Hiding ugly features of your home

Many rooms in our house have plaster popcorn ceilings. I cannot afford to do away with them right now, so how can I 'hide' this ugly feature?
  22 answers
  • Karen Curci Karen Curci on Apr 16, 2015
    I know you said you can't afford to do away with them right now, but this is a pretty easy DIY project. I would not paint them, as this makes them almost impossible to scrape off.
  • Chris Andersen Chris Andersen on Apr 16, 2015
    Amazon sells foam celing tiles that you simply glue right over the popcorn. Just use the keywords "ceiling tiles" and be amazed at the selection!
    • Neita Young Neita Young on Apr 17, 2015
      We used those ceiling tiles, too, and they worked beautifully. We have gotten so many compliments on them. They are easy, inexpensive, and don't look like foam after installation. We did our entire house with them.
  • Cheryl acampora Cheryl acampora on Apr 16, 2015
    anybody have good ideas how to fix a cracked driveway
  • Hailey Hailey on Apr 17, 2015
    We scraped ours which were "textured" not popcorn. They had used joint compound to create a texture. We did two methods. In one we used a ceiling scraper we got at a big box store (seen on amazon also). In this method we sprayed with water, let it sink in, and scraped into the bag attached to the ceiling scraper. In another method we tried getting a cheap sanding attachment for our shop vac (amazon) and 100 grit drywall sanding sheets. This was faster and easier. If you have true popcorn you should be able to just scrape a bit and peel the rest off. Easy. If you have texture like ours try the sanding attachment.
  • Rus1058682 Rus1058682 on Apr 17, 2015
    To remove 'popcorn' or textured ceilings I have used a pump sprayer filled with warm soapy water to spray the ceiling then scraped it off . IMPORTANT!! REMEMBER TO PUT DOWN PLASTIC DROPCLOTHS AS THIS CAN GET MESSY...
  • Stefania Ackerman Stefania Ackerman on Apr 17, 2015
    Please do not scrape this unless you test for lead first as some popcorn ceilings do contain lead. Lead tests are easy and cheap to use. If no lead present, very easy to scrape but be prepared to do mud work if you do. If lead is present, you can always sheetrock over or use beadboard to cover.
  • Rus1058682 Rus1058682 on Apr 17, 2015
    I liked Hailey's idea too, as I didn't know such a tool existed.. wish I had.. LOL...
  • Melly Melly on Apr 17, 2015
    Wait. Wait until you can afford to properly remove the popcorn texture. Don't paint or put anything over it. Removal is messy yes, and you should test for lead before starting. My best advice is to wait, wait, wait. When funds allow, buy a lead test kit and look at Youtube videos for removal techniques and tips.
  • Audrey Trubshaw Audrey Trubshaw on Apr 17, 2015
    My house was built in the 60's, when I bought it I had it inspected and was told that popcorn ceiling could contain asbestos. If you disturb it, it can be a health problem. Invest in an inspection before you do anything.
  • Comet Comet on Apr 17, 2015
    Probably NOT lead unless the ceiling was done before 1977; the thing TO worry about is the possibility of asbestos. And if you WET it that is probably not a real worry if you wear a MASK and wrap the stuff well and get RID of it promptly. It is probably a SMALL amount in any case if it is even in there at all. Any lead would also probably be from old paint on TOP of the plaster itself. You can also use thin wall board (plaster board) and screw it on top of the ceiling and tape and paint. The foam tiles DO look nice and seem like less work in the long run than plaster board--one step vs many and smaller easier to handle pieces vs large unweildy pieces.
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Apr 17, 2015
    I agree with some of the above statements. Do make sure it is asbestos free before disturbing it. My house was built in 2005 and when I purchased it the first thing I wanted done was the popcorn ceiling gone. I had estimates done and boy is it expensive!! I decided to do it myself.TEST THIS IN THE CLOSET FIRST AS SOME POPCORN IS DIFFERENT AND WONT COME OFF SO EASILY. I just got a ladder, spray bottle (actually I started with a spray bottle but moved to one of those things you use to spray your yard outside which made the whole job easier) a container for the popcorn to fall in and a plastic scraper that is used for drywall. I also got several drop cloths (some of the cheap light weight plastic ones and 1 tarp to put under the ladder. I actually kept the tarp under the ladder at all times and just pulled the tarp when moving the ladder. Just don't leave any containers sitting on the ladder when moving like I did and it dumped : (. Most of it went on the tarp) but the rest went everywhere : I learned : ). Anyway just spray the ceiling (I found that warm water worked best. Let it sit for about 2 minutes and take the plastic scraper and container up to the ceiling and scrape it off so that it falls into the container.
