Popcorn Ceiling Makeover- Low Budget, Big Impact

2 Materials
2 Days

Our new house came complete with popcorn ceilings in every room. We were looking for an inexpensive way to update the ceilings. When we removed the soffits from the cabinets, it left big holes in the ceiling. It would have been very expensive to patch the holes, scrape the popcorn, skim coat and paint the ceiling. The solution? We found these glue up styrofoam tiles .They glued right up, were easy to cut with an exacto knife and added architectural interest to the ceiling. The product cost us around $400 for the kitchen. We get a ton of compliments. You can read more details of our kitchen makeover on our blog.

popcorn ceiling makeover low budget big impact, home decor, home maintenance repairs, painting, tiling

Ceiling tiles after installation-Affiliate link: We get paid a very small commission if you make a purchase but it never costs you a penny extra. BUY THEM HERE

popcorn ceiling makeover low budget big impact, home decor, home maintenance repairs, painting, tiling

After Kitchen Makeover with glue up ceiling tiles

popcorn ceiling makeover low budget big impact, home decor, home maintenance repairs, painting, tiling

Kitchen before we removed the soffits.

popcorn ceiling makeover low budget big impact, home decor, home maintenance repairs, painting, tiling

Kitchen after we removed the soffits with a big hole in the ceiling.

popcorn ceiling makeover low budget big impact, home decor, home maintenance repairs, painting, tiling

Installing the right on top of the popcorn ceiling.

popcorn ceiling makeover low budget big impact, home decor, home maintenance repairs, painting, tiling

After the kitchen makeover.

popcorn ceiling makeover low budget big impact, home decor, home maintenance repairs, painting, tiling

Another photo of the completed ceiling.

Resources for this project:

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Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

77 questions
  • Gladys
    on Dec 11, 2015

    How much repair has needed to be done over the years? Seems like some tiles might come loose. Thanks.

    • @Gladys It's been up for 4 years with no problems or touch ups.

    • Gladys
      on Dec 13, 2015

      @Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes Wonderful!

    • Norma
      on Mar 26, 2016

      Did this same repair on our big living room/kitchen, after less than two years we have had almost all the ceiling come loose and had to be redone. Now facing about 20 loose tiles to be repaired again. They came loose just lately. We have scraped all the popcorn off where it was redone. Apparently we missed a few spots in our repairs. Very disgusted . We've probably put $1000 in this ceiling. And Yes we did use plenty of glue. Henry's accoustal tile glue.

  • Kyla
    on Feb 11, 2016

    What glue/adhesive did you use on the tiles? Any caulking between the tiles? Thanks!

  • Susan Brandt
    on Mar 1, 2016

    curious, what is thw dimensions of the peninsula?

  • Kimberley Hosmer
    on Mar 26, 2016

    Do these tiles reduce the transfer of sound? How much do they cost? How hard are they to cut to size around corners, etc.?

  • Tso5166288
    on Mar 27, 2016

    Are Styrofoam ceiling tiles safe to use in the kitchen? Styrofoam is flammable and gives off noxious vapors in a fire. They are pretty, inexpensive, and easy to install, but won't they kill you in a fire?

    • Jack
      on Apr 7, 2016

      Styrofoam is non biodegradable. Lasts for centuries in landfills. Don't use it.

    • Allen B
      on Apr 13, 2016

      Modern Styrofoam tiles are not flammable.

    • Pam Crouch
      on May 2, 2016

      I'm not putting them in a landfill. I'm putting them on the ceiling. And besides, this way they are spread out thin. Love 'em

    • Jessica Hughes
      on May 4, 2016

      Haha exactly!! Lol

    • Alison
      on May 6, 2016

      Styrofoam tiles don't burst into flames they melt and drip hot plastic on anyone who has the misfortune of being trapped by a fire. I have unfortunately had to nurse burn victims of these incidents . That is why they are banned in the UK . Sorry you have done such a beautiful job, but you may want to think of the potential risk to you and your family .

