So Popcorn Ceilings – Are They Really So Bad? – Crossland Team

Popcorn Ceilings – Are They Really So Bad?

Popcorn Ceiling

As I was suffering with allergies last month, praying the medicine would work, and wishing I could at least start to half-breath again, I took respite on my living room sofa and laid there for a while, like a zombie, staring at my ceiling, meditating and trying to will my sinuses into operation.

As I did so, I made an odd observation. “This is one of the nicest popcorn ceilings I’ve ever seen!”, I thought. I continued examining the ceiling, from corner to corner. Not a blemish, stain or evidence of previous repair or patchwork anywhere. No discoloration around the A/C vents. No defects at all. The popcorn ceilings in my house are, in a word, pristine. Not bad for a late-1970s ranch-style home that’s spent over half its life as a rental.

Many home owners scrape their popcorn ceilings (aka Acoustic Ceilings). If you hire someone to do it, it costs roughly $1.00 per square foot to remove and re-texture, depending on various factors such as the ceiling height, the type of paint that’s been applied to to ceilings, and whether it has asbestos (as much popcorn did up until the 1970s).

When we list homes in Austin with popcorn ceilings, and seek feedback from Realtors who show the home, we’ll often hear “the buyers didn’t like the popcorn ceilings”. Often, a listing in 1970s Austin neighborhoods will boast of the popcorn removal. In our Austin MLS right now, there are comments in listings that say (actual quotes):

… popcorn removal & paint 2007
… NO popcorn here
… ceiling popcorn removed
… owners have gone through the trouble to remove the popcorn ceilings
… NO POPCORN ceilings

People hate popcorn ceilings. But as I look at my own vintage 1978 popcorn ceilings, and how perfect they are, I wonder what all the fuss is about.

I mean, really. What’s the big deal? Sylvia and I are getting ready to install hardwood floors this summer, and I know the popcorn ceilings will drastically reduce the echo noise produced by hard surface flooring. This sound dampening provides a more pleasant acoustical experience in the home, being much easier on the ears. This, in fact, is why it is technically called an “acoustical texture”. The term “popcorn” came into use because it describes the appearance. But have you ever been in an all-tile or all-wood home where the ceilings have been scraped flat? It’s noisy and echoes badly.

So, when you’re up watching Letterman, your spouse shouts from the bedroom “turn down the TV!”, and you respond “it’s already down to number 4, and I can barely hear it”. You have your scraped ceilings and wood or tiles floors to thank for this unwelcome sound travel throughout your home. Throw rugs will help a bit, but are not nearly as effective as popcorn ceilings at dampening sound.

Some people think the popcorn ceilings have asbestos and are dangerous. Partially true. Some of the 1950s and 1960s popcorn had asbestos, but these ceilings emit no vapors or fumes that can be inhaled. As long as they are covered with paint, and you don’t disturb and breath the dust, you are not exposed to anything toxic.

I do agree that once the ceilings have had a few roof leaks, been painted, and start to look funky, the popcorn can become unattractive. But so can a flat textured ceiling that has suffered the same fate.

That all being said, Sylvia dislikes the popcorn. When we replace the flooring, she’ll probably say “shouldn’t we go ahead and scrape the popcorn while we’re doing the floors anyway?” (Project Creep) My response, “remove this perfect, pristine popcorn?! Are you crazy?! I love these ceilings!”

Please, somebody agree with me and let’s admit that this obsessive neurosis about the texture and appearance of a popcorn ceiling is nothing more than “texture snobbery”.

Posted by Steve
7 years ago

Steve is a Real Estate Blogger, UT Austin Grad, Real Estate Broker and owner of Crossland Team and Crossland Real Estate in Austin TX.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Michael @ The Stage Coach - 7 years ago

hi, Steve:
Popcorn ceilings are like black appliances or the brassy/gold door knobs. They might do their job just fine, but they certainly put a date on the house. And for some reason, the mindset is Newer = Better. I think popcorn ceilings have a bad rap for a lot of the reasons you list. They don’t stand up to moisture well, stains are difficult to hide, and homeowners try crappy “patch-in-a-can” touch ups. Are they a bad ceiling? Probably not. But what do I know? I’m from Chicago, where, when we left, they still didn’t texture walls or ceilings. Just several layers of mudd, feathered out several times on the sheet rock seams.

Debbie - 7 years ago

Hi Steve,

We have popcorn ceilings and I don’t mind them at all plus they do cut down on the noise level. My husband hates them so we are a 50/50 vote here but I do agree with you!


Julia - 7 years ago

Steve, I hate popcorn ceilings. I drool over friends’ houses that have pristine luxurious FLAT textureless ceilings. I dream, “one day!”

Yes, I could have my ceilings scraped, but that feels like wasteful spending to me. Getting the wood panels off one of my walls was a must, but I can live with popcorn!

I also had bamboo floors installed. Mmm… so pretty. (But so easily damaged! Ugh. Such a pain. But they are so pretty!) But when we did that the AC fan became so loud compared to before. We usually have to turn up/down volume on music/videos when it cycles on/off.

However, I can definitely cite a clear benefit of following your blog other than the good reading entertainment/information…

I did not realize popcorn ceilings reduced noise level!!!! Oh my!! How loud it would be with both flat ceilings and floors!

So, thank you Steve, you have taken me one step towards complete satisfaction with what I have in life. 🙂

Sara - 7 years ago

I stayed at a luxury condo on Pensacola Beach that was so new they were still working on the third tower and it had popcorn ceilings.

I just removed the popcorn from a new investment property. The previous owners had started the project so I had no choice. I saturated it with water and it dropped off easily with a drywall blade—except in the bedroom with faux clouds in enamel paint. Residue that sticks to the joints and nail patches are removed with a wet drywall sponge the next day. The nail patches need to be filled flush with drywall mud (or perhaps spackle) or they will show up as indentations–not good. I have read that popcorn ceilings were popular with builders because they disguised shoddy workmanship; but I have been pleasantly surprised with all three 70’s houses I have scraped. The popcorn didn’t hide anything but an ordinary tape job. I primed with a high solids drywall primer, rolled watered-down drywall mud with a ½ or ¾ nap (can’t remember) lambswool roller, buffed it out with a pole sander, primed, and painted. You always want to use ceiling paint because it is as flat as you can get and you want flat so imperfections don’t show up. It looks nice, flat with a very light, irregular texture—I also spray painted the vents. But I would have had better results had I carried a piece of plywood around and rolled the first roll on it to make the texture more even on the ceiling. I also sanded with a screen and probably took off too much texture in the light areas so should have used sandpaper. Or maybe it sanded too easily because I used lightweight joint compound. Anyway, I thought I’d share in case anyone has been considering tackling the job. You can also just paint after priming; if this is your plan you can lightly, very lightly sponge the joints smooth while cleaning off residue. But take off too much joint compound and the tape will show through, so be gentle or you’ll be rolling texture!

Gritsforbreakfast - 7 years ago

One problem is you can’t dust them without the “popcorn” coming off. Super annoying, particularly around any ceiling fans.

Veronica - 7 years ago

Yes they are that bad – they just look terrible.

Ghettoimp - 7 years ago

Our house (in the Barrington Oaks neighborhood, built in ’75) has popcorn throughout, except in the kitchen/bathroom where our remodeling required us to redo the ceilings. My wife really dislikes it for some reason, but removing it was a PITA and I could care less, now.

Jane - 7 years ago

I loved reading your thoughts on the popcorn ceilings I had to laugh! We just went through having all of the ceilings scraped throughout the house and I love the clean smooth look, love it! It is such a mess but so worth it. Definitely do it before the new floors go in you will love it I can guarantee it!
Next project the old worn out grey, falling apart backyard privacy fences. I am looking at the new wrought iron fences with some beautiful shrubbery!

Remodeler - 7 years ago

You mentioned asbestos in 50s and 60s houses. It’s use actually extended well into the late 70s and it’s frequently found in houses of that era. The expense of scraping the popcorn is significantly increased if it is present, assuming the contractors go the full 10 yards. Somewhere between double and triple the cost you mentioned.

Peter Tsai - 7 years ago

I had popcorn ceilings in my investment property in downtown Austin. The popcorn ceilings were painted an off white / slightly green eggshell color. Popcorn isn’t fun to paint over! Even with the thicker rollers you have to go over it at least 4-5 times to make sure you get enough paint on. Then you have the issue of the popcorn falling off while you are painting it.

I don’t think it’s that bad looking, but people care about it, so you have to do what the people want.

Reply - 7 years ago

Popcorn ceilings were only designed to hide drywall blemishes. You typically don’t see popcorn ceilings in custom built homes but more in track built homes.

Garreth Wilcock - 7 years ago

I agree with remodeller – asbestos based popcorn is often safest where it is – on the ceiling. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it (rip it off, inhale it, cough and splutter your way to the hospital)

ScorpionLeather - 7 years ago

Scraping off popcorn is the trendy thing right now, but it’s a pretty dumb trend. The echo in a house with smooth ceilings can be highly annoying. Popcorn doesn’t look bad at all, it just isn’t the hip “in thing” to do right now. Keep in mind, as soon as you finish remodeling the changes are going to be out of fashion. Maybe a year from now ceiling texture will be the next big craze in the home interior magazines.

Julie Holden - 7 years ago

Such great comments!! I’m with the “no popcorn” crowd. It’s what everyone has said and WORSE if you ask me. They hold nasty cobwebs, but rain popcorn pellets on you when you dust them. Painting them is AWFUL, but like any ceilings they yellow in time and must be repainted every so often. And yes, they are REALLY just a cheap way to hide blemishes.

And I’m going to be even more curmudgeonly and say that I don’t buy the “acoustic” argument. We scraped our vaulted LR ceiling, and we have solid-surface floors. We really do not have a problem at all with echoing & noise.

Project Creep, Shmoject Creep. Get ’em scraped when you have those floors installed. The result will be GORGEOUS. 🙂

KNIGHT - 7 years ago

I am a general contractor and have been for 30+ years. Have applied “popcorn” texture to many ceilings and have owned homes with it also. I also suffer with allergies, and the dust from the popcorn does a real number on me.The thing with the popcorn ceiling is that it deteriorates over time and decomposes into dust particles that fall all over you, your bed!!, furniture, floors, pictures, moldings, etc. The only way to fix this is to paint it with some good quality paint. The paint will effectively seal it & hold it together and you can breathe clean air for a bit. The flat textured ceilings also dry and deterirate, but as you can tell if you pass a broom across it, a lot less of the texture will fall off on each stroke than the popcorn.

malarkey - 7 years ago

good post KNIGHT. IMHO, popcorn ceilings still fall into the UGLY category. I’d love to have mine scraped.

But hey, if you are doing a full-on 70’s remodel, then leave ’em up.

anon - 7 years ago

I wonder who started this flat ceiling trend. I’m in my 30s and it’s only been in the last few years I’ve heard all this venom spewed at popcorn ceilings. If this wasn’t the trendy thing to do would people even look at your ceilings at all? I just purchased a home and my guests have pointed out to me that I have Spanish knockdown ceilings. Wow, that’s a mouthful of trendy terms to describe a flat ceiling.

I can honestly say that until my guests arrived I had only looked at the ceilings twice. The first time was my initial viewing of the home to make sure there wasn’t any structural damage or water leakage. The second was after I purchased the home while I was painting the rooms, I looked up to see if I needed to paint the ceilings as well. Were it not for my trendy guests pointing out what’s on my ceiling, I don’t think the thought would ever have occured to me. I’ve managed for 36 years with popcorn ceilings and up until a few years ago no one ever thought twice about them. Now all the sudden they are a bad word.

