Popcorn Ceilings: The Great Debate

November 25, 2020

Popcorn ceilings are a source of great debate with many homeowners. Known for their acoustic dampening and ability to cover blemishes, many homeowners find that these textured ceilings are “dated” looking and send a message that a home needs some serious updating. Regardless of where you stand on the great popcorn ceiling debate, here are some things that you should know before you start scraping or painting your ceilings. person looking at ceiling

The Origin of Popcorn Ceilings 

Popcorn ceilings, named for their thick bumpy appearance, was common when it came to homes built anywhere from the 1950s to the 1980s. They are often referred to as acoustic or cottage cheese ceilings as well as textured ceilings. 

The popcorn style effect was achieved by spraying on a mixture that looked like cottage cheese (hence the alternative name), so homeowners didn’t need to concern themselves with fixing any imperfections in advance. Moreover, these types of ceilings hide damage, leaks, cracks, and poor workmanship.

In addition to hiding these forms of blemishes, popcorn ceilings also help dampen sounds and keep ambient noises coming from above and outside to a minimum. These noise dampening qualities are especially helpful in multi-story homes and apartment buildings. den

The Pros and the Cons 

As stated above, popcorn ceilings do have some benefits including the sound dampening and ability to hide blemishes in construction and painting. Unfortunately, that is where the advantages stop. 

Many homeowners find that this type of ceiling texture looks thick and heavy. This overall appearance can make a space or home look dated and in desperate need of an update. Most homeowners today are looking for a smoother and less heavy appearance for their ceilings. In general, smooth or swirled ceilings give off a much more modern vibe to a home. 

Let’s take a minute to discuss one negative aspect of popcorn ceilings that impacts repair and upkeep. Popcorn ceilings make color matching and repairs to stains very difficult. In the case of water or structural damage, a ceiling will need to be scraped and resprayed to match the popcorn look of the rest of the ceiling. This is easier said than done. Many homeowners facing repairs need to scrape the entire ceiling and use the repairs as a time to replace an outdated popcorn ceiling rather than patch existing areas. 

The bottom line is that ceilings are a matter of taste. If you currently have popcorn ceilings and have no existing problems you may want to wait for replacement. If your ceilings, however, need painting, have blemishes that need repair, then now may be the time to consider ceiling texture changes. Talk to our paint specialists today about how to refresh your ceiling with paint and what to do about your textured ceilings. 


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