How to Cover a Popcorn Ceiling

popcorn ceiling
  • 8-24 hours
  • Beginner
  • 1,000-4,000
What You'll Need
Tiles or coverings

If your home has popcorn ceilings, you may want to update the look. You could remove the popcorn ceiling texturing. Another option is to cover it up with tiles. Covering a popcorn ceiling may seem like a big deal, but it doesn't have to be with a plan and the proper tools. Begin by considering all the different types of tiles made for this purpose. Think about the overall look you want in the space. Also, think about colors and lighting. For example, you may not want to install a dark wood-look ceiling if it is a small room with a low ceiling.

Prepare the Ceiling

woman installing ceiling tiles

The ceiling must be prepped before it can be covered. This can be a simple process of cleaning the ceiling of any dirt or other debris that may be there. Mix warm water with vinegar to use as a cleaning solution. Gently wipe the ceiling with a rag or sponge. Let the ceiling dry so that the moisture will not interfere with the installation later. The ceiling may also be painted. The paint on the popcorn ceiling may be chipping and ready to come off. If some does, don't worry. The ceiling will be covered anyway. Also, protect the room in which you are working. Remove or cover all furniture and protect the flooring with plastic sheeting.

Apply the Adhesive

Next, apply the adhesive to the tiles. Doing so will help them form a strong bond to the ceiling. Some systems require you to snap the tiles together. This may be an easier option if you have someone to help with the installation.

Install the Tiles

tin ceiling squares

The tiles can be placed on the popcorn ceiling once the adhesive has been applied. Again, they may snap together for easy installation. Work your way across the ceiling one row at a time, following the directions that come with the tiles. You will need to make cuts to ensure a good fit in the corners, and along the edges. As you work, make sure that each tile securely adheres to the ceiling before moving to the next one. Watch for oozing adhesive and wipe it away before it dried or drips.

Clean the Ceiling

After everything has been installed, the ceiling should be cleaned again to keep any adhesive from falling or leaking from behind the tiles. Use warm water to clean it again. Clean any area of the room that may have had adhesive fall on it. This will keep the room clean and help keep anything else from sticking to the floor.

Tiles are just one option when covering a popcorn ceiling. Take the time to fully consider the options that you have and decide what is best for your space in the long term.