    • Sonia Morrow
      on May 7, 2016

      Well explained Alison. That's the reason we have them BANNED here.

  • Gail
    on May 2, 2016

    Where can I purchase the beautiful hanging lights over the island

  • Charlotte
    on May 4, 2016

    Ceiling popcorn often includes asbestos. With these tiles contain asbestos ? Can this be used instead of the expensive removal process?

    • Karen FitzGerald
      on Dec 6, 2017

      Yes! In fact that is a prime reason to cover popcorn ceilings with tiles or other products, as the removal process can release asbestos fibers into the air -- a major health hazard.
  • Maryann
    on May 6, 2016

    Did you have to scrape any of the popcorn for leveling? It looks fabulous.

    • Damaris
      on May 7, 2016

      @Maryann usually you do not need to scrape any popcorn off unless it is unstable and it falling apart to touch. For leveling purposes its not needed.

  • Jo
    on May 6, 2016

    Glue ceiling tiles. What about use on a vaulted ceiling?

  • Sharon Stone
    on May 9, 2016

    Where did you get the styrofoam tiles? Also could they be painted or treated with something to use as a backsplash? I have always loved the ones they sell for that made from plastic or whatever but they want so much for them.

  • Jeb3750391
    on May 19, 2016

    Styrofoam ceiling tiles Here in UK we are removing these from our ceilings as they are a Huge fire risk. They burn like mad and drip melted foam giving off fumes. Not worth the risk specially in a kitchen.

    • Jean Smallshaw
      on Jul 5, 2016

      I agree. These tiles are huge fire-risk anywhere in the house. Not worth the danger of hot dripping plastic in a fire.

  • Victoria Hill Taylor
    on May 19, 2016

    I have read they can be tough to install because the edges don't match, you have gaps, etc. Did you encounter this?

  • Two7699385
    on Jun 22, 2016

    I am wanting to do this in my bathroom...any suggestions? Moisture etc?

  • Cindy Kuster
    on Jun 27, 2016

    What color did you paint the cabinets or did you replace - this looks awesome

  • Linda
    on Jul 5, 2016

    Since the popcorn surface is not level, were there any problems with the tiles not sitting level over that?

    • Suzieakers07
      on Jul 20, 2016

      I wondered the same thing.

    • Diane Kinnaird
      on Aug 27, 2016

      You can scrape them off.

    • Linda
      on Aug 27, 2016

      The whole point of putting up the tiles was to avoid scraping off the popcorn.

    • Beckie Carder
      on Oct 30, 2016

      I think the point of putting up the tiles was to conceal the rest of the ceiling Reno. This is an awesome solution to that problem. You can easily use a board attached to a mophandle to dislodge the popcorn. They also have a machine that will suck it up as it dislodges. I was looking for a solution to my own popcorn ceiling. The fact that you have more soundproofing Ina noisy part of any household is a bonus. I would love to know what colors you used on your cabinets, if you don't mind sharing. Great job!

  • Dennis
    on Jul 14, 2016

    Did you consider the fire safety of this installation? Many jurisdictions and insurance companies would not allow it. Foam burns with a thick black smoke and quickly ignites. I am sorry to ruin your creative solution but I don't think that it was a good idea.

    • Karen Williams
      on Jul 17, 2016

      This a lovely re-do. Other options for ceiling tiles -- metal ones, natural or painted, they come in sheets or individual tiles, can also be used for back- splashes. A friend did this with a B&B remodel & it looks great. She actually got a discount from the insurance company!

    • Diane Kinnaird
      on Aug 27, 2016

      The tin would cost a fortune!! They do have faux tin made from plastic. Those are about 2 bucks for a small sheet. Still a fortune. Can't remember the size. I have wanted to do mine that way, just can't afford it. Do you know where to get the tin or faux tin at a better price?

