Smoothing Popcorn Without Removal

Old 09-30-23, 05:43 PM
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Smoothing Popcorn Without Removal

Many people paint. Not everyone is a painter.
For some years I have received a free publication from the Painting Contractors Association, the American Painting Contractor. In 100:7 on page 42 is an article about dealing with popcorn ceilings. I paraphrase a paragraph from that article:
Rather than removal of the popcorn it can be skimmed with new drywall compound Prepare the area with drywall mud before using a bonding agent. Finally apply a new texture with a finishing compound.

This interests me, but also makes me leery. I think a bonding agent beforeany drywall compound makes more sense. But the whole idea of trying to skim something that will probably come loose and drag the aggegate around just seems too good to be true.

Has anyone tried this? How did it work? Is is profitable?
Old 10-01-23, 03:53 AM
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While I've not tried it, I also wouldn't have any confidence in it. I assume the bonding agent will seal the texture [much like an oil primer] but the popcorn 'kernels' would still be prone to break off and slide around in your mud. Unpainted popcorn is real easy to remove. Even painted it can still be removed. IMO a thin skim coat is easier to apply than however thick it would need to be to cover the popcorn.
Old 10-01-23, 12:37 PM
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Sounds like another attempt to do something quick instead of something right.
cwbuff voted this post useful.
Old 10-01-23, 02:15 PM
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I agree with Marksr and Jim.

Skimming over unpainted texture would be a disaster. And even if painted it's risky. The adhesion of spray textures is pretty poor, and the moisture from a coat of fresh paint (applied with a roller) or joint compound can make some areas come loose. It's really unpredictable. Some areas it might work, other areas the texture falls off. Then you have a real mess.

As mentioned, removing it is not that hard.

I don't know what the bonding agent is they are talking about, but it seems like a stupid shortcut to me... and skimming a ceiling multiple times is not really a shortcut. Better to just scrape it (or some prefer to sand with a power sander and vacuum), prime it and skim it once. But I'm sure you know sanding it is risky due to possible asbestos. You'd always be wise to test it first.
Old 10-01-23, 06:08 PM
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I think the biggest issue would be trying to keep all the boogers out of your mud!

I have scraped off painted popcorn texture before. As you can guess, the paint seals the texture and makes it more difficult to remove it all off. I just did the best I could, then skim coated the ceiling. After that, I sprayed a knockdown. I never had any adhesion issues

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 10-01-23 at 08:34 PM.

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