Repainting Popcorn Ceilings

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright. Now, we’ve got Tiffany from Farmville, North Carolina who is dealing with a leaky air conditioning unit. What’s going on?

    TIFFANY: Hey, thank you for taking my call. We have an old house and it has popcorn ceilings and our air conditioning unit is in the attic. And in two rooms, we had leaks and the leaks have been fixed but they’ve left these really awful, brown water stains on the ceiling. And I’ve been told if you try to repaint popcorn ceiling, you have to get it right on the first swipe or else it’s just going to peel right off.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    TIFFANY: I was wondering if there was a solution I could spray up there that would take that away without having to repaint them.

    TOM: Yeah. You have to prime it though, first. If you don’t prime it, you’re going to find out that the stain is going to come right through the – whatever color you put over it.


    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Yeah, there’s no removing that stain. 

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: You’ve got to cover over it.

    TOM: Now, if it’s fairly concentrated – how big is the stain in terms of – is it a square foot or a couple of square feet? How big is it?

    TIFFANY: It’s really wide, in both rooms. It’s really huge.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Alright. Well, here is what I would do then. I would repaint the whole ceiling. I would get a roller – a slitted roller. There are rollers that are designed for popcorn ceilings. They’re very thick and they have slits in them.


    TOM: And the first coat that you’re going to apply is a primer. I would use an oil-based primer. It’s going to be a messy job; I’m not going to kid you about it. But that will seal in whatever is on the surface there; give you a real neutral, dry, sticky surface on which to apply the ceiling paint. Then you can apply the ceiling paint using the same type of a roller – very thick one with slits in it – and you’ll be good to go after that. You can’t just paint right over it, though, because it’ll keep coming through.

    TIFFANY: OK. Thank you very much.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 

Leave a Reply


More tips, ideas and inspiration to fuel your next home improvement, remodeling or décor project!