Remember in the 80s when everybody was making fun of the leftover 70’s shag carpet? Has anyone noticed that it’s back? It’s now apparently French and, therefore, more expensive than ever. I’m sitting in my bedroom looking at my new shag …er …frieze carpet that just cost me a grand a room. I can’t help but think if it were still called shag I would have paid half the price for it. I’m staring at my flat, characterless ceilings and wondering where the popcorn went. I sort of miss my popcorn ceilings. But, no worries, they’ll be back in a few decades. They will have a new name and a new price tag to go along with the repackaging of an old trend. So once you get tired of your boring, flat ceilings, you can get your popcorn will just cost you twice as much as it did in the Good Ole Days.

Wendy Collins - 6 years ago

I had to google “what’s the big deal about popcorn ceilings” after watching House Hunters and everyone making such a big deal about popcorn ceilings. I went through a complete gut of our home. It is decorated in Urban Chic, very contemporary. I put 25% of the room colour into the ceiling and it looks amazing. We receive compliments all the time on how wonderful it looks. It actually adds character by creating great shadows from our high vaulted ceilings. I’m learning from everyone’s comments that it’s definitely a personal preference. I believe it in no ways “dates” a room.

Shelby Cherry - 6 years ago

We have them and, personally, I love them. For some reason, we can dust ours without any difficulty (nothing falling from the ceiling or anything like that). Anyway, to each his/her own!

Adam - 6 years ago

I have read a lot of these threads and don’t see any mention of alternative ceiling textures. I HATE popcorn and am in the processes of removing it in my current remodel. However, I LOVE a texture on the ceiling. I am going to use a “sponge” method with compound – basically dab the ceiling and create an uneven pattern. This still hides imperfections but can be easily painted, won’t crumble or collect dust webs and IMO looks great! Why only “flat” vs. “popcorn”? Let’s hear it for the sponge!

Steve - 6 years ago

Well, we did just gut and update out master bath and scraped the popcorn in there and textured the ceiling same as the walls. It’s such a small confined space it’s hard to notice any real change in appearance, but I have to admit it does “look” more modern and updated.

Debi - 6 years ago

I just put in an offer on a house with “pristine” popcorn and was trying to figure out if I should do anything with it. Every room has a “tray” in the ceiling as well and it was very high-end when it was built 20 years ago (has a bidet in the master bathroom and everything). I think I’ll have someone come in and spray paint the ceilings. I don’t want them smooth and having knock-down applied is more work/expense than I want to undertake.

SCOTT - 6 years ago

I’m with Steve on this one. I’ve never been able to see any thing unattractive about Popcorn ceilings. In fact I love them. Anyone who doesn’t must have spent their whole childhood locked in their bedroom looking at the ceiling, counting the bumps. Sorry, I guess that wasn’t nice.

I found this posting while I watched a House Buying Show. The person buying a home in rural Belize was complaining the house he was shown contained, of all things, a Popcorn ceiling.But I ask you, How lucky can you get in the middle of nowhere?
Any sign of civilization is always welcomed

Hate Popcorn Ceiling - 6 years ago

1975 popcorn ceiling got water damage from swamp cooler and started falling down at one house I lived in . The popcorn tested positive for asbestos of course. Assume any popcorn ceiling has asbestos until proven otherwise just like you assume all 1970s or earlier paint is lead.

Redhead - 6 years ago

I have vaulted ceilings in my home that have popcorn. No problem with them , even dusting and vacuuming. Very little comes off, but we have sprayed the ceilings with paint and it seems to have stopped any residue from dislodging. . I don’t think it is really worth the expense to remove unless you intend to do knockdown on the ceilings. My first home had “diamond dust” in the popcorn so it had a shimmer. Not sorry to see that fad has gone away.

Joan Heitz - 6 years ago

I would be worried about getting mesolthelioma from a deteriorating popcorn ceiling. It
would be insane to remove a popcorn ceiling without a professional You cannot be sure
what is in the popcorn ceiling. People seem very unaware of the potential hazards. If
you get cancer from removing the ceiling or living with a crumbling one, it would be years
later. I think the public is sadly unaware.

Neal - 6 years ago

Well I’ve read all these comments and at seventy-five and having lived in this popcorn ceiling house built in 1960 since 1974 and raised four kids and having painted the ceilings about fifteen years ago I haven’t heard anyone mention the big secret benefit of having popcorn ceilings. You see you can lay on your back and stair at your ceiling and see all kinds of faces. If you get a long enough stick you can point them out to your grand kids and they love it. Let’s lighten up a bit, eh. We all gotta go sometime. Stop worrying about it.

Steve - 6 years ago

Hi Neal,

Thanks for your comment. Excellent idea! I’m still a decade or so away from having grandkids, but we’ll probably be in this same houe when that happens, so I’ll give it a try then.


Randall Derrick - 6 years ago

What is your take on adding cedar to a vaulted sheetrock ceiling acoustically with eventually pulling up carpet and adding wooden floors?

Jen Silvas - 6 years ago

We are currently in the process of purchasing a home that has popcorn ceilings. I don’t think they would have even bothered me if I didn’t watch HGTV so much. I was looking at the cost of removal & it doesn’t bother me that much. The ceilings are pristine and I’d much rather put my money toasted some new granite countertops. I live in a small town in Texas and I’m pretty sure my guests won’t be complaining about my ceilings. I’m leaving them. Like others have said, they will probably come back into style one day and I will be ahead of everyone.

Beth Meyer - 6 years ago

I also never even noticed my ceilings. I had to look up what popcorn ceilings looked like on yahoo images to see that we do indeed have them, but that isn’t too surprising since our home was built in 1986. I think people who dwell on details like that must have too much time on their hands.

Jim Douglas - 6 years ago

They want 15K to remove the popcorn, which is perfect throughout the home. I am thinking if I was going to spend that much it would be for some other type of upgrade rather than what some ‘interior designer’ indicated on some TV show. The bottom line is I am selling this home and if someone does not want it because of the ceiling get over it! It’s got 3K of bathroom fixtures that will last forever! There are (4) bathrooms. I can get the exterior painted, although it does not need it for the amount they want to remove the PC ceiling!

ScorpionLeather - 6 years ago

Jim, $15K is a crazy amount to remove a ceiling finish. I am assuming it is asbestos since the estimate is so high. I wonder if you can encapsulate the popcorn with an approved asbestos coating designed for this purpose, and then sandwich it with another smooth ceiling layer. I once sat next to a guy on a long flight who used to run an asbestos abatement (removal) company and he told me that most the time it’s unecessarily turned into a science project because of the regulations and liability, when in reality it is completely safe for the homeowner to do this sort of thing DIY if the homeowner follows proper steps documented in the expert articles, and uses common sense.

elizabeth - 6 years ago

Totally agree with you- they don’t bug me at all!

Popcorn Hater - 6 years ago

Not only do I hate popcorn, but I hate ALL textures, both ceilings and walls. They look tacky and gross. When I see textured walls/ceilings, I imagine a scenario in which two hillbillies banter back and forth about how to class up their home. The one says to the other, “You know what would really class up our home, hon? Textured ceilin’s ‘n some fancy wooden trim! Yeah, Cletus, woo-hoo!” That’s another thing I hate- unnecessary trim. I’m not talking about the kind around a door frame. I’m talking about the kind that just frames a random wall for no good reason. My husband and I just spent the whole day de-tackifying a room full of textured walls and ceilings, and ripping off trim. The simpler, the better in my opinion- and classier looking too.

HouseExpert - 6 years ago

Popcorn ceilings were not originally put in place because of a style trend or because of hillbilles, but rather for their function in reducing echo in rooms. That’s why they are called “acoustic ceilings.” Sometimes when I walk into a modern home I can hear the echo of every conversation, and of course the ceilings and walls are perfectly smooth. That results in sound reflection, whereas the popcorn ceilings absorb the sound and create a quiet room. Now in modern times, people are less focused on reducing echo, we’ve gotten used to it.

Callie - 6 years ago

Same here! I’ve watched a LOT of House Hunters with my mom, and I always find myself asking my mom (since we have popcorn ceilings, which I didn’t know until she said ‘you know, we have popcorn ceilings) “WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?”

Honestly, I barely bother looking at the ceiling. I see the walls, the floors, but I don’t spend that much time looking up. I think people make a much bigger deal about it than it actually is. Hence me googling “what is so bad about popcorn ceilings??”

New Jersey Girl - 6 years ago


Theater Guy - 6 years ago

I am in the custom home theater business and work mainly with new construction properties in the 5000 sq ft. + range. While my customers tastes are all different I am amazed by the slavery to trends that diminish the actual comfort level of the very place you want to feel most comfortable in!
I must admit that smooth or slightly textured ceilings look cleaner however they are not going to dampen sound at all. As a matter of fact they amplify it and create the echo effect many have mentioned. Then it is compounded by wood floors, huge glass windows, tile finishes , the lack of defined spaces and ridiculously high ceilings. So what you end up with is an echo chamber. I have actually had to install active noise canceling systems in a few “Great rooms” so that the customers could here themselves think and have a sense of privacy When more than two people are in the house.
To be honest in the last ten years I have only worked in two custom homes that were comfortable and felt like home from the moment you walked in, only because they actually worked with an architectual firm and knowledgable responsive decorators to design the house they wanted to live in and threw out the McMansion plans offered by most builders. And yes there are some acoustic/popcorn ceiling treatments in those.
In the end it really is your preference, I have acoustic ceilings in my house and will live with them until I want to sell it, that is unless its back in style by then!
I should have never threw out all my bell bottom jeans…could have made a fortune today!

Cathryn Mataga - 6 years ago

Yeah, fashions change. I’m expecting in another 20 years, all those granite counter tops will be out of fashion and will be ripped out to be replaced again with tile. That’s how it goes.

Popcorn Ceilings – Are They Really So Bad? | Charles Whitmore Custom Painting - 6 years ago

[…] Popcorn Ceilings – Are They Really So Bad?. This entry was posted in My Blog. Bookmark the permalink. ← Happy Birthday Charlie Must-See Photos on MSN Photos → […]

Noe Velasco - 5 years ago

Seems like people either hate these ceilings or are indifferent to them. Does anybody actually LIKE these ceilings though? Not that I’ve heard of. By the way, if you are concerned about noise traveling from room to room, a good solid-core door does much more to fight noise than acoustic ceilings ever could.

Chichi Tulinda - 5 years ago

Noe, I like popcorn ceilings because they reduce echo. Solid core doors might reduce sound transmission from room-to-room but they won’t do anything for echo.

Big Parent - 5 years ago

I saw someone on TV
talking about the evils of popcorn ceilings. I didn’t know what they were. Well it turns out thar’s what we have in our houe built in 1995. I never noticed them until today and see no problem with them

LiZ - 5 years ago

If a contractor takes the popcorn ceiling off, does the residue go into the air vents and you enhale the particles?

Ken - 5 years ago

I found this, by googling “what’s wrong with popcorn ceilings?” I live in a 1970’s tract house, with popcorn ceilings. I can’t see the purpose in removing them. Ours have probably about three coats of paint on them, so are sealed permanently! I have been in other homes in the area where they have removed the popcorn. Guess what? They all sound like echo chambers! We have no echo in our house. I have done some extensive remodelling, and people have asked, “but you left the popcorn!”. To which I usually reply, “everyone to their own taste, the old lady said when she kissed the cow!” My parents lived in this house with the popcorn, and I will probably live out my days as well with it. I actually like it!

Steve - 5 years ago

Well, a year and a half later, we have nice wood floors but still have the popcorn ceilings. I have a painter coming over this morning to bid a repaint of all the cabinets in the home. Of course, Sylvia said “ask them for a price on scraping the popcorn too”.

