what instead of popcorn?

musicteacherJanuary 31, 2014

My neighbor had her popcorn ceiling removed but they automatically replaced it with an orange peel texture. I don't really want any texture on my ceilings. Can this be done? What is being done in most homes now?

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We removed the popcorn in another house. They scraped it clean and touched up any imperfections and painted with something with a bit more sheen than eggshell, which was my choice. Eggshell is fine. Loved it. Ceiling would reflect the light. Looked like plaster.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 12:48AM
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Yes, but the ceilings must be totally smooth or you see the drywall seams.... Popcorn and texture are used to hide the seams without much prep to the ceiling. It takes a much more experienced taper/mudder to be able to finish the ceilings smooth enough for just paint, which is why it's not done often or at more of a cost.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 1:27AM
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Because some of the popcorn whatever in our area may have asbestos in it we just had gyprock put on top of the popcorn ceilings and then painted. It actually wasn't that expensive but it was part of a large renovation to the house. No scrapping.

What's interesting is that before we had it done I always noticed the popcorn ceilings, you couldn't miss them, now I never even notice our ceilings and never look at them. They basically no longer exist.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 1:45AM
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Yes, our painter did need to cover some seams, but did not seem a big deal, or at much extra cost, and they were beautiful.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 12:32PM
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I like perfectly smooth ceilings if possible.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 1:24PM
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blfenton, I'd love to hear more about what you did. Did you have to address light fixtures/boxes with the extra thickness? What thickness did you use? Did the material sit flat even with all that popcorn gunk underneath? We have a small amount of asbestos in our popcorn and I would like to do something similar rather than the cost of full professional removal.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 2:13PM
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We just had popcorn removal in the whole new/old house we bought. In my area you can get the popcorn removed for around $1.00 a sf if the ceiling has never been painted and there is no drywall replacement and the popcorn was put on after 1980. On or before 1980 itâÂÂs assumed that the popcorn is toxic so it will cost more. The painting and priming is extra. Within that price you have a choice of very light knockdown, medium or heavy. A smooth ceiling with no knockdown is very pricey around here and for good reason. I was the smooth ceiling finisher after husband helped son on his popcorn removal. All the seams needed extended out and on joint compound with lots of sanding. Then you prime, after that you will see some imperfections which requires more compound and sanding and primer. Smooth is much more labor intensive but beautiful. In the house I just bought I had a very very light knockdown. Once primed and painted it will be barely noticeable (but to me not as pretty as a smooth). I donâÂÂt completely understand the reason for popcorn removal and then a heavy knockdown as replacement but thatâÂÂs just me.

Edited to add, if you want a smooth ceiling in a 1970âÂÂs or eighties home depending on your construction during that time frame there are sometimes even more costs to the high price of popcorn removal and a smooth ceiling option. Sometimes much or all of the ceiling drywall has to be replaced as it can have slightly sagging sections. Sometimes thin drywall was put up there with minimal screws or just nailed up.

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Fri, Jan 31, 14 at 15:20

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 3:08PM
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Thanks for all your thoughts and experience. Can't wait to get this project started. I have heard that you should have your popcorn tested at a "county extension office" . Anybody know how to find them or other testing places?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:19AM
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Prickly - let me check my files and I'll see what info I can find. Ceilings lights were reinstalled in all the rooms without a problem but I'll see if my files have the thickness of gyprock that was used. The tappers were obviously really talented because we don't have any seams showing.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 1:38AM
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From what I was told and what I have read all popcorn material had asbestos before the start of the phase out in the late mid seventies. However, some contractors used leftover old stuff up to 1980. Around here it is assumed that anything on or before 1980 has asbestos. I can't remember the exact year one could no longer buy asbestos popcorn but I think it was 1978. So, if you do not have a testing location but your house is older than 1980 you probably have asbestos popcorn. If your house was built before 1978 you have asbestos in your popcorn.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:55AM
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Most of the houses in my area (SF North Bay) have knockdown texture. I prefer the look of smooth, but I understand why knockdown is used. I see it on the walls, but it's not noticeable on my 9-ft. and vaulted ceilings, esp. the ones that are painted the same color as my walls (flat finish, except for eggshell in the bathrooms).

My house was built in 1991, is of modest, builders-grade, and I don't see any seams anywhere.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:43AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I have never lived in a house without smooth ceilings. Seeing seams is a sign of poor workmanship whether the drywall is on the ceiling or the walls. There is no reason not to go with smooth ceilings. Good luck. :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:12PM
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Here is a link to pictures of different drywall and ceiling textures. I bookmarked it a long time ago because it is such a good site.



    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:11PM
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