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If you want a unique design for your home, you have to think about every space in your home. This includes what wall paints to use and how the ceilings should look. Concerning contemporary home design, many people prefer to use popcorn ceilings. So, what is a popcorn ceiling?

Read on to get an answer to this question. You can also get some information on types of textured ceilings, the benefits and demerits of textured ceilings, and their historical use. This post will also consider the associated risk of asbestos exposure, how to get a popcorn ceiling removed, and how to get professional help.

What is a Popcorn Ceiling?

A popcorn ceiling is a textured ceiling finish styled to look like kennels of popcorn. These ceilings can also resemble cottage cheese and can be called acoustic ceilings, stucco ceilings, or stipple ceilings.

Originally, popcorn ceilings were used to create a sound barrier and were commonly used as ceiling finishes from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Types of textured ceilings 

The different types of textured ceilings became popular because you could use them to texture and finish your ceiling without needing plastering skills. The popcorn texture became well known for hiding imperfections a lot better than smooth ceilings. Here are some of the types of textured ceilings:

• Skip trowel texture ceilings are made by hand and with the application of coarse and joint compounds.

• You can create knockdown ceilings by scraping (knocking down) the peaks of the texture compound while it is partially dry.

• You can use orange peel ceilings to add texture to modern homes' walls and ceilings. The surface looks like an orange peel.

• Another attractive style of texture ceiling is the swirled ceiling. The ceiling patterns have overlapping half or full circles.

How to Put Up Popcorn Ceilings 

The most popular method of creating popcorn ceilings is spraying the popcorn texture onto drywall. To create the popcorn texture, you can use vermiculite, polystyrene, and cardboard or paper-based substances.

Some items to have ready include drop cloths, plastic, texture hopper gun, texture compound, large bucket, and mixing paddle drill attachment.

• First, you can prep the room by removing all furniture, masking off the walls, and covering the floor with drop cloths.

• Next, remove all debris from the ceiling and use a roller to coat the surface with primer. Allow the primer to dry up.

• Then, mix up your texture compound with water using your drill and mixing paddle. There should be no lumps.

• After that, attach the Hopper gun to the compressor. Set the compressor to 20-23 psi for a start and fill in the mixture to the hopper. You can fill it to roughly the halfway point.

• Use a test surface to get comfortable with your spraying. Remember to keep the texture sprayer around 12-18 inches from the ceiling.

Some safety tips include wearing safety goggles, a painter's suit, and opening windows.

Benefits of Popcorn Ceilings

Apart from its ability to absorb sound and thus reduce noise, popcorn ceilings were used to mask flaws in the ceiling. Compared to other ceiling styles, popcorn ceilings are pretty good at hiding imperfections, such as lousy drywalling and plastering.

Another primary purpose of popcorn ceilings is cost-effectiveness and ease. Like with other types of textured ceilings, popcorn ceiling saves you the tedium of perfectly smoothing the drywall installed on your ceiling.

With popcorn ceilings, you do not need to stress yourself with painting, sanding, or other associated home maintenance. It is possible to paint your popcorn ceiling to fit in with your home design.

Disadvantages of Popcorn Ceilings

Though you may not see it easily, popcorn ceilings can trap dust within the bumps. A smooth ceiling will be easier to clean even if it traps dust. Likewise, you may prefer to finish your kitchen and living room ceilings in a smoother skip-trowel or Orange peel texture. Such finishes offer better durability and are easier to clean.

When building or performing bathroom or kitchen renovations, remember that spaces with a high presence of moisture should have smooth ceilings rather than popcorn ceilings. Stucco ceilings may have asbestos-related health hazards.

This is a primary reason for removing popcorn ceilings from older homes. Popcorn ceilings can generate high upkeep and home maintenance costs if they have cracks or water damage.

The History of Popcorn Ceilings

Vermiculite and white asbestos were common ingredients for textured popcorn ceilings in the 1950s. Later on, polystyrene started replacing vermiculite as an ingredient.

The U.S. passed the Clean Air Act in 1978, and the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prohibited new uses of asbestos in 1989.

Thus many homeowners avoided the use of popcorn ceilings altogether. From the 1990s, post-modern designs and the fear of asbestos led to more people opting for clean lines and smooth surfaces.

Popcorn Ceilings and Asbestos Exposure

Are popcorn ceilings bad for your health? You may ask. If popcorn ceilings are left undisturbed, or they are properly sealed, you may not have any problems. However, asbestos is a primary binding agent in popcorn ceilings and has been directly associated with mesothelioma and other complications.

You may be unable to tell if a popcorn ceiling contains asbestos simply by looking. If you feel there's a chance your older properties contain asbestos, you can get them tested for exposure.

This testing for asbestos can be done in a specialized EPA-accredited laboratory. Take note that tiny amounts of asbestos can pose a severe health hazard. That is why you should get your popcorn ceiling removed if there's a risk of asbestos exposure.

Other reasons to remove popcorn ceilings

You should remove your popcorn ceiling if the test for asbestos is positive. Other reasons may include the following:

• The popcorn ceiling could suffer water damage which loosens the texture and causes it to flake and fall off.

• You may prefer a more modern look.

• Getting rid of your popcorn ceiling and upgrading it can help you increase the value of your home.

How to Get Your Popcorn Ceiling Removed

Performing popcorn ceiling removal as a DIY project can get messy and is not recommended. You may do it the traditional way using a pump sprayer and a popcorn scraper. Certainly, the process goes beyond merely spraying the ceiling with water for a softening effect and then scraping it.

You have to take caution not to gouge the ceiling. You are allowed as a homeowner to remove a popcorn ceiling that contains asbestos. However, getting an abatement contractor to do the job would be best. You can also learn from your local waste authority how to safely and legally remove and dispose of the popcorn ceiling.

How to Upgrading Your Popcorn Ceiling 

Ceiling imperfections can be easily hidden with a subtle popcorn texture. The three-dimensional texture can disguise and cover older repair jobs. Moreover, modern popcorn ceilings are asbestos-free, and you can easily apply them with a Hopper gun. You simply need to take protective measures, such as draping your walls in plastic sheeting. Likewise, you can cover the floor with a drop cloth.

It is helpful to prime the ceiling before you spray on the popcorn texture. This will give it a uniform look. Furthermore, the popcorn texture is paintable. As such, you can subsequently paint over a ceiling white texture after it dries.

Get Professional Popcorn Ceiling Services

Popcorn ceilings are still quite common in older homes and properties. However, the popcorn style still exists as a design trend today. After understanding what a popcorn ceiling is, the types of textured ceilings, the benefits, historical use, and some tips on upgrading it, you still need to consider another thing.

Whether you want to remove popcorn ceilings from your property or install it, it is always recommended to get professional help. Such professionals can help you take care of all styles, budgets, and health concerns that you may have.

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