I think this ceiling’s days are numbered. Happy wife, happy life. But we’ll see.


Jamie - 5 years ago

I have lived with popcorn ceilings all of my life and never gave them any thought until we moved into our new (built in 1976) house. The main living areas have popcorn but for some reason it’s been removed in the bedrooms. I lay in bed at night thinking how ugly it looks up there with out the texture. I for one love popcorn ceilings.

Bob Bobson - 5 years ago

I’m afraid I cannot agree. While I admit the acoustic dampening is good if you have hard floors and nothing in the house, for carpeted (blech!) houses and houses with actual furniture, wall art, shelves, etc. it can be more annoying then useful.

I have already accidentally scraped the popcorn from our low ceilings numerous times in the two and half years since we moved in and been quite annoyed by the dust falling in my eyes, clothes, food, etc. I sleep in a loft bed, so I am particularly close to the ceiling which makes it even more annoying.

Worse, we have an Indianmeal moth infestation, and find several bloody waxworms crawling around the walls and roof per day. We vacuum them up frequently to prevent them laying more eggs, but spotting them is made much harder due to the stupid popcorn. This is particularly annoying because they do not stay on the roof, they actually spin silk to come down or even just fall right off, so we are trying to get into the habit of covering all of our food so that we don’t end up with a mouthful of maggots (not to mention that every twitch of the hair makes us think that a worm just fell on our heads). If the ceiling was flat, the task would be so much easier and faster.

Bob Bobson - 5 years ago

(I didn’t even know that they could contain asbestos. I’m definitely going to inquire about it at the next co-op member’s meeting!)

Sharon - 5 years ago

My popcorn is water stained and very cobwebb-y. Should I just repaint or have it scraped? Keep in mind that I am a do it yourself tightwad and want the cheapest most efficient fix.

Lizzy - 5 years ago

I don’t like houses that sound like an echo chamber. It makes the conversation less pleasant. We don’t want carpets and drapes, so we are installing a ceiling texture coat to improve the acoustics.

Heidi (@MamaNibbles) - 5 years ago

Moth maggots have been falling from my ugly popcorn ceiling for weeks now. I will hear a light pop and look over to see one trying to snuggle up with me on our leather sofa –GROSS! So I took a tissue and a chair and walked around to try and nap the suckers from their popcorn dream home. I discovered SO many stuck up there inside a small web-like cocoon. I am scraping these dang popcorn things pronto! I can’t have worms raining from my ceiling any longer!

mary Healy - 5 years ago

I don’t know why people are so worride about their ceiling’s. I have pop corn an love it

Don Butler - 5 years ago

I just bought my house two years ago. Looked at many houses on the market, saw some real junk. The most beautiful house, and the one we bought, has popcorn ceilings–very subtle, however, small textured. Not my choice, but…. The house is a colonial, with beautiful hard wood floors, ceramic tile and granite throughtout wet areas. The whole house pristine–built in 1989 with textured ceilings. I thought, “but textured ceilings are supposed to be bad…” Nevermind, the house was gorgeous, even with the ceilings. In fact, I have to say that the ceilings were very nice, too. Very evenly applied, small sized texture ceiling. Bright white! I thought the house was beautiful, but still was nagged about the ceilings because of what I’d been told was a bad thing. Ultimately ignored what everyone else was saying about these ceilings and bought the house. It is a gorgeous house, with gorgeous ceilings. EVERYONE who comes into the house is struck by how beautiful it is. I am now so happy that I bought the house, and happier still that I kept the ceilings. Due to a leaky roof, which we just replaced, I just had to patch a small part of the upstairs ceiling. It was easy! Bought the tub accoustic ceiling goop, followed directions, painted the ceiling to achieve consistent paint color across the entire ceiling. AND IT LOOKS WONDERFUL! No sign of a water stain or patch! Forget what we’re supposed to think about popcorn ceilings, if you like them keep them.

NoseyNeighbor - 5 years ago

For 15 years we lived in a home with popcorn ceilings–I never really thought about it at the time. It was new construction in 1991, and that is how “everyone” was doing it in that area.

When we sold our home to move across the country–the popcorn ceiling was NEVER an issue–in fact the home was on the market for only a week and we got our asking price (this was in a different economy, 2006).

The house we now live in dates to the early 90’s but doesn’t have any textured ceilings–al flat. The echo in the tiled kitchen/breakfast room is SIGNIFICANT!

I’d put money in the floor, before I’d put in in the ceiling–unless the ceiling in poor repair was harboring bugs like a couple of respondents upthread have reported about their own circumstances.

Sharon - 5 years ago

I have popcorn ceilings throughout my 20 year old home. They look fine, except in the great room, where the edge tape is separating from the main ceiling. But no worries. I just found out that a bead board ceiling can be placed on top of the popcorn. It’s going to be beautiful!

Patti - 5 years ago

My popcorn ceilings have an added bonus ,little sparkles! I get compliments about my ceilings all the time. (maybe sarcastically) ,but I just say” thanks!” Does anyone else have sparkles in their’s? My house was built in 86′ in Fl. I have wooden floors also, and there is definately more echo since removing the carpet, but I dont want more echo and noise and really cant afford to remove them, so like my 80’s kitchen I am waiting for them to go back in syle!

Anne - 5 years ago

thank you so much for your encouragement over “popcorn” ceilings Steve Patti. and others I bought my darling Mums little home in respect of her wishes (although I was not sure when she asked me before she died) and it has popcorn ceilings and sparkles, and mostly pristine. I like to look at them when I lie down, they remind me of starlight and give me such tranquillity. Now unfortunately I placed a robocan ona shelf too close to the ceiling in the dining room and it has left a small nasty stain. I would love to somehow disguise it (A robocan is an automatic flykiller dispenser that sprays every few minutes) But after reading such informative blogs I definitely will not be wasting my limited funds trying to remove it. Anne from Papakura, NZ

Pamela Blake - 5 years ago

Well I’m getting ready to paint my living room and redo the hardwood floors this spring.Can you imagine my husband and I actually added popcorn ceilings in our home when we purchased it back in the early 90’s.But I did remove it from a few rooms was nothing more than a hard days work to scrape off(when I decided to paint again).But I’m considering removing from my hallway and living room and putting in a swirl texture pattern.The homes was built in the 50’s solid good ole plaster(any one remember plaster).Walls and ceiling are plaster with the exception of our kitchen remodel when we moved in.I use to love carpet but now after having it removed I’ve grown to love hardwood and by the way thats what my husband has been doing all his life.Hardwood floors.They look beautiful,hold up great and easy to care for.So goodbye 70’s shag,keeping some retro popcorn and starting a new trend mix up my cielings like painting my rooms different colors.Love to be yourself,like what you want.Don’t have to keep up with the trends.They come and go.Good taste is in the eye of the beholder.

lucky - 5 years ago

We have popcorn ceiling too. I was not concerned about it at all, but last week the Dr office gave me some baby health hand outs. It indicated about houses builded before 1978 may be harmful for baby. I started to read more, and realized popcorn ceiling could be harmful.
Well, I hope your allegy gets better and the medicine does work for you. Otherwise, here is the article that I just read. Asbestos does affect our health. And it can cause lung desease and create breathing problems.

Read under Discovery of toxicity and Health Problems.

Anyways, I have no problem with the look of popcorn ceiling, but if it does have anything to do with my family’s health, then I guess we will have to remove it sooner or later. Now I wonder if my husband’s stuffy nose has something to do with the ceiling. He has been seeing Doc for his nose since last year. Doc kept telling us nothing wrong. But he still blows out blood from it. Well, we have high ceiling in this house, and I’ve heard the price could be much more to remove for high ceilings. Ouch!

Doug - 5 years ago

hello everyone ,I have no allergies but two years ago I bought a house built in 1989 with popcorn and it seams to fall like rain ,a light dust you can see at the right angle of sunlight . I wake up coughing white stuff up and that is so bad what is worse is not coughing it up so seal it or hear is what I am doing get a spay bottle spray ceiling lightly with water scrap only as much as you would like it to look like then seal with kilz paint spray it on then paint now you have light textured ceiling and no heath problems dust ect. hope this is useful

KJG - 5 years ago

To each their own. It’s too bad that the real estate market applies value to trends. Popcorn today, knockdown tomorrow, knockup next week. If you like popcorn, you like popcorn. If you don’t like popcorn, you don’t like popcorn. Personally, I’m not going to spend $5K on my 1969 home just to keep up with the latest trend. Some people do keep up with trends, and that’s ok. To each their own. I really don’t look at my friends ceilings and judge their home. Some people do. To each their own.

Erin - 5 years ago

Never knew my popcorn ceilings were a blight on humanity until my sister-in-law started a $150,000 remodeling job. Never had given them a thought until she told me all the terrible things the contractors said about them. Since I don’t have that kind of money, I am stuck with my dated ceilings, my dated “dark” hardwood flooring, my dated bathroom wallpaper, and my dated patio. Structurally sound and maintained is about all I can aim for. I will never be “on trend” in anything, but it isn’t something I worry about. I can truly say I never even glance at anyone’s ceilings, but ,apparently, I am one of the few. The rest of the population seems to have a real vendetta against these ceilings. Now I have to go and work on my wardrobe–still wearing tshirts without layering.

Timba Q - 5 years ago

I checked into a brand new 4 star hotel – the rooms had popcorn ceilings. There is a reason for it, the popcorn ceiling absorbs noise and eliminates echo. It is important for hotel rooms to avoid transmitting noise to the neighbor rooms. It works the same way in houses. I like the popcorn ceilings in my house because conversations are pleasant without the echo. When I visit a friend’s house with smooth ceilings and surfaces, it sounds like we’re inside an echo chamber.

p.s. no one stares at ceilings anyway, unless you’re a baby in a crib, and then popcorn ceilings reveal interesting imaginary shapes.

Love it - 5 years ago

I live in the upper Midwest where the ‘trend’ of popcorn texture has never, and probably will never, die. I suppose the reason for it might be that we spend so much time indoors during the year. Anyway, I love textured ceilings and have had them in every house I lived in since I was a child.

That is why I plan to re-texture my current ceiling with the dreaded popcorn. I even plan to apply some clear glitter to some of the rooms for variety. I would not decorate my ceilings any other way.

I guess it comes down to personal preference.

(just kidding)

See - 5 years ago

@popcornhater, I’m pretty sure “hillbillies” don’t try to class up their house. You seem so mad…. I prefer the look of smooth ceilings, but we bought a beautiful house with popcorn (the best I’ve ever seen in my life) and I just don’t despise it enough to bother with paying 5k and even more so – waiting a week to move in! I’ll just make the best of the situation and be nostalgic. When I was a teenager in the early 90s when my childhood home had it, you wouldn’t believe the shapes and little men you will find while on LSD!

Kyle - 5 years ago

What they say about acoustics is true. We are in the process of removing the popcorn from the dining room and kitchen to make it flat and install recessed lights. It is halfway removed so I can compare the difference in room acoustics. When I talk inside the room where the ceiling is flat, it sounds like I am talking behind a weak microphone. When I talk inside the room that still has popcorn, it sounds very nice and natural. It is more comfortable to have a conversation in the room with the popcorn. For this reason I am looking for solutions to bring back this natural sound ambience when all of the popcorn is removed. Maybe with heavy curtain draperies along the wall, or floor rugs.