    • Kimberly Cox
      on Aug 27, 2016

      Some European countries are outlawing these tiles because of what has happened in kitchen fires. Love them, too, but not worth the risk.

    • Dennis
      on Aug 27, 2016

      Did you try Lowes or Home Depot? I'm from Canada so my sources are different. On second thought have you tried google? The question?

  • K
    on Aug 23, 2016

    What is name of ceiling tile I don't see it at Amazon.

  • Jeanne Simpson
    on Aug 27, 2016

    I love the look, wish I'd seen this before having the popcorn removed from our "new" house! Our new cabinets will be in similar colors. I love the pendant lights over your peninsula. Where did you get them?

  • Ruth Wyant
    on Aug 27, 2016

    In my home we have not only popcorn ceilings but we have popcorn walls. I hate it, and if you rub up against it you're probably skin your arm . My husband has done this so many times. We've kept a lot of big bandages for the boo-boos. We rent this house so we really can't do anything about it. But why would anyone put it on the wall

  • Lizzy L
    on Aug 27, 2016

    Great idea! Did you get them up with glue only?

  • Macdonaldjm
    on Aug 27, 2016

    No question. just wanted to say I love love love how you updated your cabinets. Did you do them yourself or have them done?

  • Bee7158481
    on Aug 27, 2016

    Are you aware of a product to place on ceilings and walls which would also serve as sound proofing?

    • Dunnington
      on Aug 27, 2016

      there is a product called QUIET ROCK. it's just like wallboard but it's a cement board product. we used it on our bedroom ceiling and walls for sound proofing. you can simply install it over your existing wallboard.

    • Bee7158481
      on Aug 30, 2016

      Not aware - but now I am. I so appreciate your information!!!! Thank you!

  • Vad2336193
    on Aug 27, 2016

    It looks Beautiful! Where did you get the beautiful hanging lights please?

    • Ver3137299
      on Aug 28, 2016

      I know that answer! I have one in grey in my dining room. I got it from West Elm. Lovely makeover!

  • Chey
    on Aug 27, 2016

    Wow! An amazing transformation! Can you tell me the approximate dimension of the total area - kitchen and dining room? I love the ceiling panels you put in and would consider them for my space - open kitchen & dining. Great job! That beautiful lighting is like the icing on a cake. Beautiful color scheme.

  • Patricia
    on Aug 27, 2016

    What kind of glue did you use?

  • Dsouthern
    on Aug 27, 2016

    What did you use to apply paint to the tiles?

  • Juliette Blinco
    on Aug 27, 2016

    where did you get the tiles

  • Gnt9252566
    on Aug 28, 2016

    I love the way you did your cabinets. How did you paint them? Did you put a wash or stain and wipe it of afterwards? What colors did you use?

  • Dpr10388801
    on Aug 28, 2016

    can the styroformtiles be put in a small bathroom ceiling, which has a shower? I have part of the ceiling without popcorn and the other part with a covered plastic lighting.

  • Gerrie
    on Aug 28, 2016

    My popcorn ceiling is starting to crumble and flake off the ceiling ( I hate popcorn ceilings), can I still put the tiles up, I keep thinking if the popcorn ceiling is crumbling and falling, the new ceiling tiles will come down or loosen because the popcorn ceiling is crumpling above it. Open to any suggestions about to add or not add the ceiling tiles to my crumbling popcorn ceiling.

    • Lll8273720
      on Aug 29, 2016

      It would be best to remove the popcorn ceiling. It's a simple BUT MESSY task.

  • Lisa rossi
    on Aug 29, 2016

    Will this product glue well to plaster ceilings?

  • Deb
    on Aug 29, 2016

    Your kitchen is stunning!!! I clicked on the link for those tiles, but is shows a different style that's not as attractive as yours. Did you purchase yours through Amazon, or perhaps a local home improvement store?

  • Bsw10139155
    on Sep 3, 2016

    First love love the makeover. My husband is asking is this fireproof ???

