top of page
  • Writer's pictureCameron Maltby

How to Cover Popcorn Ceiling

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Some things improve with age, such as a well-aged bottle of fine wine or a well-managed investment account. Popcorn ceilings, on the other hand, are not one of them.

Once considered a stylish feature in home decor during the 1960s and 1970s, mostly used in hallways and bedrooms for acoustic absorption or elsewhere to hide any flaws in the ceiling construction. Nowadays, popcorn ceilings have become an unwelcome relic of the past, with their tendency of collecting dust and allergens, considering also an increasing number of homeowners that prefer a more finished appearance in today's setup.

No matter what new design you have in mind for your popcorn ceiling, you must make an immediate decision: to remove or cover it.

Can You Cover a Popcorn Ceiling?

Many people prefer to cover their popcorn ceilings rather than remove them. The removal process is messy and can expose you to the risk of asbestos inhalation. Full removal can also be costly since it is usually done by professionals. Therefore, it is far more convenient to cover a popcorn ceiling. You can install a variety of coverage options yourself, including wood planks, decorative ceiling tiles, skim coating, and drywall.

How to Get Rid of Your Popcorn Ceiling?

Back in the day, popcorn ceilings are popular since they are inexpensive and simple to install. If you want to get rid of one, here are some possible solutions to this problem.


Before removing your popcorn ceiling, always check for asbestos. If it was installed before 1979, the texture almost certainly contains some amount of this carcinogen. Any scraping poses a health risk. If you have modern popcorn ceilings, you can remove them yourself, but expect a big mess. Cover all surfaces with plastic drop cloths or remove the furniture entirely.

To make it easier to remove, wet the ceiling. It should soften, allowing you to scrape off the texture. As you work in small sections, you can collect the majority of the falling texture with a mud pan.

Hide or Cover

Complete removal of popcorn ceilings can be time-consuming, messy, and labor-intensive. Since professional popcorn texture removal can cost you a big buck, many homeowners choose to simply conceal it. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways below:

Skim Coat

A Skim coat is the quickest and cheapest option for covering popcorn ceilings that provides a clean, smooth surface for a fresh coat of paint. A skim coat is a thin layer of diluted joint compound applied with a brush, sprayer, or paint roller. A trowel or drywall knife is used to smooth it out evenly across the surface, and then an additional coat is applied. Suddenly, you have a flat, uniform ceiling ready for primer and your choice of paint.

Skim coating your popcorn texture is a quick and inexpensive option, but it can make quite a mess and requires delicate skill and an experienced hand to do correctly. Because no new ceiling is required, the only costs are the joint compound, some basic tools, and the labor hours of a professional.


Shiplap may be a good option if you want to give your home a modern look by replacing old popcorn ceilings. Wood planks aren't just for floors anymore; they're also being used on ceilings because they look better than popcorn texture. A shiplap ceiling is classic and can complement any interior design style. They are relatively simple to install and save homeowners from the messy process of removing popcorn ceilings.

Wood Planks

The simplest and least expensive option is to cover the popcorn ceiling texture with wood planks. Although the planks must be screwed into the joists, many people have completed this task on their own. You can easily match the style of your home by selecting from a variety of wood types. This process is adaptable to your interior design needs.

Decorative Ceiling Tiles

Ceiling tiles are available in a wide range of colors, textures, and designs, giving you the freedom to personalize your new ceiling - mock wood, stone, and prints. Installed directly on the ceiling, these tiles require less labor, are relatively easy to assemble, and are a good solution for meeting height regulations for lower ceilings. Instead of hanging on hooks or wires, they can be screwed directly into ceiling joists.

Drywall or Gypsum Board

Gypsum board and drywall are considered classic, relatively inexpensive, and attractive solutions for covering popcorn ceilings. They will provide a flat and smooth surface for a new coat of paint, as well as some space to run new electric or plumbing lines in your ceiling. It allows you to add or relocate lighting fixtures and ceiling fans in your new ceiling design. Gypsum board is lighter than drywall and is frequently used on ceilings as a result.

When finished, you will have a clean surface on which to apply the primer and paint of your choice.

Make It Happen with PB Painting Pros

Removing, covering, repainting, or otherwise updating your popcorn ceiling is a worthwhile endeavor that requires several considerations. It's time to get rid of those old, dirty, and potentially dangerous popcorn ceilings. The great news is that there are many inexpensive and appealing options for simply covering them without having to deal with a messy and costly removal.

PB Painting Pros is a well-known painting company in San Diego with an expert crew and professionals. All of our painters are skilled, knowledgeable, and eager to assist you in making the most of your home. We are capable of handling any size project and would be delighted to be a part of yours. PB Painting Pros offers superior interior painters in San Diego and exterior painters in San Diego services at an affordable price. Call us today at (360) 556-6913!

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page