Katy - 5 years ago

I am in the process of removing popcorn ceilings now. We’ve decided to remove them because some of them have interesting areas in which the prior owners tried to patch the ceiling for various reasons. They also appear to be very dirty looking, as they have collected a lot of dust throughout the years–home was supposedly built in 1950s, and parts of the ceiling fall onto floor when trying to dust. We have painted all of our doors and trim ultra white, so the ceilings look gray. Anyway, what people don’t realize is how CHEAP it is to remove them. We have plastic tarps taped along the walls from the ceiling to the floor, with a drop cloth on the floor. The door way to the room is also taped off with plastic sheeting, and the vents in the room are closed and also sealed off with tape and plastic. In the end, we wear protective glasses and face masks while scraping to prevent inhalation. Spray ceiling with water (if not painted) with 10-12 in blade, and clean up the mess on the floor. It took us 45 min to do our 12 x 12 laundry room… and it looks about 1,000 times better. (And, that’s before the new fixtures, and paint, etc!

Robert Yoakam - 4 years ago

I have popcorn ceilings throughout my 20 year old home. They look fine, except in the great room, where the edge tape is separating from the main ceiling. But no worries. I just found out that a bead board ceiling can be placed on top of the popcorn. It’s going to be beautiful!

Nancy - 4 years ago

I agree! I see nothing at all wrong with popcorn ceilings!

Judy Neff - 4 years ago

I love popcorn ceilings when they included those beautiful sparklies. I think they would be perfect for a child’s or game room. Today everyone walks in lock-step, open concept (that I love), wood flooring (what a mistake that is, you have to dust those everyday and for those of you that work–good luck! Carpet is warm and appealing and no one notices if you don’t vacuum once a week), no wall panels (depends on the type of room and paneling) and no popcorn ceilings.

Popcorn ceilings do cut the acoustics and when you add the sparkles it’s beautiful. Hope this art and business is never lost. I’ve noticed in society as the masses become more rude, indifferent and pretend to be pseudo-intellects with their e-toys, they lose artistic expression!

Okhi - 4 years ago

Thank you everyone. I learned a lot about popcorn ceilings from your comments.
I live in a 7 year old condo in Toronto, and it has popcorn ceilings over bedrooms and living room. This proves that builders still use popcorn ceilings maybe just for condo buildings to cut the noises between floors? Are there any new products or devices to reduce the noises between floors and between walls?

Cb - 4 years ago

Found this site while looking for an answer to the ” allergies” I’ve aquired since buying this house 4 years ago. No respitory issues prior. Been coughing every morning, excessive phlem. Had house/air tested for mold, passed, new carpet ect. I’ve always had a heightened sensativity to purfumes/chlorine ect. House built ’76, popcorn in bedroom. If youre reading this Steve.. and if you did remove the ceiling, are the allergies you mentioned suffering with any better?

Steve - 4 years ago

Hi Cb,

I don’t think my allergies are related to popcorn ceilingsais I have pollen allergies, “Cedar Fever” as we call it here.Mostly November-Feb from Cedar Pollen. (Though I’m doing fine this year!)

That said, a person with dust and other indoor allergies, like pet dander maybe, might think that the irregular texture of the ceiling can trap and hold dust. I suppose that could be true.

But scraping my ceilings (which I haven’t done yet) would not help the particular type of allergies that most Austinites suffer from.


Debi - 4 years ago

For CB … have you had the ductwork and air handler coils cleaned? Could very well be stuff being harbored in there that’s causing problems.

Cb - 4 years ago

thanks for the suggestion Debi, we did have new duct work put in. and thank you Steve for your quick response also, I’m glad your allergies are under control. Nice site, good people.

Erin - 4 years ago

I never knew I was living in a “hillbilly trash house” until my sister-in-law did a massive renovation job on her house. The contractors informed her that her ceilings were a blight on society. She then informed me of how ugly and hideous they are. I never gave them a glance until then. When I started the internet search, I found out that people who have them are really considered second class citizens! Apparently my ceilings were painted in 1980 when they were finished. I never have any dust or droppings from them. I can can clean them with duster or wet cloth. The little popcorns do not come off. I cannot afford to have them scraped so I will have to put up with them. It is amazing how we must have certain things in our houses now or we are “dated”. I might add that I also have (shudder) almond appliances. God help me.

Dana - 4 years ago

Well, Erin, consider my house a “hillbilly trash house” as well. We can be second class citizens together, b/c I’m not dealing with it, not worth it! 😉

Kip - 4 years ago

Can’t believe all of the fuss about these ceilings. I have a house built in 1970 that has vaulted ceilings in the living room. They are popcorn. I am sitting in this room as i am reading this article and listening to some classic country music and the acoustics are amazing. So soft, no echo whatsoever. I’m so glad that I have never been a slave to trends. Seems it just runs you in a circle!

Amy - 4 years ago

I have a home built in 1994. Pristine popcorn ceilings. I agree with what everyone has said about noise reduction. I am cracking up about all the hillbilly comment! I’m from the Midwest also. This is a great website. Oh, and I like my ceilings!

Jennifer - 4 years ago

Popcorn ceilings…I agree…what is the fuss?? I chose to keep mine when I recently remodelled and ignored the comments of the naysayers. Why? I didn’t really want to deal with the mess or the problems several neighbours encountered with uneven ceilings that became more noticeable when the popcorn was removed. But, I also believe that you can bet your booties that popcorn ceilings will be back into style one day…just as shag carpet is making a recovery and avocado green is creeping back into decorating magazines. Retro…shabby chic…these styles are all about “what was old is new again”. Popcorn will be back one day…then I’ll be “in” again.
As well as renovated bathrooms and kitchen, I put crown molding throughout the house last year and painted the stair spindles white and railings dark and put in contemporary ceiling fixtures, which actually complements the ceilings.
Guess what, I also have new broadloom throughout the house. While wood floors are beautiful…they are tiresome to live with (I don’t care what you say). I hate having to wear socks in my neighbours’ houses to prevent footprints on their shiny wood floors or watch my sister mop her dark wood floors every day because the dust and pet hair is so visible. I also hate the beautiful wood flooring in my children’s homes…with four grandchildren in each household, the noise is constant and annoying and on more than one occasion I have applied bandages to grandchildren who have tried to take the slippery stairs too quickly.

So…while I would not “opt” for popcorn in a new home, it has many positive characteristics, so I choose to be content to keep it in my existing home and make a point of incorporating it into my décor. It’s a lot about attitude, I think.

P_L - 4 years ago

Okhi: For noise reduction between rooms, you might want to look into “Green Glue”. It’s a goopy caulk that goes between 2 layers of drywall to dampen the sound. I’ve heard that it works, but it’s expensive. I soundproofed my condo by simply cutting 3″ holes and filling the wall cavities TIGHTLY packed fiberglass topped off with bags of cement to weigh it down. This works very well, but it takes a while; I’ve usually concentrated on the wall that was transmitting the most noise at the time. The only caution I can add is that if your walls are fire rated, cutting them open might risks compromising them. If they are just partition walls, tight fill will usually improve their fire rating, loose fluffy fill can worsen it a bit. Also, watch out for wires and pipes when cutting, drilling, screwing, etc.

Laura (So Ca) - 4 years ago

We bought a 1960’s one story “toe tag” home in a cash and close. No mortgage. Hooray! We gutted it and left the popcorn. Our neighbor has no popcorn ceilings and he has wood floors like us, and the echo was driving him nuts in the family (TV) room. He suggested we leave it. We, like our neighbor have vaulted ceilings.

We had a $100K budget, and quite frankly, we spent the $ on things that REALLY made a difference The house interior is really pretty. Truly, popcorn wasn’t a big deal to us.
Our former residence was built in 1998 and had canned lighting everywhere, and smooth ceilings, 3 fireplaces, a built in fridge circular staircase. A 4,000 sq ft view home.

This home is a modest home and we didn’t want to pretend it was a McMansion. We painted the popcorn ceilings white, and they pop against the taupe walls and white molding. My husband loves the acoustics better than our smooth ceiling former home. He’s an Engineer who loves his media center.
One pretentious neighbor was belittling our popcorn ceilings. It’s funny, I didn’t belittle her tacky oak cabinets, and 4 colors of carpet. (I love continuity) Live and let live!

Laura (So Ca) - 4 years ago

This topic and tread is very interesting. The opposing viewpoints and data points are a great read. Our Realtor (who physically helped us rip out smelly carpet and he hauled it off free, among other things. (Mensch) was disappointed that we left the popcorn and didn’t bullnose the wall corners. Quite frankly, our furniture (including a grand player piano) and our taste is what people see first. When we got done, the Mensch Realtor still said “Wow, great job!”

If you’re going to be a critical a-hole, then stay out of our home. I like to say people like different “flavors”. Life is too short not to rejoice and appreciate different flavors. We’re recovered right wingers.

judy - 4 years ago

what’s wrong with black appliances and brass door knobs??? I love my popcorn ceilings

JB - 4 years ago

I LOVE my popcorn ceilings, wouldn’t trade them for the world…my house was built in 1984. In 1996, insurance put a new roof on due to hail and there was a little water damage inside in one corner of the ceiling. Those amazing painters reapplied MORE popcorn on my ceiling at my request before repainting it beige. Then a few years ago, I got the texture paint roller to them. There’s a 17′ peak, quite high in the main living area. I painted them a mauve/wine color with off-white walls. GORGEOUS! Everyone who has seen it loves it. More popcorn please…

JB - 4 years ago

So when avocado green and harvest gold appliances come back around, I’m in 😉

JB - 4 years ago

Judy, you have black appliances AND brass door knobs?? I’d say you’re the David Bowie of home fashion, ahead of your time 😉

Laura, I’m w/you. Every kind of flavor. The outside of our home is bright yellow with TWO trim colors — royal purple and pepper red. Yeah, you could say we’re “not like all the other reindeer” and we’re so glad we’re not!!

Laura (So Ca) - 4 years ago

Interesting color scheme of mauve/wine for the popcorn celing. Sounds very pretty.
I like drama, and your taste sounds delicious.

Our ceiling is 2.5 stories in the LR, and we had ceiling fans (dropped from poles) installed on the beam and what a climate difference. We use a remote and made a makeshift fan direction switch changer. The HVAC needed help in that room.

It’s funny, we were wanting smooth free flat ceilings and got the opposite. So Ca’s housing bubble inventory made pick’ins slim, but we love the house. The pool, not so much! PITA. No more pool envy this this gal.

Meg - 4 years ago

We have been told by “everyone” that the popcorn texture would need to be removed to be able to sell our late 1970s home. The popcorn textured ceilings look fine to me. We have had our popcorn ceilings painted in the past and the ceilings do not drop bits anymore. The texture absorbed a lot of paint in the process. Why do all the messy removal when the ceilings are perfectly fine!?

Two next door neighbors during remodels had their popcorn removed. No asbestos was found in the textured material by neighbors. If popcorn has asbestos then requires a professional to remove, which would be even more costly and difficult.

I’m just waiting for the 1970s trends to finally come back into style. My home will become a classic. Yesterday my Harvest Gold 1978 refrigerator was carted away, but I still have my yellow formica kitchen counters.

Steve - 4 years ago

Well, this topic sure has legs. The subject property about which I wrote the blog is going up for sale tomorrow, still with the popcorn ceilings, and I don’t think in this market it will matter a bit at all. I still think they are just fine, but the newer house we bought does have pretty textured ceilings so Sylvia is happy now!

Laura (So Ca) - 4 years ago

We bought in the late 3rd qtr of 2012. We looked at popcorn and textured, and the floor plan and price was the deal breaker/maker. We bought a major fixer due to the L shape floor plan and the house had nice curb appeal potential. Since we own a conservatory grand piano, the LR shape was a biggie for us. I am of the mindset buyers are just as logical, as they are emotional. ( I’m in commercial).