  • Natasha Natasha on Apr 17, 2015
    The addition to our house is relatively new, say 20 years old (we didn't build addition), but I can see how some of these methods would work on it, buuuttt the original part of the house is very old (ballpark 80-100yrs old and the second floor ceilings are a plaster type of "popcorn style". I don't think it is original to the house but hard to tell.
    • See 1 previous
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Apr 29, 2015
      @ @Natasha If you are in a university town, I brought a sample in to test for lead and asbestos, over 25 years ago. They said that was a 1st for them, but for $20-ish, I had peace of mind, since I had many rooms to do.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Apr 17, 2015
    Well, I am a big fan of 'tenting' all or part of a bedroom. It is not necessarily difficult; you can have just the plainest cheap sheer fabric gathered at the top of the wall behind your bed, vanity or etc., but instead of just hanging from the 'top' on a curtain rod (or rope!), you have extra fabric sweeping across your ceiling to another rod/loop etc. (I fasten my rod with 2 screws and loop of flexible wire). A contrasting fabric colour will take the focus off your ceiling. You can further adorn with draped scarves, LED lights, etc. I am the least romantic person I know; this can appear 'stately' or channel some of that history from 'The Tudors', or if you are old enough, a 'whole earth festival' kind of feel (get out your stencils!). I promise you, with a fun or elegant tenting running across the top of your room, you'll have yourself an unusual oasis & never notice your popcorn ceiling again!
  • Hailey Hailey on Apr 18, 2015
    If the house is that old do we really know if any of these methods will work? The plaster may be made of different materials that won't work easily with a scraper. Also lead/asbestos are a possibility and, worst of all, if it really was added later you won't know if it was addedas a fashion trend or to hide some sort of problem underneath until you take it down. I would try to distract the eye from it and learn to live with it until more investigative work into materials and ceiling condition could be done. Can you have someone at least come look at it and give a quote? That way you would at least get more information and a dollar amount to save up...
  • Barbara Barbara on Apr 19, 2015
    We have popcorn ceilings in our living room and I really don't like them. Having them removed is simply too costly. We've opted for the ceiling tiles in a very subtle pattern. Keep in mind that some people texturize their ceilings so sliver cracks won't show. We did remove the popcorn from our guest bath and that was what we found, hairline cracks, so we put up the ceiling tiles in this bath and I love the result. We purchased our home in 2010 and the home inspection did do an asbestos and lead test in the guest bedroom and it is both lead and asbestos free.
  • Nancy Hiatt Nancy Hiatt on Apr 19, 2015
    It didn't take any time at all to use the pump sprayer method to scrape the popcorn off. The PROBLEM was that apparently the roof had leaked and the popcorn was impossible (for me) to remove in the places where it was patched, because it was painted. I ended up getting a handyman who scraped what he could off, then "mudded" and sanded over it to make it smooth with the rest of the ceiling. It looks nice, but was a mess. But worth it:))
  • Pat Pat on Apr 21, 2015
    I had textured ceilings and after reading about the mess it can create decided that having them covered with sheetrock was the best solution. It worked out beautifully.
  • Carrie Krumrie Carrie Krumrie on Apr 29, 2015
    Removing popcorn from the ceiling is a messy job......we chose a hot August day to remove the ceiling from my daughters condo!!!!! It was messy, but not very hard.....real bang for the buck.....purchase a small raised scofold....will really help the process!!!!
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Apr 29, 2015
    I bought a product that was new on the market then...it was a rectangular scraper (looked like a squeegee) with a bag holder that could be hooked up to an extension pole. It got dull fast, was never flush with the ceilings and the clips would pop off. To top it off, I had to pay custom charges at the door when it arrived. The best thing that worked for me was a plastic spray botle with water, a plastic drywall compound scraper and a cardboard box top (=lightweight)to catch the fall out.
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on May 30, 2015
    Has anyone mentioned metal ceiling tiles like these? Look on Google for more options. Good kluck. http://www.metalceilingexpress.com/
  • Adastra62 Adastra62 on Jan 12, 2018
    You can do this...
  • Barbara Baldwin Barbara Baldwin on Jan 12, 2018
    Don't look up. I'm serious. If you can't replace it, why torture yourself?