Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings were a popular trend in the mid-20th century due to their acoustic properties, but nowadays, they can be quite an eyesore. If you have a popcorn ceiling that is damaged or needs to be updated, you might be considering repairing it yourself. In this comprehensive DIY guide, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to repair your popcorn ceiling.

What You’ll Need:

Before we dive into the step-by-step instructions, you’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A ladder
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • A scraper or putty knife
  • A drywall sanding sponge or sandpaper
  • Drywall joint compound
  • A paint roller
  • Paint primer
  • Ceiling paint
What is a popcorn ceiling

Popcorn Ceiling texture

Step 1: Preparation

The first step in repairing your popcorn ceiling is to prepare the area. Move any furniture out of the room or cover it with a tarp. Lay down a drop cloth on the floor to catch any debris that falls. Use a ladder to reach the ceiling and inspect it for any damage or loose areas.

Step 2: Wetting the Ceiling

Next, you’ll need to wet the ceiling to make it easier to remove the popcorn texture. Fill a spray bottle with water and spray a small section of the ceiling. Wait a few minutes for the water to soak in and soften the texture.

Step 3: Scraping the Ceiling

Once the popcorn texture has softened, use a scraper or putty knife to remove it from the ceiling. Be gentle and take your time, so you don’t damage the underlying drywall. You may need to repeat steps 2 and 3 until all the popcorn texture is removed.

Step 4: Sanding the Ceiling

After you’ve removed the popcorn texture, you’ll need to sand the ceiling to create a smooth surface. Use a drywall sanding sponge or sandpaper to smooth out any rough patches or bumps. Be sure to wear a mask to protect yourself from the dust.

Popcorn ceilings

Step 5: Applying Joint Compound

Once the ceiling is smooth, you’ll need to apply a thin layer of drywall joint compound to fill in any imperfections or small holes. Use a putty knife to apply the joint compound and smooth it out. Let the joint compound dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: Sanding and Priming

After the joint compound has dried, use your sanding sponge or sandpaper to smooth out any bumps or rough spots. Wipe the ceiling with a damp cloth to remove any dust. Next, apply a coat of paint primer to the ceiling. Let the primer dry completely before moving on to the final step.

Step 7: Painting the Ceiling

The final step in repairing your popcorn ceiling is to paint it. Use a paint roller to apply ceiling paint to the entire ceiling. Be sure to use a paint that is specifically designed for ceilings. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving any furniture back into the room.


Repairing your popcorn ceiling may seem like a daunting task, but with these step-by-step instructions, you can do it yourself. Remember to take your time, be gentle, and protect yourself from dust and debris. With a little bit of patience and effort, your popcorn ceiling can be transformed into a smooth, modern surface.