” No asbestos was found in the textured material by neighbors”.
Did they have it tested? We did and the lab told us it was too high to F with, and that it would effect the air quality forever in the micro climate. I’m no science gal, but that was a red flag. He even suggested we get the ducts cleaned regardless. I bet people take down their popcorn without really doing due diligence. And by the way, the acoustic ceiling are there for a reason. (Former luxury textured ceiling home folks)

We’ve owned both, textured and popcorn, I am much more concerned with cabinets, flooring, new windows and doors, etc… It’s just a home people. Meg-yeah, the seasons go round and round.

Gozer the Gozerian - 4 years ago

I moved into my new condo a year and a half ago. The place was completely gutted, bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, living room, hard wood floors, crown moldings, repainted walls, and recessed lighting. The only part I never really paid attention to was the ceiling. They had this rough unique look which I liked, and decided to leave it alone, and just asked that any dirty and stained parts be fixed.

I didn’t realize until a google search that this acoustic ceiling design was unpopular.. prompted by a person’s recent visit, who stated she loved my home, except for the “popcorn ceiling”.

I do have smooth ceilings for the kitchen and bathrooms, and think they also look great.. best of both worlds for me I guess!

Like my ceilings - 4 years ago

We own a home that was built in 1987. We had it tested. There is no asbestos in it. We have been in the process of renovating it for the past couple of years (using contractors). It is a massive process with equally massive costs. Labor costs for contractors who actually do a GOOD job are out of sight (first you have to find a good contractor and even then it’s questionable as to how good they are based on their finish work). So, when faced with deciding what you are going to spend your hard earned money on (e.g., solid wood floors or removing popcorn ceilings) it’s no contest. WE ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE SOLID WOOD FLOOR (NOT ENGINEERED WOOD FLOOR) EVERY SINGLE DAY. WE DON’T STARE UP AT THE POPCORN CEILINGS. And yes, the popcorn ceilings are quieter. We did have popcorn ceilings replaced in 2 rooms where it was necessary. Also, home owners should know that they SHOULD NOT get a knockdown texture on ceilings or walls. Drywall contractors cannot match this texture when it is damaged or patched during renovations when moving simple lights, bath fans, doorways, walls, etc. (knockdown textures are popular here). There is a reason styles change–so that retailers, designers, and contractors can make money. All styles re-circulate. We went through the bronze and nickel finish stage on hardware and light fixtures, and brass is going to roll back around next. We’ve had all of them in our home over the last 27 years!! Now the light fixture styles have changed back to exactly what we had 27 years ago!!

Karoli - 4 years ago

Our house was built in 1979 and had popcorn throughout. I’ve removed some of it myself but our living room has a 16′ cathedral ceiling covered in dust, spiderwebs and very, very imperfect popcorn. I loathe it. We’re slowly working our way through a DIY refresh of the downstairs before tackling upstairs and I definitely want different ceilings. I’m intrigued by the idea of covering it with beadboard. Has anyone done it, and if so, do you have before and after pics?

Laura (So Ca) - 4 years ago

This is such a spirited and respectful thread. All of us are top quality human beings!

My neighbor (who had glee we didn’t remove our popcorn ceilings-she’s a “topper”) is about to get a visual slap. We’re finishing up our curb appeal. She said she liked our weeds (she has nice softscape). Well, we will exceed hers and we have nice new thick grid windows, and her front windows are antiquated aluminum single pane. Maybe I’ll be a *itch and compliment her original windows, and throw in the word “antiquated”. Honestly, weeds are just work in process stuff. Religion in lieu of good character always becomes apparent.

Sharon - 4 years ago

Same here, Karoli. I have a popcorn covered cathedral ceiling over my greatroom and hope to cover it in beadboard. It has been difficult to find a contractor, but I’m kinda out in the country on the Outer Banks. I have looked at beadboard ceilings and I think it’s important that each piece of beadboard (if it’s in the big 4×9 sheets) be framed in. Someone, photos, please and advise.

Sandy - 4 years ago

Our dream home has popcorn ceilings. We’ve been enjoying it for seven years, and we didn’t even know the ceilings were outdated until we began watching the TV shows about house hunting and improving. As I watch them I am getting so bored with the cookie cutter interior decorating. Why can’t we all have our own tastes in our homes without hearing the word “outdated?” Like me–I refuse to be a trend slave. I love the ’40s look with wall to wall carpeting. It’s homey.

Mishie - 4 years ago

I’m in the process of scraping what I call “cottage cheese” from our ceilings. It really does look like small-curd cottage cheese. One room at a time, and it will probably take a while since I’m doing it myself, and the house is 3000 SF with vaulted ceilings. It was built in 2004, so it was a shock to see that this process was still done in new construction when I moved to GA. I knew there was a dust problem with these ceilings, but until I started painting a couple of years ago and got right up close, I had no idea the amount of dust, cobwebs, and pet hair that was trapped in the ceilings. The cobwebs are a pain to remove–they are quite visible–and pieces of the foamy cheese fall on me when I try to sweep or wipe them. Perhaps when I finish the whole house, I will be free of constant allergy troubles and can breathe better. I can hope. I have read that smooth ceilings don’t trap light, and that your rooms appear brighter, which will be a plus in this house. It’s already quite noisy with the non-carpeted floors, so the “popcorn” did not help with that. I’m planning to do “coffered” ceilings in a few of the rooms that aren’t vaulted, so I’m looking forward to how it will all come together. Being 6 feet tall, I tend to notice the things up high already, so I can’t wait to live in a house without this clumpy mess up top.

As far as no-popcorn being a “trend,” I do have to disagree. Where I’m from, knockdown ceilings have been the norm for almost 40 years and are much easier to deal with if your builder didn’t do smooth ceilings. But trends from past decades do not “come back” in their same form, if they ever come back into fashion. They are updated and changed, as most ideas are. The avocado and harvest gold have still not returned, and the newer “shag” carpet looks nothing like that from the 70s, even those “flokati” rugs. But most design and decorating issues are a matter of personal taste, and true, many feel they must have what they see on TV shows and cannot look ahead to what will work for 20 years.

Popcorn is usually done to cover up less than stellar work, and it does make a house look rather dated. But if you like it, you like it. I have my decorating issues that make me nuts that others would think are silly, such as absolutely HATING the “microwave over the stove” combo and knobs on drawers instead of pulls.

Back to work for me. I’m a filthy mess, but it’s very satisfying work. For now. I may only survive another 2 rooms of this. 😉

Jimmy - 4 years ago

I’m slowly but surely scraping all the ceilings in my house. My personal experience with noise…rooms that have had it removed are no different than rooms that have it. (8ft ceilings with mixture of hardwood and carpet)

Dave - 3 years ago

I live in south Florida in a cement block house built in the 70’s with a flat concrete roof. We had popcorn ceilings throughout the house. They never bothered me, but my wife hated them. I (believing in happy wife, happy life) decided to take them down. I watched several you tubes on the subject and started by myself in the spare bedroom. Big mess, moderate learning curve, lots of sanding, dust, spackel, beautiful results. second bedroom a little faster, beautiful results. Now it is time for the master bedroom. My wife just as a side comment suggested she didn’t want the part time several day mess I had created with the other rooms. I promised her I would take the long labor day weekend and complete the whole job scrape, wash, sand, spackel, prime, paint, cleanup. Monday evening the job was done and we slept in our new flat ceiling master bedroom. The cost was a few gallons of mud and paint (pat myself on the back). Tuesday I woke up with a sore shoulder, I knew I would, after all I usually don’t spend 3 days with my hands over my head. Wednesday shoulder worse. By Friday I couldn’t move the arm at all. Saturday I went to the hospital, shoulder swollen lots of pain. I ended up spending a week in the hospital with a pic line from my arm to my aorta and intravenous antibiotics, followed up with 3 weeks IV bags twice a day at home. $8,000.00 in deductibles and copay’s later, my frugal ceilings weren’t so cheap. Six months later we hired a crew of pros to finish the house. Beautiful results. Now for the reason im writing. Ever since the popcorn came down my AC doesn’t seem to be working well. I had the ac installer come out, tested the system, every thing good. He took some shots with an infra red camera and suggested we take down the drywall ceiling insulate and replace the drywall. Now I don’t know if that Styrofoam or vermiculite in the popcorn has any R value, but I am suspecting it helped keep the house cooler. Any thoughts

Mary - 3 years ago

I am among those with outdated homes. I have a few “popcorn” ceilings (I learned what they were from this site!) in a few rooms: LR, DR, Family room. Horrors! I still like pretty curtains in the bedrooms and drapes in the LR, DR and Family room. I hope they come back into style! And I love wallpaper in the master bedroom and in the bathrooms. And I love my vanities in the bathrooms. No free-standing sinks for me! And I hope that I can continue to find bulbs for my bathroom fixtures, which I love. Planned obsolescence!

christina - 3 years ago

Can not help but wonder if your allergies are caused by the popcorn ceiling?

Trish - 3 years ago

I, too, kept my accoustial ceilings . .and like them. I had the tips scraped, then ceiling painted and put up crown moulding. Looks beautiful to me. I like that it’s a different texture from the walls, and the added feature of a sound barrier.

Kendra - 3 years ago

I love watching home shows like “Love It or List It”. I find myself yelling at the homeowners for having so many hang-ups. Popcorn ceilings seems to be at the top of the “No” list. Watching them cringe makes me cringe as I look up at my ceiling. But, I honestly don’t find it as hideous as they describe it to be. I’m the second owner of this home that was built in 2000. I don’t know why the builders made it that way. And frankly my darling I don’t give a hoot. It’s only a ceiling!

katherine Hess - 3 years ago

I love my popcorn ceilings from the mid 70″s. We had three of the ceilings spray painted before we moved in. The previous owner had put in tile floors. I didn’t know about the sound absorbing advantage at the time of purchase. I would have preferred vinyl flooring for it is easier on your feet. (so Is wall to wall carpeting. I feel that those of us who get to live in 70 homes tend to have great floor plans. (eg. no great room, rather a den and a living room that give us a chance to get away by myself).

Good luck with your wife.

Paura amianto in casa - Pagina 2 - Inquinamento - Forum - 3 years ago

[…] ecco i link Should You Buy a Home With Popcorn Ceilings? Asbestos in popcorn ceiling? (paint, ceilings, interior, drywall) – House -remodeling, decorating, construction, energy use, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, building, rooms – City-Data Forum Popcorn Ceilings – Are They Really So Bad? […]

Kimberly Plourde - 3 years ago

I could never understand why people hate popcorn ceilings so much!!! Yes, it’s an old design style but, a beautiful design style, if you ask me! My popcorn ceilings are also pristine!! There are no stains in my ceilings. The popcorn also has a hint of sparkle in them. I think they are beautiful. We plan on renovating our home this year and it is known to everyone that the popcorn ceilings must stay in tact. I think they’re classy and fancy looking. I will never allow them to be removed. That beinng said, II totally agree with you about tthe popcorn ceilings!

Charlotte King - 3 years ago

Where on earth did the term “popcorn ceilings” come from? I googled “why does my ceiling look so badly patched” and I saw popcorn ceilings every where. (yes I’m a bit bored, i rent and my ceiling has 6 obvious panels so badly put together I sometimes get nervous). Anyway, it turns out you are all talking about stucco ceilings. I’ve never heard it called popcorn before. It doesn’t look anything like popcorn! It doesn’t seem to cover the flaws in the ceiling and my kids tossed some weird brown scientific experiments up there, that eventually fell but left horrible ugly spots and now how will I cover that. I’m saying no to stucco!! I mean really! I looks more like dry skin in some places than popcorn.

