Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

February 24, 2014

How to Hide Popcorn Ceilings

Ceilings.  Ceiling have been the bane of my existence since Hubby and I first became homeowners.  The townhouse had popcorn ceilings which were a little bashed and (kind of poorly) patched in many spots, and let's not forget the dreaded drop ceilings in the basement.  Although drop ceilings are genius, especially for finished basements, where you still want to be able to access plumbing and the other guts of a house, ours were old and cheap.  As luck would have it, the lakehouse has popcorn ceilings too!  Luckily, they are in pristine condition.  Other than soaking up twice the paint of drywall, they haven't bothered us too much.  With our white walls/white ceiling combo they aren't terribly ugly but, in the back of my mind, I can't help but wonder if de-popcorning should be on our to-do list.  

Popcorn Ceiling

When Armstrong Residential Ceilings asked me to review their new website, especially their Ceilings 101 feature, I was really curious.  Would they have a solution for popcorn ceilings?  How many different ceiling styles could there even be?  Turns out there is a whole world of truly elegant ceiling options, and dropped ceilings have come a long way.  The Ceilings Guide breaks it down, starting with the most straightforward options (drywall and drop), but also explaining the more fanciful, like coffered ceilings, shed ceilings, and tray ceilings.

Coffered Ceiling

Ceilings 101 is quite literally a crash course, helpful for anyone looking for some outside-of-the-box ideas.  Then, for serious shoppers, the website links to products to suit different styles and budgets.  If you like the idea of tray ceilings, for example, you could opt for tin ceilings with tin-look panels, which can be painted any colour.  They had me at teal.  A colourful ceiling is on my to-do list.

Teal Tin Ceiling

In regards to my popcorn problems, in the section on Ceiling Myths I learned I don't need to scrape them bare.  I could just cover up my popcorn ceilings by installing a new ceiling right over them.  So clever, and seemingly easy for anyone with some DIY skills.  Hmmm, good to know!   

Wood Ceiling - Hide Popcorn

My tour around Ceiling 101 was insightful and I feel armed with a lot of knowledge.  If your ceilings are gorgeous (you lucky duck), there are still some neat things to be done with ceiling tiles.  I'm reminded of Chris and Julia's use of thrifted tin sheets to update the backsplash of their rental kitchen.  With some strong adhesive tape, they temporarily covered up some tile that just didn't do their collection of vintage treasures justice.  Armstrong's metal ceiling tiles would look just as cute.  I vote for that dreamy teal!

Use Tin Celing Tile as Backsplash
Cover a Backsplash in a Rental

This post was sponsored by Armstrong Residential Ceilings.  From the first click I thought the website, especially Ceilings 101, would be useful to anyone tackling a renovation or perhaps house-shopping (and feeling discouraged by wonky drop ceilings and crumbling popcorn ceilings).  This is a great place to start researching options (or just while away a lunch break in the before & afters section).  All thoughts, opinions, and editorial decisions are my own. 
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14 comments

  1. ha! I've had ceiling on my mind this week. We just agreed to upgrade our new build to smooth ceiling on the main floor and I'm dying to do the same to the bedrooms (too bad the builder didn't offer this upgrade). As they say, the ceiling is the 5th wall and need attention too :)

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    1. That's so exciting!! You must be so thrilled (I would be). The ceiling is the 5th wall - what a great way of putting it. I've seen so many fun stenciled and painting ceilings floating around the web - I'm always so jealous.

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  2. I've just spent the last week covering our living room ceiling with tongue and groove panelling and even though I still have a way to go - sanding the putty in all the pinholes, adding a couple of beams and painting - it looks so much better than the ugly stucco. And best of all it's easy, quick and pretty inexpensive.
    Caroline Csák. Calgary

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    1. Hi Caroline! Your living room ceiling sounds gorgeous. I'm happy to hear it's been an inexpensive project - my favorite kind!

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  3. Popcorn ceilings are the bane of my existence too... EVERY single room except the kitchen - sigh :( Thanks for the link to the ceilings 101 feature, I know what I will be reading at lunch! Our Realtor also suggested to us just installing a new ceiling over top when we bought our house but I feel like I will still KNOW the popcorn is under there... staring at me.

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    1. Luckily our kitchen and bathrooms were excluded from the popcorn bonanza. Haha, yes, I have a weird feeling about installing things over other things. I've seen people do it with flooring on other DIY blogs but I just KNOW the old flooring is there. But with ceilings, I gather scraping it off is a total nightmare. At least we kind find some solace is knowing we're not alone with our popcorn ceilings :)

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  4. I'm strongly considering tin ceilings for our basement but need to do some more research on cost etc. Husband likes the look but questions how hard they would be to install...we will see! I'll have to check out these guys.

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    1. Tin ceilings would be gorgeous!! It seems pretty straightforward on the website. Hopefully it's some help.

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  5. That teal ceiling is so gorgeous! Would love to have a living room like that

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    1. Isn't the teal stunning? I thought it was such a fresh look.

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  6. Nice! Ceilings are such a wasted opportunity in most people's people's homes! We are thinking of redoing some things in our house and ceilings might just be the perfect place to start. :D

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    1. I agree! I'm excited for you that you're in the planning stages of redoing some things. That's always such a fun time.

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  7. Our house had/has 2000 square feet of popcorn ceilings and I'm about 70% done with the grueling process of scraping and repainting them. I'm not sure I would buy another house with popcorn ceilings after this... They really HAD to go, in my book, and the rooms look so much better and brighter with smooth ceilings, but good gracious has it been a bear! There are two small bedrooms and two bathrooms left with popcorn ceilings and I've been putting off finishing the job for months now :P

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    1. I've seen you scraping them away! That looks like a beast of a project. I agree you needed to because you chose some bold wall colours that make a white popcorn ceiling "pop". My gallery white wall obsession makes them blend it a little so day-to-day I barely notice. I definitely admire your determination and motivation to do it!! They look amazing!!

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