  • Sha
    on Sep 24, 2016

    What did you glue it with and will they pop off after a period of time?

  • Rebecca Crawford Burk
    on Oct 17, 2016

    Did you have to scrape or prep the ceiling at all, or just glue right on top of the popcorn as is... Seems like it would be difficult to get the tiles to lay flat without a semi flat surface to adhere to. I am VERY interested! Our whole house has that popcorn mess, but I've hesitated to do anything due to the cost and labor involved. Yours looks amazing!

    • Terri
      on Oct 25, 2016

      I have this on a popcorn ceiling in my kitchen, and they routinely pop off. It's kind of a pain to drag out a ladder and re-glue, but it sure is an improvement!

  • Aim12690816
    on Oct 25, 2016

    How strong are the tiles? Are they prone to dents and flaking? Did you paint yours?

  • Aim12690816
    on Oct 25, 2016

    What type of paint did you use on your cabinets please? I love how yours turned out.

  • Sedz
    on Oct 25, 2016

    I have actually done this in my kitchen...it really was easy, especially since they can be put up over the popcorn! My question is, what did you do about the popcorn ceiling in other rooms of the house?

    • Sarah Ridgley Jacobson
      on Nov 5, 2016

      There are several videos on Youtube about scraping popcorn ceilings by spraying them with water. You should be prepared to have patch and paint. It will be messy but fairly inexpensive. Worst case you would update if with another texture if the ceilings were in bad shape.

    • Karen FitzGerald
      on Dec 6, 2017

      Have the popcorn tested by a lab for asbestos before you consider scraping it off. Scraping can release the hazardous asbestos fibers into the air. Better to cover it with something like these tiles or wood planks or beadboard.
  • Dagmar Kugler
    on Oct 25, 2016

    What about if your ceiling has cracks in it? Do you need to take it down or can you recommend a good long lasting fix that would keep the new ceiling up for a while? You

    • Vicki Bushert
      on Jan 3, 2017

      We had this problem and it was a specific beam in the attic that when walked upon (such as to add electrical using attic) it would crack more and more. Our fix, take a battery operated stud finder, more off when the beams were all along the crack and about 5 inches from each side of crack used sheetrock screws to screw into the joist/studs. This eliminated the continued cracking. When using the screws, screw in the head of screw about 1/8" into the ceiling sheetrock. The we just used white toothpaste such as colgate (or you can get white spackle) to dab into hoes and along the crack and paint over using upshot paint. Upshot is made by Kilz and is specifically made for matching older ceilings and covering sstains etc. and is made to shoot up towards a ceiling. With little to no overspray.

    • Vicki Bushert
      on Jan 3, 2017

      not "more off" but Mark off

  • Bbetheonly
    on Oct 25, 2016

    What did the new ceiling cost?

  • Karen
    on Dec 31, 2016

    Can you use these for a backsplash without removing existing backsplash tiles?

  • Debi Sewall
    on Jan 4, 2017

    Did you have to remove the moulding or could you butt right up to it?

  • Judy Sullivan
    on Feb 9, 2017

    Do they need to be painted or do you leave them as is? Also, do you have to put a protective coating of any sort on them?

  • Sharon Mccain
    on Feb 24, 2017

    Can they be painted?

  • Betsy Mausehardt Land
    on Mar 3, 2017

    What is the brand of ceiling tiles you used?

