn ceiling, but not all are created equal. You want to use a paint that is specially formulated for textured surfaces. These paints will have a thicker consistency that will help to create an even coat on the popcorn ceiling. You also want to use a paint that is mildew resistant since popcorn ceilings can be more susceptible to mold and mildew due to the nooks and crannies in the texture.

Prepare the room

Before you start painting, you need to prep the room. This includes removing all furniture, covering the floor and any other surfaces you don’t want to get paint on, and fixing any cracks or holes in the ceiling. Once the room is prepped, you can start painting!

Paint the ceiling

Can you paint a popcorn ceiling? You certainly can. A fresh coat of paint can give your popcorn ceiling a whole new look and feel. But before you start painting, there are a few things you need to know about painting popcorn ceilings.

First, it’s important to choose the right type of paint. You’ll want to use a paint that is designed for ceilings, such as an acrylic-latex paint. This type of paint is designed to adhere well to textured surfaces and will help minimize any potential problems with peeling or chipping.

Second, you’ll need to prep the ceiling before painting. This involves removing any loose pieces of popcorn and lightly sanding the surface. This will help the paint adhere better and will also help reduce the amount of dust that gets into the air when you’re painting.

Finally, when painting a popcorn ceiling, be sure to use a long-handled roller brush. This will help you avoid getting paint on your hands and clothes. It’s also important to work in small sections so that the paint doesn’t dry before you have a chance to smooth it out.

With these tips in mind, painting your popcorn ceiling should be a breeze!

Other considerations

Before you decide whether or not to tackle this job yourself, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Do you have the proper equipment? Are you comfortable working with a ladder? Do you have any respiratory problems that could be aggravated by the dust? These are just a few things to think about before you decide to paint your popcorn ceiling.


Cost is always a consideration when taking on a home improvement project, and popcorn ceiling removal is no exception. The cost to remove a popcorn ceiling will vary depending on the size of your project, but expect to pay around $1.50 per square foot for drywall installation. Water-based painting and texturing can cost around $0.50 per square foot.

Time commitment

Although painting a popcorn ceiling is not a difficult task, it is time consuming. You can expect to spend several hours painting a small ceiling, and closer to a full day for a larger ceiling. In addition, you will need to allow time for the paint to dry completely before you can apply the next coat.


While popcorn ceiling texture can be applied to any smooth surface, it can be more difficult to apply evenly to textured surfaces. It can also be challenging to apply in tight spaces, such as corners and around obstacles.