How do you deal with water damaged and missing popcorn on a ceiling?

The ceiling is old, yellowed and damaged. I also have to skylights that were covered up with drop ceiling panels.

  9 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 04, 2018
  • The7902382 The7902382 on May 04, 2018
    You probably don't want to hear this but I would scrape off the popcorn and start over. The reason being I hate popcorn ceilings. Repair or replace any damage sheetrock and retexture. Also if you're not using those skylights I would have them removed and the roof repaired. I would hate to see the skylights fail and have you have to start all over again. I say this because I do many sheetrock repairs and the popcorn stuff that's available today is very difficult to match the old stuff with.

  • Janet Janet on May 04, 2018
    Check to make sure it isn't asbestos in the popcorn ceiling.
  • Elaine Elaine on May 04, 2018
    There may be a good reason the skylights were covered. Too much heat coming in the afternoon. Check to see the sun’s path at different times and seasons. Skylights can be notorious for leaking I’d the rubber seal has disintegrated, if you don’t want to lose them, go in the attic and check for leaks, usually at the lower corner but that doesn’t mean the leak started there, look at the top corners. Water runs down.

    Not a big fan of popcorn ceilings, that being said, we have them in every room. But they aren’t the spray on kind, they’re the drywall mud kind that can’t be scraped off. I’d second thecoolroof company on scraping/replacing. The skylights may be advantageous but you would need to check the gasket and make sure they are installed correctly. Old skylights are sure to fail, if not properly maintened. Ms. Janet suggested checking for asbestos which is a couple hundred dollars around me, I would assume it was asbestos, wear proper clothing, get the bags and toss it in the trash. Where I live, a homeowner is allowed to remove “small” areas of asbestos without having an abatement company come in. I really enjoy Leah at See Jane Drill.
  • Gk Gk on May 04, 2018
    If you don't want to scrape the ceilings you can buy popcorn in a spray can and tubes. is very hard to match the old and you will probably be able to see where you made the repaint. You can repaint the yellowed ceiling with ceiling paint to clean it all up. You can also have the entire ceiling retextured. Or consider some other options. I recently planked my bathroom ceiling with primed shiplap. Is there a problem with your skylights?
  • Marilyn Thomas Marilyn Thomas on May 04, 2018
    The skylights had leaked in the past. I new was recently put on and they reroofed over it. I have made an offer on this property and am anticipating lots of work.
  • Kelly Denoyer Russell Kelly Denoyer Russell on May 04, 2018
    popcorn comes in a can for touch ups. Also popcorn ceiling can be painted with a roller. Just make sure you have drop cloths.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Apr 21, 2021

    Hi Marilyn, you can use Kilz 2 to paint over the water damage. You can use the spray version, which is normally an exact color match, or brush it on. If brushing, you will most likely have to paint the entire ceiling. Use a thick nap roller for that job.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on May 27, 2021

    Hi! I would remove the old ceiling finish. It isn't hard to do, but, messy. Basically you wet the finish with water (a spray bottle works) and scrape. It's messy, so make sure anything you can't move is covered. If it dates back before the 1980's, please consider testing for lead and asbestos. Wear goggles and protective clothing. If it tests positive for biohazard, consider covering it, instead. Both are dangerous if they get into the air. Sealed, they aren't dangerous. Good luck!