Cletus Stratovarius - 3 years ago

I too live in a house with “pristine” popcorn ceilings. It’s a very late 1940s tract house that I’m sure was sprayed at a later date. Possibly the 1960s when a new addition was added. I LOVE them. I love the look of them. I’m really big on keeping anything and everything as original as possible. Whether it’s original 1960s hot mono mix 45 rpm records or antique and vintage, non-refinished furniture, just kept cleaned and oiled. I think it fits the house’s era and personality. “It makes it look dated”. Well, it is an old house that looks very typical of the 1950s, and I like it that way. Simple lines. Simple trim to the interior. It’s been very well taken care of with not many upgrades other than electrical, plumbing, replaced, worn-out old fixtures, cabinetry, windows…and the popcorn ceiling remains throughout the entire house. It belongs here. They’ve been kept a flat white for the 20 years we’ve lived here. I recently got the itch to go wild with color in a bedroom. A deep, but not dusty or country blue. It’s called “pool party” from Valspar. I went with eggshell on the walls and trim. Solid color to blend all those clean lines. There is some simple, blocky trim that could have been painting the usual shade of white, but I decided I was going for it. When it came to the ceiling, I really went for it. The exact same color in a semi-gloss finish. It looks AMAZING. Yes, I WANTED to draw attention to the ceiling. It reflects light from the clear 40 watt light bulbs in the three 1940s to 1960s lamps and makes the ceiling shimmer and it makes sweeping the dust away a lot easier. The solid color in the room makes the ceiling feel higher, almost infinite…almost. But, the smaller (not too small) size of the room is still there to keep that in check. The solid color made a nice backdrop for the red and black Asian theme and true art deco (reddish-brown) furniture. A white ceiling would have made it too tacky, 4th of the July, false patriot. I’m so glad I did it. Now, I’m ready to tackle the rest of the house. Do what you love. Keep what you love.

Dan - 3 years ago

I love pop-corn ceilings!! I am spraying those boring flat, pure white ceilings and going for character. The hell with following the rest of the pack!!
I do love to stay up-to-date with modern times. My home is loaded with high tech electronics, modern colors and modern furnishing!! However I think the flat, pure white ceiling is clinical and boring, boring, boring!!! My home was built 15 years ago and its time to do some minor repairs and paint. What about pop-corn ceiling???? Guess what, while so many home owners are removing pop-corn ceilings because someone says they are “DATED”, I am spraying certain ceiling in my home with that “DATED” finish!!! I love the stuff. In my eyes, they give a room a solid look and character…hmmmm….after all, I decorate my home for ME not the boring critics that have to follow the rest of the pack.

Cathy - 3 years ago

I had a 1984 home with “popcorn” ceilings. When I updated, I only did ceiling in the kitchen as the ceiling seemed low and we were adding architectural itnerest and painting ceiling same color as well. Also in Master Bath as it looked terrible leading up to the skylight for some reason. It never bothered me at all nor the buyers in 2011.

My current home was 1987 custom built. Some of the ceilings must have been oversprayed and look awful. Whenever I look up from a couch or chair in those rooms, I want to sand it off with my bare hands right then. Perhaps one former owner “painted” it by adding even more acoustical on top. A few rooms don’t have it as heavy. So, I’m going to scrape it off all downstairs and husband’s office upstairs.and not worry about the 2 story entry or the rest of the upstairs. Maybe they will invent something down the road by then that just allows us to just sand it a bit to look like “knock off” type. I’m surprised that some of you say you could paint over it. I was told that the original would kind of dissolve and look terrible.

I don’t remember my sister’s new home with flat paint on walls and ceiling as causing noise. She does have carpeting in all but 2 major rooms. The ceiling is really no place for “trends.” Now, I like ceilings textured and painted same as walls with ceiling mouldings. Perhaps I wouldn’t in 4 years when it is considered dated. Now, if I could just upgrade my many many interior doors that are flat….. 🙂

Jen - 3 years ago

I don’t understand all the fuss. I like my popcorn ceiling

karen - 3 years ago

We love our popcorn ceilings, they are primed and painted and provide great sounds barriers with our wood floors…plus they cover up the drywall seams

Dolores - 3 years ago

My home was built in 1964, has popcorn sparkle ceilings that have remained beautiful.

Now roofing contractor had to patch two holes in 2002 roofing job andnow have 2 water spots on ceiling.

Since never painted and with sparkles, does anyone know how to remove water spots?

Contractor said to mix chlorine and water to remove. Has anyone tried this?

Popcorn is not just a snack! | Bob's Jobs Handyman - 3 years ago

[…] contained asbestos fibers and it lost favor in many parts of the US.  Currently, however, it is made of a paper or Styrofoam- like material and is still common in some residential construction. Even the old asbestos containing ceilings are […]

S.. Mcdowell - 3 years ago

Why…why…do the “style-setters” have to always dictate to us…what we should have or not? My beautiful home was built in 1993 & I requested popcorn ceilings!!! Still love them… Quieter, cleaner, no stains, I think healthier, still the same beautiful original white paint I picked out & we have lots of guest that have never complained. I believe it is the old money making scheme!! I am in the modern age, with granite, tile backsplash, & hardwood floors in part of my home…only one room left with wallpaper in it etc. BUT, I refuse to get rid of my popcorn ceilings!! I love Blue …. Several years back I was told it was ” out”, but I still have blues in my home …just watch the tv shows and guess what it has “come back” …BLUES!!! So live and love what you like … Appreciate the great tips we get from the HGTV shows and the expertise of the wonderful contractors and designers, but enjoy your home as you like it. I feel better now!!!!

Blanche - 3 years ago

My home was built in 1992 and has popcorn ceilings. Have had no trouble with the ceilings in the house, but a few weeks ago, in the garage, I noticed a fairly large piece of the popcorn, about 8 to 10 inches in diameter, hanging down. A week or two later, it returned to the ceiling and now I can’t even see where it separated from the ceiling. But a smaller piece (an approximately 2 in. by 8 in. rectangular shape), a coupla feet away, had also begun separating from the ceiling. That was 2 or 3 weeks ago. I had been hoping it would also return to the ceiling and yesterday, I noticed that it was beginning to slowly return to the ceiling. Does anyone know what’s causing this problem? Is it indicative of a problem that could get much worse? Could moisture in the attic be causing this problem? There is no sign of moisture or water damage on the ceiling.

Steve - 3 years ago

I love popcorn (acoustical) ceilings as long as they are maintained well. I feel they add texture to the room in a way no flat ceiling can. A lot of people feel they date the house and is the reason they are having them removed but I think that is a mistake. They are named acoustical for one important reason – sound absorbtion. If you install hardwood or tile flooring you will understand their importance once you have them removed (echoing) throughout the house. Popcorn ceilings are classy and stylish and as far as I’m concerned make the house look modern. Flat ceilings were pre-1950’s so how does a popcorn ceiling date the house more than a flat ceiling? Give me my popcorn and let me enjoy it.

sunangel3 - 3 years ago

My condo was built in 1995 and it has popcorn ceilings. I moved in 3 years ago and i never even gave it any thought until i would be on skype with friends on my tablet and theyd see the ceiling and exclaim as if it were some horror. Lol.

I cant recall where in my life i was when i saw the kind with sparkles in it but i think thats cool. Wish mine did.

Sherry - 3 years ago

Call me crazy, but I actually love my popcorn ceilings! My home was built in the early 90’s with no chance of asbestos, they are white and clean, and I feel they add a contrast to the painted walls. I’m just not a person that likes paint on the ceilings, because it feels too boxed in for me. I really think that people started to dislike the ceilings after all of the signs that popped up saying, “Have your ugly popcorn ceilings removed!” After seeing this all over the roads and in the media, it became taboo to have them in your house. I enjoy the upgrades to homes, and have done the same in the kitchen and baths. I am slowly renovating the other rooms, but I just don’t see spending the money to scrape and paint the ceilings when they are perfectly fine the way they are.

Aggi - 3 years ago

Interesting debate. I grew up with popcorn ceilings and like many others on here, never gave them a second thought and never had a problem with them. Now that it’s become a “thing” to focus on ceilings in home design, I’ve realized that I actually like some texture, especially California knockdown but popcorn is fine too. A flat ceiling makes me kinda uncomfortable because it looks naked – and not naked in a good way – like a hairless cat kind of naked. Something’s missing! Maybe it’s not surprising I don’t like them since I also don’t like many other features that are “in” now like granite countertops and stainless steel appliances…

trisha - 3 years ago

i was chatting with a friend and mentioned i have popcorn ceiling…kind of like a confession. he just said they would be perfect to watch a silent movie with. it’s all about perspective and of course a sense of humor!

gail - 3 years ago

I agree, to much fuss made over ceilings…Really? I don’t believe that people come into your home and immediately look up at your ceilings. My guests are coming to see me not critique my ceilings, walls, floors and if they are, I need to find new friends.! We bought a 1980 ranch home with wood paneling throughout and yes, the now dreaded popcorn ceilings. I personally do not like the wood paneling but it was not cost effective to replace so we primed and painted it…it looks great. The popcorn ceilings were in awesome shApe just little dingy from time…again, to much time and money to remove so we painted with a bright white ceiling paint! I’m just fine living in my popcorn ceiling home…..hey, I am blessed to have a roof over my head so popcorn ceilings stay. If this mAkes me a “hillbilly” or out of fashion, then so be it…..ill just be Out of fashion when I keep my money in the bank to use on Fun stuff! People, remember the trend setters are the manufacturers, designers, contractors…they want your money… what YOU like, find yourself, not what the retailers tell you you should be.

Sidney - 3 years ago

Be careful how you handle them is all. My current house was built in 1970 and had popcorn ceilings in almost every room. Having heard that houses from that era often had asbestos in the popcorn, and my husband having already survived one bout of cancer, I checked them out. What I was told was that as long as they weren’t damaged and nothing was coming off of them when you dusted, I could just leave them alone or paint them. If they were damaged, and had asbestos in them they should be removed, Checking for asbestos they tested positive at 10%. They did have damaged areas, so I called around about having the popcorn removed. Way to expensive for me to afford. Research on how to safely do it myself, was available, so I checked it out and ended up removing all of it myself, using the safety equipment suggested, basically HAZMAT. Thick plastic sheeting and bags, respirator, goggles, the whole works. I managed to complete the job myself in about a week. Not an easy task for one person. Painted all the ceilings with primer and a coat of flat paint, as suggested. I ended up putting texture back on them because I didn’t like the look of the flat ceiling. Well, here comes the good part. 3 years later, I am noticing a mole on the bridge of my nose, very close to the corner of my eye. After having 4 doctors tell me it was nothing, but offering a biopsy, I had a biopsy done and was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. They had to remove 3-4 layers of skin to get it all. Since sun doesn’t usually cause cancer in that precise area alone, we assume that I may have gotten some of that popcorn on my skin, while I was removing the ceiling and just didn’t realize it, didn’t notice it while cleaning up. So, I suggest that if the popcorn shows damage, have it tested. If it is positive for asbestos, have it removed. But be extremely careful if you do it yourself. Better yet hire a professional.

Robin - a couple of years ago

I’m considering using ceiling tiles that are designed to cover popcorn walls all through out my home. They come in many different designs and all you do is use drywall adhesive, and usually takes 6-8 hours to complete 1 room.

Check out their website at

Hope this helps!

Leigh - a couple of years ago

Mid-century Modern is the rage in 2015: The popcorn ceiling started in the 1950s right? Mid-century houses & furnishings from that period are very in-style right now (just type Mid-Century Modern into Google) – logic would thus say that popcorn ceilings are back in style if you have a mid-century home…we’re keeping them :>).