  • Linda lisk
    on Apr 22, 2017

    Love the make over ! What color paint and brand did you use for the cabinets or did you purchase new ones ?
  • Red20172717
    on Apr 22, 2017

    What paint did you use for the cabinets? Also, where did you purchase the cabinet handles? Many thanks!
  • Ange Sant
    on Apr 23, 2017

    Are the tiles fireproof? We had these tiles in the UK back in the 70s / 80s, but they melted in housefires, causing horrendous burns. Just wondering if they'd been updated?
  • Michelle
    on Apr 29, 2017

    I clicked on your link to find these tiles and it took me to Amazon, but I did not see this particular tile design. Who manufactures this particular design? What is it called, if it has a name or number. Thank you. Michelle
  • Cjb21965724
    on Apr 29, 2017

    Is a popcorn ceiling something sprayed on or is it a ceiling that's been painted with a textured paint? Could there be asbestos in either?
    • Janet Martin Wade
      on May 5, 2017

      It is sprayed on with a texture type sprayer. Paint can be added to make the finish more durable.
    • Suzanne keller
      on May 13, 2017

      In 1979 asbestos containing ceiling material was banned but manufacturers were allowed to use up existing stocks so it shows up in house built well into the 1980's -- so proceed with care and get it tested if the house was built before the 1990's
    • Karen FitzGerald
      on Dec 6, 2017

      Our whole house has popcorn ceilings. I didn't worry about them until my daughter got a bunk bed in her room, and started knocking off bits of the popcorn texture. So, I sent a sample to a lab, and indeed it contains asbestos. Removing asbestos containing popcorn is too hazardous, so I am looking into a solution like this one to cover it up. House was built in 1977.
  • Susan Wodarski
    on Apr 30, 2017

    What color did you paint your cabinets? and did you do it yourself.

    Thanks, Sue
    • The cabinets are a custom mix of 50% Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Pure White and French Linen with a custom mixed glaze. We own a cabinet painting company and yes, we painted them.
  • Judy Lesieur
    on May 1, 2017

    What kind of clue do u use to put tiles up and will it stay
    • Artemis
      on May 23, 2017

      'Popcorn' is very loose on the ceiling and comes off easily so I'd be concerned about long term adhesion. Please let us know what glue you used, especially if I can avoid scraping the ceiling. It would be a lot less labor intensive and less messy. I love the look.
  • Jane smith
    on May 14, 2017

    What color is the bar/ island.?
  • Per28202423
    on Jul 22, 2017

    how much total cost-my kitchen looks like yours?
  • Judy Porter
    on Jul 25, 2017

    Where do l order these?
    • Raukon
      on Sep 3, 2017

      The link to this provided for by the contributor was from Home Depot and is no longer available, However, there are other ceiling tiles at Home Depot that are similar. I would suggest that you do a Google search for ceiling tiles. Check your home-improvement box stores' websites as well Or talk to the experts at one of the stores for more info. when researching for this type of tile, be sure to read reviews as quality of these items vary And usually have to be ordered online so you get them sight unseen.

  • Lin725234
    on Sep 3, 2017

    What do you do to cover up the edge of a ceiling (not abutting to a wall)?
    We have a cathedral ceiling so at one point the ceiling ends to a half wall .
  • Kathryn May Chapman
    on Sep 3, 2017

    Do you have to paint the tiles? Did you paint yours?
  • Georgie
    on Sep 4, 2017

    can I use that ceiling tile in other rooms?
    • 16999903
      on Feb 7, 2018

      The answer should be yes to this. I've seen others use a similar product in other areas. This would be a question for the manufacturer, but it should be fine in wet areas like bathroom ceilings.
  • Susan Wodarski
    on Sep 12, 2017

    Can the paint color for the cabinets be duplicated at Sherwin Williams?

    Thanks, Sue
    • 16999903
      on Feb 7, 2018

      I can answer this. Sherwin Williams, or any paint supplier can duplicate any color. I had a night stand that was in great condition, except for the top where glasses had been placed and the paint peeled. I took the drawer out and had them scan the color of the paint right off the face of the drawer. I chose an eggshell finish, and it was a perfect match. If you can carry anything to have the color scanned, it should be successful anywhere. I would have taken the entire night stand if I needed.
  • Irene Gronewald
    on Sep 22, 2017

    what color at cabinets painted?
  • Aun29234983
    on Feb 9, 2018

    Do these ceiling tiles change the amount of "echo" in the room? I know a smooth drywall ceiling reflects sound. I assume popcorn ceilings are quieter. How do these compare?
    • Charlie Hentz
      on Jun 9, 2018

      While I cannot say for sure, I would surmise that being styrofoam they'd be more quiet. Definitely better than before, but maybe not by much. I would bet there are similarly styled acoustic tiles if not.

