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How to Fix your Popcorn Ceiling

fixing a textured ceiling

Although popcorn ceilings can be found in most homes, they are easily damaged by water leaks or humidity. These problems can cause popcorn texture to peel off, crack, or flake. You might be worried about the cost of hiring a professional, but there are many repairs that you can do by yourself.

Here’s everything you need to know about repairing a damaged popcorn ceiling.

Can You Repair or Touch Up a Popcorn Ceiling?

You can easily perform small repairs or touch-ups to popcorn ceiling damage. There are many different options available to you that vary in cost and effort needed.

It’s important to keep in mind that older popcorn ceilings contain asbestos. If your popcorn texture was installed before 1979, there is most likely some asbestos in the material.

If you suspect that your popcorn ceiling has asbestos, don’t perform any repairs yourself. Asbestos-filled popcorn ceilings are best left undisturbed. You also have the option of hiring a professional to safely remove this health hazard.

Once you notice problems with your popcorn texture, gauge the severity of the damage. Small repairs usually don’t require professional assistance. You can do small touch-ups to restore a cohesive look to your ceiling.

When it comes to large damages, it’s best to hire a professional. Any mold or asbestos needs to be removed by workers with experience in handling toxic materials. Plus, this way you can avoid the hassle of doing any repairs yourself.

How To Fix Your Popcorn Ceiling

Small damages can easily be repaired or covered by using a popcorn ceiling patch, spray, or a roller. You can find these tools at the nearest Home Depot and each requires minimal effort to use.

Using a Patch

If you’re looking for a popcorn ceiling repair method that is easy to use, you can’t go wrong with the Homax popcorn ceiling patch. With this, you can repair damaged, scraped, or stained popcorn ceiling textures in seconds.

This product comes in a 1-quart bucket, so you can easily use it for many future projects. It is also pre-mixed. You won’t have to worry about getting the right water-to-compound ratio. When you open the bucket, you’ll find a ready-to-use mixture of popcorn texture with polystyrene chips.

Features

  • Pre-mixed with polystyrene chips
  • Conceals damages including holes, scuffs, scrapes, cracks, and more
  • Cleans up with water
  • Comes in a 1-quart bucket
  • Applies in seconds

We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Cleans easily
  • Great value for its price

We Don’t Like

  • The color dries into a tan color instead of white, so it requires paint to match the rest of the ceiling.
  • Texture can be runny.
  • It might not match some popcorn ceilings that have a lot of texture.

Using Spray

If you want a quick, easy application process when fixing popcorn ceilings, texture spray might be a great option. Homax ceiling texture spray is even easier to use than popcorn ceiling patch.

This product, when used properly, provides an invisible repair to damaged popcorn ceilings. It replicates polystyrene, making it a great match to the original popcorn texture.

Popcorn ceiling texture spray comes in a small aerosol can, which is ideal for short-term projects. It makes repairing small patches of the ceiling a fast and easy process.

Features

  • Water-based
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Vertical actuator
  • Covers 8 square feet
  • Dries in 1-4 hours

We Like

  • Portable
  • Quick application
  • Better color match to the original ceiling

We Don’t Like

  • Messy application
  • Hard to control the spray radius
  • Less coverage than popcorn ceiling patch

Using a Roller

Roll-on popcorn ceiling texture can be a great way to hide imperfections or damage. Homax makes this product to efficiently match popcorn ceiling texture and make a cohesive surface that is ready to paint.

This roll-on texture is ready-to-use. After a simple application process, it dries to a white finish and provides a great match to the old texture.

The formula already contains polystyrene chips which do a great job in replicating popcorn texture. You can easily conceal cracks or other problems with this method.

Features

  • Ready-to-use with pre-mixed polystyrene chips
  • Dries in 24 hours
  • A 2-gallon pail covers 150 square feet
  • Low odor
  • Dries with a white finish

We Like

  • Paintable
  • Easily hides surface imperfections
  • Good coverage
  • Comes in a large container to use for future projects

We Don’t Like

  • You’ll need extra tools to apply this product: a stir stick, paint tray, 4-inch paintbrush, heavy nap roller, or trowel
  • Very thick texture
  • Messy application
  • May dry with a yellow tint that needs to be covered with paint.

Hiring a Contractor

Professional contractors will most likely do a better job repairing popcorn ceilings because of their experience and access to professional equipment. Although this is a more expensive option, it will save you the hassle of doing DIY repairs.

A drywall contractor frequently performs patch repairs. Popcorn ceilings often face damages from water leaks, and these professionals will know exactly how to fix any residual problems.

You can usually handle small repairs by yourself, but you’ll need to hire a contractor for larger projects. If your ceiling contains asbestos or mold growth, you can avoid serious health risks by allowing professionals to dispose of it properly.

Cost To Repair Popcorn Ceiling

Hire a Contractor

Hiring a contractor to fix popcorn ceiling damages is expensive, but it ensures that the problem is permanently repaired.

For the labor and materials, the national average cost for a popcorn ceiling patch is $339.89. This can range from $302.21 to $377.58.

If you choose to remove the entire popcorn ceiling, it will cost much more. This process is around $1,845 for the average homeowner.

Many contractors offer a free estimate, so you can know exactly how much the repair will cost. Even though it will be much cheaper to do this project yourself, paying the extra cost for professional help could be worth it.

Do It Yourself

Patching a popcorn ceiling is a simple process that can be done without a contractor. Especially if there is no mold or asbestos in the texture, doing a DIY repair is fast, easy, and inexpensive.

Any DIY method will cost less than $50. Using a patch, spray, or roll-on texture are all inexpensive methods.