Matt - a couple of years ago

I Agree! I’m a 32 year old guy who loves everything modern and I absolutely love my popcorn ceilings. I bought my home in 2006 and I loved them then and still love them now. It was 1983 construction and they look fantastic as well! I don’t understand what the big deal is. Who wants boring flat ceilings? It makes the ceiling interesting! When I lay down in the bedroom or living room I like to look for shapes and objects with my imagination- like cloud watching!! I guess I’m a big kid in that way haha

Bill mac - a couple of years ago

There is a big difference between a ‘Popcorn’ ceiling, and a ‘Popcorn Texture’ ceiling. Popcorn was a mix of chemical binders and small Styrofoam particles that gave the cottage cheese look and acted as a sound absorbing barrier. Popcorn texture is nothing more than drywall paste that is ‘sprayed’ on the drywall in and forms a pattern, and it is not harmful, is a texture only coating, does not come off easily with dusting, and can be painted over a dozen times.
One of the problem areas with real Popcorn was that the contractor did NOT seal the drywall prior to the application of the popcorn mix. The seal coat is a semi-gloss enamel that is bright white and thus, not only prevents moisture from getting into the drywall, but also reflects light through the weaker parts of the popcorn coating. It also helps in the removal of the popcorn coating when needed as it protects the drywall from the water soaking that is needed for the removal process.
Note that ‘fads’ come and go, and frankly, if you have only a Popcorn Texture ceiling, just paint it, it looks good, will deaden echos and such, and is not a risk to health. If you have a true ‘Popcorn’ ceiling, you need to have it tested for asbestos before removal, and if you want to paint it, you need to use a ceiling paint that is very thin and does not ‘seal’ the popcorn, only colors or tints it.
Bill Mac is the author of the Painter’s Handbook by Craftsman Book Company, and was featured in Family Handyman Mag.

john jefferson - a couple of years ago

I found a product on line at Amazon, on too, called EZ Strip textured coatings Remover.
It is still some work to take off painted popcorn ceiling, but actually easy and NO DUST.
I have a friend who tried to dry scrape and he was picking up drywall dust for a year.

Karen Crowley - a couple of years ago

I’m so glad to hear about popcorn ceilings cutting down the nose level! Three years ago we pulled out all the wall-to-wall carpeting, and of course noticed the change in sound levels right after. My husband and I have three adult male guests who stay here (Florida) most of the year, each and every year, and I was going to remove that crap in every single room! Instead, I am now thinking of carpeting their walls and popcorn the shit out of their ceilings. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Sara - a couple of years ago

I am about to remove my popcorn ceilings because I want to sell in the spring. I just can’t take a chance on losing a prospective buyer due to the popcorn. Other questionable aesthetic choices that were made in the house will remain, eg. laminate flooring; but popcorn in a 1977 house comes with the asbestos stigma and the perceived hazmat suited remedy so I feel I have no choice. I really don’t think most people know much about aesbestos and if a buyer were to google how much it would cost to get a popcorn ceiling removed, they would be flooded with aesbestos warnings and freak out. I don’t know if our ceilings actually contain aesbestos or not, but due to the seemingly universal distaste for popcorn and because our location is not central, but so far out they are still building new fairly close by, it is a no- brainer.

Craig - a couple of years ago

Why would anyone want to remove a textured acoustic ceiling if it is in good shape? Dispersed audio is a treat. Loud houses contribute to brain fog and fatigue.

gerald schwartz - a couple of years ago

our popcorn ceilings have wonderful sound reduction qualities they require no upkeep andrequire no maintenance worth keeping

Steve Str. - a couple of years ago

Popcorn ceilings are just a covering. I have them, rarely look up to even be bothered. A few years back the design shows would remove the ceiling fans, thay acted like they were “horrible”. I have them in every room, love them. They are practical . Popcorn ceilings are fine. Seems like it is people who want to act “modern”…. Get over it, they are only ceilings. I’ve always loved hardwood floors, but everyone seemed to need wall to wall carpet….back again! Good. So for those wanna be hip people who go….”Ugh!……popcorn ceilings”……don’t worry about it, you are not a designer and if you don’t like it….don’t have them. The ONLY thing that matters is if YOU like them.

Jim - a couple of years ago

I can’t stand people who hate on popcorn ceilings. They beat smooth ceilings in every way. I’ve been doing construction for years and have to say people have no clue what they are talking about. They watch these tv shows and join in with the hype. It doesn’t mean they are covering blemishes. It insulates slightly, dampens sounds and echoes, easy to replace or patch, and so much cheaper than having smooth echoing ceilings with no style at all. Learn to think for yourself and stop watching these home improvement programs. Let’s discuss skinny leg jeans too and how that is somehow the trend now. 

Mary - a couple of years ago

My husband and I are debating the popcorn ceiling dilemma also since we will be adding new hardwood flooring. Our first 2 estimates from painters here in the Houston area have been $4.50 a square foot, so my question is where did you find someone to remove it for $1-$2 a square foot?

MikeL - a couple of years ago

People become discontent with the popcorn because they have been watching too many HGTV shows and were told it is “bad”. And now, coincidentally, someone can take your money to replace them. I once lived in a house with a smooth ceiling and you could see EVERY inconsistency, bump, crack and flaw when the lighting was right. That wasn’t good either. A compromise would be what is called “knock down”. However that reminds me a little of the “orange peel” texture that was on the walls of the house I grew up in. So it is really a matter of personal preference. If you like to chase trends, so be it. But we’ll look back on a lot of these trends like we look back on avocado-colored appliances. The shag / frieze analogy is spot on! It is just now the shag is neutral colored instead of bright green or orange.

BillJ - a couple of years ago

One aspect of popcorn ceilings I haven’t seen mentioned here is the fact that they are about half in shadow. My house has 8 foot ceilings and the front porch and back covered patio block quite a bit of daylight. I’ve removed popcorn from a couple of rooms so far and I’m amazed how much brighter they are… I no longer have to turn lights on in those rooms in the middle of the day, which I do in the rooms that still have the popcorn ceilings. If I had the luxury of high ceilings and a lot of natural light I would have likely left them alone.

GlynnisP - a couple of years ago

My husband and I just bought a 1970’s built country home with magnificent oak trees and a neglected yard full of flowers. The den was once the carport and has popcorn ceilings with sparkles. It is in great shape! The other ceilings have ceiling tile or stamped putty. Those have water stains; however, the sparkly popcorn ceiling is in great shape. My point here is this…we loved the rustic features of this home (some walls even have paneling or tongue and groove walls) and know we want to do SOME updates, but for the most part we intend to leave a lot “as is”. I may surf the Internet for ideas, but in the end, we bought this house to live in and because we liked it…not to rip it apart. The den ceiling may or may not get painted for now, but the popcorn is here to stay!

Chris Eberhardt - a couple of years ago

I have acoustic “popcorn” ceiling all throughout my 1974 ranch house and LOVE IT! There’s even popcorn in the two car garage! It even has minute “sparkles” which is awesome. I lay down in bed at night and see the stars through the window and see the “twinkle” in my ceiling. This element links the interior with the exterior for an aesthetically pleasing effect…even at night time!

The reason some people don’t like it is TELEVISION. The “salesmen” on HGTV and the “flippity-flop” TV shows recommend removing it purely for revenue from sales of new materials and labor costs (look who sponsors these home TV shows). Surely, having an acoustic ceiling “dates” your house which is what I and other “purists” want in a mid-century modern/ranch house. My stomach turns when some “flipper” comes in to “remodel” a mid-century modern/ranch house just to sell it at a profit. They are mutilating the very aesthetic of these wonderful homes. Real estate agents state that the removal of acoustic ceilings will increase the “value” of your home but this “appreciation” is perpetuated by these TV shows. I admit that if I had a newer house built after the 1980’s with acoustic ceilings I would consider its removal due to the “dating” issue.

I live in a desert climate which requires air conditioning about 4 months and heat about 3 months a year. You can barely hear my roof-mounted Carrier HVAC unit with the acoustic ceiling. Houses with roof-mounted HVAC systems will hear more noise/vibration inside without acoustic ceilings (research the effects of EMF on the psyche). If your AC unit is mounted on the ground you, and your neighbors, will probably hear more aggravating noise/vibration coming in through the wall(s). Before I bought this house I looked at others with roof-mounted HVAC units without acoustic ceilings and the interior noise was loud and downright unbearable…at least for me.

My stereo and audio/visual system sounds awesome with no echoing (I have carpet along with the acoustic ceiling). I like hardwood floors and will probably remove the carpet when it’s time and just use some throw-rugs (yes, the shag type!) When people talk in other rooms their voices are muffled and their TVs aren’t that loud due to the lack of necessity of turning the volume up.

I admit I like the “retro” look which is and will always be in fashion. Bottom line…if you have a mid-century modern or ranch house leave the acoustic “popcorn” ceiling alone and enjoy it without the influence of television. Of course, Victorian, Spanish or Colonial Revival houses, etc do not work well with acoustic ceilings which would look ridiculous. I’m an architectural historian and not an avid watcher of HGTV and other “home decorating” shows.

Sonia - a couple of years ago

I’ll admit I didn’t even realize popcorn ceilings were “out of style” until a few friends came by, looked up (who looks up?!?!) and said,”oh if you ever want to remove the popcorn,I know a guy”. Uh…why would I want to remove it? I kind of like it.I think it adds character to a room personally. Our house was built 11 years ago (not that old) and the builder put it in the main floor living areas and the bedrooms. They actually even left a nice flat border about 6″ around it so I think they actually look a little decorative and maybe that’s why it doesnt bother me so much, or why it doesn’t look so bad (at least in my opinion if not my friends’). To be honest, I didn’t even know it was outdated until someone told me and is it bad if I kind of like it ? Much ado about nothing, if you ask me.

My ceilings are in pristine condition. If they ever yellowed or got damaged, then I would scrape them. Or if I tried to sell my home and that was the one thing driving buyers away then yes I’d replace them with flat ceilings. But for now, I don’t really understand what the fuss is. I kind of like them and I’m not embarrassed to admit it.

Lauren Griffiths - a couple of years ago

I enjoyed your article and I believe I won’t have my mind consumed today with my new home in the Florida Keys with POPCORN ceilings!
My father purchased a nice little home for myself and my sons and is paying for some upgrades such as wood floors and re painting with my chosen “bright” colors! I have basically begged him to pay to get rid of these ceiling but he said leave them alone! As a matter of fact he instructed painter to paint them. To be honest I probably would not have even noticed if I didn’t watch so much HGTV! I don’t know if I can lay in bed and look at these ceiling types. Do you think it’s wise or even possible to maybe cover with bead board or even reclaimed wood planks?

Lauren Griffiths - a couple of years ago

THANK YOU so much for your positive attitude regarding popcorn ceilings! I just purchased a new home in the Florida Keys and half of the house (inc) bedrooms has popcorn. Now I probably wouldn’t have even noticed or spent so much time dreading it if it weren’t for HGTV! Jo and Chip from fixer upper are my favs and they hate the popcorn ceilings as well as property bro’s! I was considering covering them with either bead board or reclaimed teak planks I have. After reading everyone’s opinions, it dawned on me after reading your comment “will popcorn ceilings become trendy again?”
Thank you for hopefully taking my mind of the D. Ceilings so I can focus on the million other things I must do!

John in Des Moines - a couple of years ago

Taking the popcorn out is a trend. If ones home is decorated beautifully, no one is going to notice…and if someone does notice and judge, they have bigger issues that have nothing to do with your home. 🙂

Sam Smith - a couple of years ago

As a painter In the South we deal with a ton of popcorn ceilings. I think that more people are embracing these and some actually love them as they bring us back to our youth. It’s like anything old, it goes through a period of being ugly and then looks good after a while.

