Painting, Cleaning and Repairing Spray Texture Popcorn Ceilings Q&A
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What is the best way to clean an original, upainted popcorn ceiling and what type
of paint should you use to coat it? Should the ceiling be primed first?
You can carefully vacuum or lightly brush off the worst of the
dust so you don't damage the texture. Using any liquid
cleaner may cause the ceiling to smear or even lift off,
necessitating more repairs.
Regarding painting "popcorn" ceilings, the safest thing is to first coat
it with oil primer, even if you think it may have been painted in
the past. This will assure a good base for your finish paint.
An oil primer will not lift the ceiling material off (unless the
ceiling has been exposed to a leak from above) and gives a
solid, water resistant surface that can be repainted with any
latex of oil finish paint.
I prefer Kilz or one of the low odor, fast
drying oil primers... they save lots of time! Let the primer dry
for at least a few hours and then coat it with one or two coats of
a quality acrylic flat ceiling paint.
In kitchens, there is always the possibility of something
splattering on the ceiling. If you want a finish that is not very
porous and cleanable by sponging, use kitchen-bathroom paint for
your finish coat. A number of companies make them, such as
Benjamin Moore and Zinsser. These specialty paints have a
low-luster finish that is washable and mildew resistant. Two coats
are required for proper sealing. Zinsser sells their
kitchen-bathroom paint in two finishes... satin and gloss... to
suit your own aesthetic sensibility.
Spray textured ceilings are only "somewhat washable" regardless
of the paint used, since you can damage the texture with vigorous
scrubbing... as well as your sponge! To clean, spray with a
cleaner and sponge off with a daubing action. Obviously, quick
action is ideal. If anything dries, get as much off as you can and
then just touch up the ceiling with a little of your ceiling
paint. Depending on the stain, it may take a few coats or even a
dab of primer first to keep the stain hidden. Textured ceilings
touch up nicely for a few years.
What is a good way to clean cob-web's from a "popcorn" ceiling?
VA from Boulder Creek, CA
Sprayed acoustic ceilings are relatively fragile, especially if they have
never been painted over. They cannot be washed and the bits of texture have a
tendency to fall off. More than one of my clients has complained about texture
in their soup!
The absolutely best way is to vacuum the cobwebs off. Cobwebs tend to be
rather "greasy" since they catch all sorts of air-borne dust and
cooking smoke. I avoid using any sort of dusting rag or cloth because rubbing
them onto the ceiling can cause marks that are difficult to remove.
The second best choice would be to use a feather duster, but being careful to
lift the cobwebs from the ceiling. Remove the cobwebs from the feather duster
before doing any other dusting or they may leave marks elsewhere!
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Written by Jerry Alonzy
Jerry Alonzy, a.k.a. the Natural Handyman, has been an active handyman for over 30 years with experience in most areas of home repair and renovation.
As a do-it-yourself author and web developer since 1995, he has been featured in USA Today, the Today Show and on radio shows, magazines, newspapers and websites. His material appears widely on the web, but primarily on his website... The Natural Handyman. You can also find him on Google+ and Facebook.