The problem is that these DIY repairs will be time-consuming and will often cause a big mess. Even though doing this process yourself will save money, you will face problems without professional help.

How To Repair a Popcorn Ceiling With a Roller

Step one: Lay down a tarp on the floor underneath the damaged ceiling. Cover any other surfaces as needed.

Step two: Use a putty knife to scrape off the damaged popcorn texture.

Step three: Clean, dry, and prime the exposed drywall.

Step four: Thin the roll-on texture with water. You can skip this step, but the texture will most likely be too thick to spread evenly. We’d suggest using one pint of water for a five-gallon bucket. Use a stir stick to mix until smooth.

Step five: Apply the texture to the ceiling. You can use a heavy nap roller, a 4-inch paintbrush, or a trowel. Make sure that the thickness is no more than 1/8 inch. If you apply too much of the texture, it may crack or not blend well with the rest of the ceiling.

Step six: Let dry for 24 hours.

Step seven: Paint the entire ceiling.

How To Repair a Popcorn Ceiling With a Patch

Step one: Cover all surfaces. You can lay a drop cloth or tarp underneath the damaged area, but you might want to cover the walls and furniture as well.

Step two: Scrape off the damaged texture with a putty knife or popcorn texture scraper.

Step three: Clean the exposed drywall and apply primer.

Step four: Although the patch is pre-mixed, stir the product to make sure the popcorn material is fully incorporated with the binding material.

Step five: Use a putty knife to apply the mixture to the area.

Step six: Don’t leave any gaps between the patch and the undamaged popcorn texture. Spread the patch outward so that it is blended with the old ceiling.

Step seven: Let the patch dry overnight.

Step eight: Paint over the patch and the rest of the ceiling. Apply a couple of coats to ensure the patch is unnoticeable.

How To Repair a Popcorn Ceiling With Spray

Step one: Cover any surfaces. The walls, floor, and furniture could be accidentally sprayed if uncovered.

Step two: Use a putty knife to scrape away any damaged popcorn ceiling texture.

Step three: Clean and prime the exposed drywall.

Step four: Shake the can of ceiling spray. Hold the nozzle about 12 to 14 inches away from the ceiling.

Step five: Spray the texture onto the area. Apply short bursts until the surface is fully covered and blended into the ceiling.

Step six: Apply ceiling paint if needed.

How To Touch Up a Popcorn Ceiling

Touching up a popcorn ceiling doesn’t have to be an extensive repair. As houses age, the ceiling will go through natural wear and tear. Water leaks or humidity may cause stains or other small damages.

You can easily fix problems with your popcorn ceiling. Homax makes a variety of materials that you can use to make a ceiling look good as new.

With popcorn ceiling patch, spray, or roll-on texture, those ugly blemishes can immediately disappear.

How To Repair Popcorn Ceiling Hole

When you inevitably have to hang something from the ceiling, you’ll create a hole in the popcorn texture. This may not be noticeable, but you can quickly patch it if there is apparent damage.

Any of the methods listed above can easily fill that hole in your popcorn ceiling. Homax patch, spray, or roll-on texture are all made to conceal any damages in popcorn texture. You simply have to use some product to fill the hole and apply paint to blend the repair with the rest of the ceiling.

How To Repair a Popcorn Ceiling that has Peeled

If you live in an area with high humidity or have experienced a water leak, your popcorn ceiling might peel off. When there is extra moisture in the air, the adhesive on the texture begins to loosen.

This is another problem that is fixable at home. You’ll need to scrape off the damaged texture, apply a new texture, and cover the ceiling with paint.

Like with any other type of damage, you can use a popcorn ceiling patch, spray, or a roller to fix a peeling problem.

How To Repair Popcorn Ceiling Crack

As homes age, natural settling could cause cracks in the ceiling. These are nothing to worry about, but they don’t look great. If you’re looking to restore your popcorn ceiling to its former glory, it’s a fairly simple DIY process.

You can seal ceiling cracks with any of the aforementioned repair methods. Any loose texture needs to be scraped off, but then you are free to apply a new texture. The crack will be invisible in no time whether you use patch, spray, or roll-on texture.

How To Repair Popcorn Ceiling in Mobile Home

Many mobile homes suffer from water damage. Mobile homes were made with cheaper, more porous materials which allow water leaks to wreak havoc on their ceilings.

Mobile homes usually don’t have popcorn ceilings. Their ceilings are sheetrock, tile, or ceiling board. When your ceiling has water damage, you can visit a mobile home supply store. Here, you can get replacement ceiling panels.

Older mobile homes might have popcorn ceilings, and in this case, you can use the same repair methods as with normal homes. Any repairs can be done with a popcorn ceiling patch, repair spray, or roll-on texture.

We’d recommend removing popcorn ceilings from mobile homes. These homes often face more water damage, which does not bode well for popcorn texture.

Final Thoughts

Over the years, popcorn ceilings can need many repairs. Water leaks and humidity easily cause popcorn texture to peel, flake, or fall off. Thankfully, you can touch up a popcorn ceiling with easy-to-use and inexpensive products.

Small repairs are great DIY projects. You can find everything you need at the nearest Home Depot. Homax popcorn ceiling spray, patch, or roll-on texture covers any imperfections in popcorn ceilings.

To use these products, you won’t need professional experience. Hiring a contractor can be stress-free, but it also comes at a much higher price.

Always remember to have your ceiling checked for asbestos before performing any repairs!

Resources

How Much Does It Cost To Repair a Popcorn Ceiling? Porch

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Popcorn Ceiling? Home Guide

  • Gregory A Seely
  • Gregory A Seely

    Greg is a self taught home renovator and writer for RenoViso. His shares his experiences with Southern Living, Traditional Home and other publications.

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