How Do You Fix Stippled Ceilings? 6 Easy Steps

Popcorn ceilings, also known as stipple or stucco ceilings, are ceilings that have a paint-on or spray-on treatment that creates different textures. These can range from small bumps to tiny particulars or swirls and lines.

Either way, they add a lot of fun and life to homes and businesses. The problem? They can eventually wear down and become an eyesore. They may even become discolored. Here’s a cool fact too: stipple ceilings were invented in the 1930’s and popular until the 90’s.

If this sounds like your situation, don’t panic. Fixing stippled ceilings isn’t as hard as you might think. You simply have to understand the right steps or hire stucco painters like Earls Paintworks. Whether you decide to take this on as a DIY project or hire professionals, knowing the steps will help out. Let’s get into it!

Step 1: Address the condition and type of damage

No stippled ceiling repair project is the same. Some are worn because of age. Some have physical damage, scratches, or have been damaged by water. Assessing the damage and the condition will help you take the right steps to fixing it. 

For example, if it’s water damaged, then you will have to completely strip the stucco to ensure that no mold or mildew has formed underneath. All of the moisture will have to be removed.

If it’s just some simple wear and tear, you don’t have to stress and you can simply remove it, apply more stucco, and give it a fresh coat of paint. 

Completely repairing a ceiling can range from $200 on the low end all the way up to $2,000.

Cost of repairing ceilings

For this reason, it is extremely important to fix textured ceilings as soon as possible. It can also be a great investment to hire painters or repair it yourself before costly problems arise in the future. 

That brings us to our next step.

Step 2: Remove any loose debris or texture

Over time (and depending on the damage), some stucco may be loose, worn, or other debris may be lodged in between the texture. Give it a thorough inspection before taking a damp cloth and wiping it clean.

Step 3: Soften the damaged area with water and a sponge

The third step is to take a sponge, dunk it in water, and apply it to the damaged area. Once enough water softens the stucco, it is easier to remove. At this point, you can take a drywall knife or similar tool to carefully scrape the texture off of the ceiling.

If you don’t shave the texture down enough, you may end up with clumps or large blotches. Ensure that it is removed down to the surface and completely flat.

Step 4: Stir and apply stipple compound

Once the ceiling is assessed, cleaned, and any problems areas are thoroughly repaired, you can take stipple compound (found at any home hardware store) and shake it thoroughly.

Hold the aerosol can approximately 12 inches from the area and spray in a circular motion to build up the texture. Apply a second coat if necessary and wait until the first is completely dry.

You can also purchase stipple texture in cans to apply with an applicator brush.

Step 5: Paint the area your desired colour

Once the stucco has dried, it’s now time to paint the area! Begin by covering everything in the room you don’t want to get paint on. This includes the floor, glass, window sills, furniture, and belongings. Since you are painting the ceiling, it’s easy for it to fall onto things or if you use aerosol cans it can easily splatter.

Watch this video to learn how to blend new texture into the old for a seamless finish.

If you are painting smooth stucco finishes you’re in luck. These are the easiest to paint as they have a smooth surface you can use a roller on. Sprayers work for this type of stipple ceiling as well. Backrolling is ideal because it softens the overall appearance. We recommend using a roller with ½” nap.

Medium types of textures will need a ¾” to 1” nap because it requires more surface to get into the small grooves. Apply two coats of paint.

Now, if you have a rougher type of stippled ceilings, it will require more paint and a thick nap on your paint roller. It will also require more attention to detail since the surface is so hard to paint.  

If you want to skip all of the hard work and have an incredible job done, we recommend hiring professional painters like Earls Paintworks. You can learn more about our painting services in Calgary. We pride ourselves in doing an incredible job in a reasonable timeframe while respecting your property. Imagine how beautiful your ceiling and home will look once the stippled ceiling is fixed!

Wrapping up how to fix stippled ceilings

Stippled ceilings, also known as stucco or popcorn ceilings, are a textured material applied to ceilings to give it a specific appearance. They were first introduced all the way back in the 1930s.  They were quite popular from then to the 1990’s so if your home was built in between then, there’s a good chance you’ll have stippled ceilings in some rooms.

Certain people like them. Others don’t. Either way, like other parts of our home, it will age and wear down over time. This is why eventually you will need to repair the stippled ceiling to get it looking brand new. It also prevents further damage like mildew or mold that can cause very expensive repairs.

The steps needed to repair stippled ceilings can be summed up as followed:

  1. Address the damage and situation. Every project requires different approaches and materials.
  2. Clean the area to ensure there are no debris or excess texture hanging off.
  3. Use a wet sponge to soften the area that you would like to fix.
  4. File this area down with a drywall knife or another tool in a safe and slow manner.
  5. Apply the texture via aerosol can or other method to the area.
  6. Let it dry before applying paint.

Reach out to us for a free no-obligation quote if you want professional painters in Calgary to take care of this for you.