What is the best way to cover a popcorn ceiling?

i am restoring a house built in 1840. It has lead many lives, maybe a few with my ancestors owing or visiting the home. I fear disturbing the present popcorn ceiling. I think wood planks or plaster would be too heavy. Has anyone used styrafoam planks or tiles? A tin ceiling might be an answer to the problem, but is that difficult to install?
q what is the best way to cover a popcorn ceiling
q what is the best way to cover a popcorn ceiling
  12 answers
  • FL FL on May 21, 2017
    if its the stain that bothers you, it can be painted with Kilz primer and /or paint and it will be gone. You can get rid of a popcorn ceiling fairly easily too but first would need to test for asbestos using a kit from any hardware store (about $10). Step by step instructions to get rid of the popcorn ceiling with illustrations can be found here: http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-a-Popcorn-Ceiling

  • I love the styro tiles, but be careful with your homeowners insurance, some will void the policy if you use them. Tin tiles are easy to install. If you are willing to make the mess, it would be worth it to scrape the ceilings, (test first), paint with a blocker like kilz and then whatever you wish. Personally an 1840 house, I love the tin tile option. You can also paint over the tin tiles too. Looks great in period homes, or at least I love the look.

  • Ret Grant Ret Grant on May 22, 2017
    See "This Old House" for ceiling clean up, popcorn removal then check for leaks. If there is damage repair it, if not you might think about using one of the new textured papers or just paint. If you treat it with a prepaper finish before putting up the paper you can pretty much peel it off later if you ever want to change it.

  • Barbara Baker Barbara Baker on May 22, 2017
    We have decided to cover it with bead board. Search "ceilings" on Pintrest for ideas and how to's. We have all the leaks fixed, but just not up to dealing with possible asbestos and the taking it down.

  • Janet Janet on May 22, 2017
    We had a popcorn ceiling in a 1960's era home. Our painter just joint compounded over the popcorn and made the ceiling smooth. It came out perfectly with no mess or dust. Easiest and least expensive solution.

  • Ms_23608691 Ms_23608691 on May 22, 2017
    Dear Janet,
    Many thanks for your input.

  • Ms_23608691 Ms_23608691 on May 22, 2017
    Many thanks, Ret. I will investigate, 'This Old House".

  • Sharon Sharon on May 22, 2017
    If you are going for a period look, you might consider bead board painted or varnished in 8 x 4' sheets. or Tin ceilings look great and they sure have lots of options including plastic ones you can paint and distress to look old. These are usually glued on with construction glue.

  • Ms_23608691 Ms_23608691 on May 22, 2017
    Many thanks, Sharon.
    I am thinking now of putting a tin ceiling from American Tin Ceilings in the foyer.
    They have a special tin tile that is designed to cover a popcorn ceiling. Their tiles are lovely. The foyer is a small area; fewer tiles are required. I can go for broke with some fancier finishes.

    I might put the bead board in the bathroom, as that suits my budget. I have seen both products in homes from the 1800s. Although I am not sure they would have been found in an 1840s Colonial style home. I am fine with an eclectic look. I like to mix a few modern pieces in furnishings, too.
    As long as I keep it simple, not too cluttered. For me, the fewer items, the better.
    Nice and clean, even makes period pieces look modern.

  • Dee Dee on May 23, 2017
    We had our popcorn ceiling covered with dry wall, textured and painted. Looks great and you can't tell it was ever there. Good luck!

  • Florent Florent on May 23, 2017
    Well, first to need to get your ceiling clean and safe back. Remove everything wich is to go off the ceiling. Really everything. Then you'll need to coat your old ceiling to have it regular and plane. Then, you can cover it with what you like.
    Use anti-saltpeter paint if it's humidity stains, but remember that important thing : your ceiling must be dry before any treatment or operation. So you'll have to discover the cause of humidity first if it's wet.

    • Ms_23608691 Ms_23608691 on May 23, 2017
      Dear Florent,
      Many thanks for the advice. I am very lucky to have an excellent helper.
      He is in agreement that the ceiling needs to be cleared of the disgusting stuff, and the source of the problem addressed. I have seen some good products that kill mold and mildew.
      I will take great care if i am to remove the popcorn. Is it "This Old House", and maybe HGTV or Pinterest have advice on that subject.
      Thanks again, Linda

  • Florent Florent on May 24, 2017
    you're welcome Linda, "bon courage"...