  • Ume-Kulsoom
    on Mar 21, 2018

    Hello, how can I learn to fix bulb on roof like u did. You did a great job. Please reply me I love and want to learn this too. Thanks

  • Barbara Comstock
    on May 25, 2018

    I have 40 year old popcorn ceilings that are more uneven and lumpy than the one in the picture. Would it have to be scraped first? Thanks.

  • Lisas Rexstar
    on Jun 9, 2018

    If I want to paint the panels, with what should I prime them to keep them from soaking up all the paint?

  • Lisas Rexstar
    on Jun 11, 2018

    What can I use to keep the styrfoam from slurping up all the paint, since I do want to put the panels in my bedroom,painted!

    • You can buy them already with paint, mine are a copper color and beautiful! These go up so fast and make a huge difference! Bought mine on Amazon!

  • MamaSita
    on Jun 19, 2018

    It looks great, what glue was used?

  • Barbara Bateman
    on Jul 3, 2018

    Did you do the ceiling before or after the recessed lighting?

  • Bert
    on Jul 13, 2018

    First looks great and love the idea but am confused on price and time frame. Says easy and two materials but then the price is $4, 000 in 4 weeks? Is that for the whole house? What's the average price for the tiles and what are the size of the tiles

  • Cba34021129
    on Sep 13, 2018

    What kind of paint did you use on the tiles? Also did you paint before or after they were put up?

  • Ana
    on Sep 23, 2018

    What type of glue did you use?

  • Josie Holland
    on Nov 10, 2018

    the kitchen looks awesome and i’ve popcorn ceilings and i hated them i’m gonna have try this. how hard is it to do the ceiling?

  • Toni Maxwell
    on Jan 14, 2019

    My friend has popcorn ceilings & she'd love to change them,but in living room,dining room & kitchen is vaulted with a center beam at the Apex of the ceiling that goes thru all 3 rooms. Will this work for her ceilings? If not, any ideas? Help

    • Brittany Pearson
      on Feb 18, 2019

      i’m following your post, Toni! I have a similar situation happening. - vaulted ceilings in our living room and kitchen -then the dining area is a different level. ALL POPCORN 😭

  • Terri Everett Sexton
    on Jan 27, 2019

    Can you find this ceiling tile at lowes or homedepot? And is this what it is called is eilkng tiles ?

  • Linda
    on Jan 28, 2019

    This looks beautiful and easy but I am just wondering how long has it been? How does the glue hold up to the heat in the kitchen? We are redoing our kitchen now and I like this idea but my kitchen is much smaller than yours

  • Karen
    on Feb 19, 2019

    Do the tiles have a fire rating?

  • Sharon Nelson
    on Feb 19, 2019

    are these styrofoam ceiling tiles cleanable.

  • Cheryl
    on Apr 12, 2019

    So it sticks well to the popcorn ? How did you work around light fixtures?

Join the conversation

2 of 532 comments
  • Becky
    on Feb 12, 2019

    Luckily there are no popcorn ceilings in the rental I live in and am SO glad! Finally, I see beautiful options to hide that ugly mess! I love your idea that you went with and had no idea there were so many options out there until I saw your post. Obviously there are a lot of people out there that feel the same way! I understand the initial reasons for the "sound proofing" but have felt that popcorn ceilings are hideously ugly! You did a beautiful job!

  • Roberta
    on Mar 29, 2019

    Beautiful redo on both the cabinets and the ceiling. For those concerned about the styrofoam, ‘vintage’ Style ceiling tiles also come in aluminium and a plastic type material. Might cost a little more but would also look beautiful

    Great job!!!

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