Lisa - a couple of years ago

Our house dates to 1978 After painting them with ceiling paint., we can dust them. The paint seals the “popcorn” to the ceiling.

Lisa - a couple of years ago

I have no problem with popcorn ceilings for several reasons. Mostly, I can not justify wasting money/time on a knock down and refinish. I’d rather spend that money on a hot tub, outdoor kitchen, holiday or something of the likes.

Additional, after painting the ceilings in our 1978 home, they look fabulous. Besides, I don’t find myself looking at the ceiling enough it to make a difference. Who knows?… perhaps popcorn ceilings will make a come back like you often see with many things from the past. Like Edison lights.

Lisa - a couple of years ago

“the mindset is Newer= Better”

My questions is…Then why are people distressing things to make them look old?

Annette - last year

I love our popcorn ceiling. We have a beautiful custom home with lots of wood. I agree it cuts down on the noise of the wooden floors.

Lynne Ramey - last year

My husband and I both love our popcorn ceilings. I don’t know what the problem is….

Anonymous - last year

Popcorn ceilings are functional and pleasing to the eye (especially the glitter kind!)

There’s really nothing wrong with them, once you deal with any asbestos.

Some people are just stuck in the present.

Bea Oceano - last year

I think its all relative. I live in a 1965 townhome with popcorn (the thick cottage cheese kind). Not sure if they are original or were added at some point. This cottage cheese on the ceiling has several issues:

1). The ceilings are low, a little less than 8ft, so the texture competes with the ceiling fan, the iron stair railings and the hardwood floors and any other hung artwork because again ceilings are low.

2). There was water damage prior to us moving in, therefore we have 2 different popcorn textures on the ceiling.

3). The popcorn has absorbed years of dust, cigarette smoke, and God knows what else.

4). The low ceilings plus yellowed/ grey/ mustard whatever color creates immense shadows, the room is so dark and just feels really heavy. Sooooo unattractive.

Some pieces have peeled off.

If i knew what I know now about possible asbestos I wouldn’t have purchased this home. I have seen some high ceilings with the delicate finish and I think those are perfectly fine, just not the big thick gray lumps on the ceiling. Naiveté is no virtue!

Lois Davis - last year

I never wanted a popcorn ceilingg, but the builder and supplier just stated that it was “what was done.” We’ve removed it in some rooms with just bandanas around our noses and sometimes without even that. I recently read that the ban on the popcorn that contained asbestos in the 70s was for the manufacture of the material, but the installation of existing supplies continued through the early 1980s. Scary!
Also the texture catches dust that aggravates breathing problems. The rest is coming down with the end next painting job, by professionals.

Heather - last year

Firstly, I loved your article. I hope you got to keep your popcorn. I was thinking how much i love ours as we were discussing new wall colors. I prefer the popcorn over flat now. It gives a bit of pop and texture without being loud and over stated. (We have wood flooring and high vaulted ceilings and I couldn’t imagine the noise without it) All these weirdos complaining are probably the same ones painting their bathrooms black because it was suggested on a website…power to the pop!!

floyd - last year

I’m an interior designer. We purchased a second home in Rancho Mirage, California. Second meaning weekends and getaways. if I had been hired by a client I would have said these ceilings have to go!

I love this place so much. We painted the paneling a high gloss black and decorated in a late 60’s motif. I’ve never looked at the ceilings again.

A lot of friends come up and bring up the popcorn. Take it to the theater . It’s fine.

Don’t sweat the small stuff!

VegasDude - last year

The hate of popcorn ceilings and knock-down texture walls truly baffles me.

I’ve had houses with both – smooth ceilings/walls, popcorn, and knock-down texture walls, and I think smooth is ok, but rather boring…. but really, I couldn’t care less about such trivial matters, my concern is the layout of the house.. NOT the textures of either the walls, or ceilings……

MaryscottOConnor - last year

I’ve been fussing about these ceilings in the home I bought a few months ago… considering covering them with tin tiles, etc.

After reading all these comments, I’ve started wondering exactly WHY I hate these ceilings. Is it the tv shows? Or do I just hate the way they look?

Until I’ve figured it out, the ceiling stays. I’ll spend my money and sweat on putting concrete over the laminate counters and white subway tile up as backsplash. The ceilings are literally the last on my to do list — after a new porch floor and re-painting the entire exterior. And maybe a new driveway.

Frank - last year

I live in a condo that was built in 1964 (on the ocean in Waikiki). It has popcorn ceilings. I purchased it in 1986. The contractor who helped me upgrade sprayed the ceilings with two coats of white paint. I have done nothing since and they still look the same. What’s the big deal against popcorn ceilings? 70 Years ago I had a crewcut. Now, following Beatles an other long hair rock bands, some are coming back with short hair. Amazing! Follow your tastes, not the trend. Personally, I watch the ocean, the beach, my friends, and the world around me. Ceilings are not a concern. Keep up your bickering, it’s fun to read.

Janet - last year

I LOVE popcorn ceilings. I just can’t understand why people take it off since is attractive and helps to absorb noise. Our home, built in 1990, is a custom home and one of the things I really wanted was popcorn ceilings! The best way to describe it is that they give our home personality. Plain smooth ceilings remind me of our home in Ohio that was built in 1901 and how I hated them. EVERYTHING showed up on them. Since our home has been paid off for several years, I doubt we would ever purchase another home, but if we did, we would make sure it had the popcorn ceilings.

But them everyone has their own opinion.

Pat - last year

I have a black marble counter top in the kitchen, I also have a popcorn ceiling. I see a white film on the counter top (even several hours after I dust it) could that white film be dust from the popcorn ceiling?

Gail - last year

I dislike my popcorn ceilings but never thought about the acoustic factor, I’m going to maybe just take sheet rock (thin) to cover them?
Also going to apply Shiplap to add eye interest to one wall to make room more interesting..

Libby - last year

We own a home in Clearwater Florida built in the 80’s. It has popcorn ceilings but they look great! My husband just repainted all the ceilings in the house when we moved in (3 years ago) and they look fabulous!

Eve Ramey - last year

Personally if you find the noise echo from your hardwood floors is bothersome then you should have used noise abatement underlayment.
I would take a smooth ceiling over popcorn any day.

Tony Reynolds - last year

Refreshing article. We purchased a home built in 1972 a year and a half ago. I’ve had homes and apartments, with bad popcorn ceilings before, lightweight, flaky, icky stuff. This house has more what I’d call a stucco ceiling: the surface is relatively hard and the encapsulated particles are small. It’s pristine, even down to what our granddaughters call “fairy dust” (sparkles) lightly applied to the surface by the builder before it dried. No stains, no discoloration, no smoke rings, no dents, nothing, and the original owners (whom we purchased from) raised three boys in this house!

We like it.

I have no intention of taking it down, having done that with a previous home. This isn’t a tract house; it’s a one off, quality built home from the 1970’s and we aim to keep it as nice as possible.

rkb555 - 10 months ago

I don’t think many people dust their ceilings.

3 boys mom - 10 months ago

I agree. I don’t understand what the fuss is all about. I don’t mind my normal looking popcorn/textured ceilings at all. We did have one area that had mica pieces added to it and that definitely looked dated but I just painted over it (just like all the other ceilings). I think we live in a world now where everything needs to be perfect and updated. What happened to just neat and tidy and clean? Ugh!

Judy Harrison - 10 months ago

I really believe it’s HGTV brain-washing people!

Robbie - 8 months ago

Wow, now Black appliances are taboo? Haha! Black appliances are perfectly fine, as Black goes with anything. What’s sick in my eyes are faux stainless steel appliances.

Christian Brannon - 8 months ago

UMMM. Popcorn ceilings applied before the ban on asbestos products in 1979 most likely contain asbestos, which can cause lung disease and lung cancer if the particles are disturbed. As long as you are sure your popcorn ceilings are made of plastic or styrofoam.

Vicki - 7 months ago

I love this post! Nothing is wrong with popcorn ceilings. There are so many trendy fads and updates right now–white kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances. I don’t like any of those, and some will surely pass. Like so many white walls–boring. That won’t last. Granite countertops are ugly in my opinion. What’s so great about stainless steel? I love black, and even white is a good second. OPen concept? I don’t mind my living room and dining room connecting, or the dining room and kitchen, but I don’t want anyone from the living room seeing what’s going on in the kitchen! Or the dishes in the sink! Trends will pass. We should go with what we like. Just because trends are new doesn’t mean they’re for everyone or that they will last. I’ve loved HGTV, but lately I’m tired of it because every remodel does the same thing, and it’s so boring.

Joo Fox - 6 months ago

First off,
I just want to say myself I feel each person has their own thoughts which apply on what they like and how they feel on their ceilings and walls etc. just as with paint color and so on. Myself I don’t think their is any one right or wrong way to have anything period. Everyone has their own opinion !

For myself the smooth ceiling and wall finnish is how many old homes from the 1960, especially 1950’s back we designed and built.
Personally to me it actually make the appearance look very outdated even more so than textured finishes do. That being said, most people nowadays do not even know this since most were all born after that time or even from the 1980’s forwards.
The other thing most of the really old homes have all been remodeled to not have the smooth finished walls or ceilings since when painted they would tend to show every imperfection in them especially as a home ages just settling along with heat, humidity and so on causes flat smooth areas to even more distort and as the light reflects off the area it shows even more of these imperfections out dating it even more so. One thing that can be done is to use flat paint like in the ceiling to help not attract one’s attention to those areas with imperfections like on tape seams etc. ..
That all being said I was mainly just trying to say how olderer homes were built mostly with smooth ceilings and walls. Because people keep saying Popcorn Ceilings are so dated, but so are smooth ceilings and walls. It’s just most people do not have that knowledge of that now and as I wrote most had been remodeled since built also.
It’s like the very old homes in the late 1800s and early 1900’s and in some forms even into the 1940’s in the US when Americans sought sophisticated interior designs. They were used in the 1950’s on but not as much until a rebirth Durable, lightweight and fireproof, the use of Ceiling Tins and not just on ceilings but also were used on some walls even. Tin ceiling tiles, were also used as for backsplashes, which were appealing to both home and business owners alike. And now like it seems most everything cycles around. Now Ceiling Tins being mostly called Ceiling Tiles both the same thing in many different sizes which come in all forms of metals from copper, brass, chrome, steel, tin and so on which now includes plastic, fiberboard, etc. And Ceilings Tins or Metal Ceiling Tiles are back in fashion again now in 2018.

Take Care, Joo Fox.

Sharon Novotny - a few months ago

My roof wasn’t properly installed. I do now have a new one, however, not before a piece of the family room/kitchen ceiling fell down in the night. We had it repaired , painted and popcorned to cover the seam from the new wallboard. We like it so much, we did more of our ceilings and they look very rich. No one ever came in and said ‘yuck’… is
still, like yours, beautiful.
Tell that the Fixer Upper as they get rid of popcorn and knock down walls. Somehow, people taken ‘open concept’ to a new level and you find you have noise, no privacy or quiet place in your kitchen and no where to talk on the phone and all of your furniture styles are all displayed in the same place….

Mike Burwell - a few months ago

We just built our retirement home and the ceilings are popcorn. I agree with you. “What’s the big deal?” We prefer the texture over drab flat ceilings.

jan schad - a few months ago

I agree one hundred percent. And I really, honestly, LOVE my beautiful ceilings.

Mark - last month

I happen to like popcorn ceilings and do not understand why people hate them so much. I am even considering applying it in our home.

Leave a Reply: