What Is Popcorn Ceiling?
What Is Popcorn Ceiling?
A popcorn ceiling is a type of textured ceiling made by applying spray-on or paint-on treatments consisting of tiny particles of vermiculite or polystyrene.
This bumpy surface provides sound-dampening qualities and comes in fine, medium, or coarse grades.
In the past, it was a popular choice for bedrooms and residential hallways due to its bright, white appearance and ability to conceal flaws.
However, due to the presence of asbestos in pre-1970s and early formulations, popcorn ceilings fell out of favor.
After the ban on asbestos in ceiling treatments, popcorn ceilings were made using paper or Styrofoam instead. Despite this, textured ceilings are still common in residential construction in the US.
What Are The Advantages Of Popcorn Ceiling?
Popcorn ceiling, also known as acoustic ceiling, is common in multi-story homes and apartments because of its strengths.
It is known to absorb sound better than other ceiling styles due to its raised bumps which increases its surface area and helps muffle sounds from above.
It also does a good job of hiding imperfections, such as drywall problems, cracks, dents and holes, because of its texture.
Installation of popcorn ceiling is easy and cost-effective as it does not require a perfectly smooth surface and the process of spraying on the texture is fast and simple.
What Does A Popcorn Ceiling Look Like?
These types of ceilings are easily recognizable with their texture resembling cottage cheese, which may vary in thickness from one ceiling to another.
Initially, the texture is usually off-white in color but can turn yellow over time due to smoke exposure.
Some homeowners opt for painting their popcorn ceiling with a bright, untinted white color if they don’t have the means to remove it, which is what we would recommend.
What Is A Popcorn Ceiling Made Of?
Popcorn ceilings can be made of various materials, and the mixture used could vary based on the year it was installed.
Some of the materials include vermiculite, polystyrene, and paper-based substances. Vermiculite with asbestos was a common ingredient before being regulated by the EPA in 1976 under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
After the ban on spray-on asbestos products by the Clean Air Act of 1978, manufacturers started using polystyrene and paper fibers for the texture.
However, some suppliers continued selling products with asbestos, which means that ceilings installed until the mid-80s may still contain it.
What Is The Process For Making A Popcorn Ceiling?
The most common way to create a popcorn ceiling is by spraying a textured material onto drywall or plasterboard.
The following materials are required: drop cloths, plastic, painters tape, primer, roller and tray, texture hopper gun and compressor, texture compound, large bucket, mixing paddle drill attachment, safety glasses, painters suit, and a test surface (e.g. cardboard, wood). A knockdown or drywall trowel (optional) is also needed.
Step 1: Prep the room by removing furniture or covering large pieces, masking the walls with tape and plastic, and covering the floor with drop cloths.
Step 2: Apply a coat of primer to the smooth and debris-free ceiling using a roller. Wait 4 hours, or as recommended by the primer product.
Step 3: Mix texture compound and water in a large bucket, following instructions, until sooth and lump-free.
Step 4: Set up the hopper gun and attach it to the compressor. Fill the hopper halfway to three-quarters full with the mixture.
Step 5: Practice spraying on a test surface to determine the desired pattern and thickness, adjusting the psi level and nozzle size as needed.
Step 6: Position the texture sprayer about 12-18 inches from the ceiling and spray in circles to avoid creating lines.
Step 7: (Optional): If aiming for a knockdown texture, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then flatten the raised bumps with a plastic knife or wide trowel.