Popcorn texture compliments certain area's.
Knockdown texture is better suited in a more modern and updated space.
When a popcorn ceiling ages, after decades of home use, or becomes stained from water damage, you have several options to freshen and update your ceiling. I, the Texture King, offer the following solutions:
- Spraying a stain blocking paint over an old popcorn texture ceiling for a nice flat, new and bright finish
- Remove the popcorn ceiling texture and prep the drywall for a paint finish
- Scrape off the old popcorn ceiling, prime the drywall and apply an updated knockdown texture finish.
The last option, to remove popcorn texture and apply a knockdown texture is the most common solution.
Sometimes the old popcorn has been so heavily painted with an oil based paint that it has bonded to the old drywall and attempting to scrape it off leaves you with an uneven and damaged drywall ceiling that is not suitable for paint or ceiling texture. I have found, depending on how the popcorn texture was applied (heavy or light), the best method to get rid of the popcorn finish is to skim coat a layer of drywall mud right over the old popcorn texture and then sand when it has dried. The result is flat ceiling ready for paint or texture finish.
Another solution is to rip the drywall off the ceiling. Put new drywall, tape and mud on resulting in a brand new and perfect drywall ceiling ready for any finish. This option has the highest price and is a last resort option.
How do I know if my popcorn texture ceiling has been oil painted, latex painted or not painted at all?
The simplest way to determine if your texture ceiling has been oil painted or not is to rub your hand over an area.
An oil painted popcorn ceiling will be as hard as a rock. Even jabbing the painted texture with a knife would not affect it.
A latex painted ceiling (water based paint) will feel firm but you will still be able to loosen and break off a little bit of popcorn texture with mild pressure from your hand or chosen tool.
A popcorn ceiling texture that has never been painted will feel almost soft to the touch. Barely any force will cause the texture to fall off.