How to Cover Up Popcorn Ceilings

Wooven charcoal gray ceiling.

Removing an unsightly popcorn ceiling can breathe new life into your home. Swapping out that old popcorn ceiling for something more modern, however, can be a dirty and drawn-out process. Luckily, there is another way you can get rid of that popcorn ceiling without getting messy. Ceiling planks can be installed directly over the existing ceiling and come in a variety of options to fit every style.

Removing Popcorn Ceilings

Traditionally, you remove popcorn ceilings by scraping it away one section at a time. You start the process by spraying the ceiling with water and then scraping off the texture by hand. This is a time-consuming way to get rid of the old ceiling texture and it has a lot of downsides. For starters, you need special tools to properly remove popcorn from the ceiling. You also have to worry about health hazards, like asbestos, so you will need to get the ceiling tested before removing it.

Depending on how the ceiling was painted, you may have to take extra steps to remove the texture, which only adds more time to an already painstaking process.

Covering Popcorn Ceilings with Planks

The Easy Up system.

Covering up a popcorn ceiling is a great alternative to removing it by hand. Not only is it less messy and time-consuming, but it is also a fairly easy process that any aspiring DIYer can tackle in a weekend.

By using Armstrong Ceilings’ Easy Up system to install ceiling planks, you avoid sanding and scraping by affixing tracks directly onto the surface of the ceiling. You then mount your desired plank using Easy Up clips, effectively covering the outdated popcorn ceiling without removing it. You can find a product that fits into your budget without sacrificing on aesthetics.

Types of Ceiling Covers

White ceiling planks.

There are an assortment of ceiling covers on the market, from wood looks to beadboard. If you want to go with a more natural look, consider WoodHaven wood look ceiling planks from Armstrong Ceilings. These planks come in a variety of colors and finishes, including driftwood gray, natural cherry, beadboard and rustic pine.

Installing Ceiling Covers

A man installs ceiling planks.

Ceiling covers are great because they are easy to install and can fit on just about any ceiling. The instructions for installing a ceiling cover will differ depending on type and manufacturers, but they all follow the same basic concepts.

If you are using the Easy Up system from Armstrong Ceilings, start by installing the main track directly on the ceiling. The tracks should be installed perpendicular to the joists using thread screws for each support. The tracks may need to be cut using a hacksaw to fit your ceiling. You will also need to cut the ceiling material to fit around the corners and edges of the ceiling.

Additional Considerations

Before and after ceiling.

While ceiling covers are a great alternative to removing a dated popcorn texture, there are things you should keep in mind during the installation process. Depending on the condition of the ceiling and how it was made, you might need to sand portions of it so that the ceiling cover is level throughout. You might also need to remove ceiling trim before installing the replacement ceiling.

When installing the new system, always keep safety in mind. This includes wearing eye protection, gloves, and a dust mask to avoid breathing in harmful chemicals. Always handle materials with caution to avoid unwanted damage.

The Easy Up system and WoodHaven planks are available for purchase at Lowe’s.