6 Mistakes to Avoid When Patching a Popcorn Ceiling

A while, popcorn textured ceiling inside of a home.

If you have a popcorn ceiling, you’ll know it offers several advantages. Perhaps the most important is that it soundproofs the room. However, when it needs to be patched, it can be easy to make mistakes that can ruin the look and stability of the ceiling. You need to know what not to do when you’re patching a popcorn ceiling.

1. Missing the Real Problem

It’s fine to patch your popcorn ceiling, but if you don’t find what caused you to need to patch it in the first place, you’ll have to do it all over again very soon. There could be any number of reasons, but you need to find and fix the root cause before you patch the ceiling. If it’s due to dampness, find the reason it has become damp and repair it. If it’s structural, fix it before it becomes even worse.

2. Failing to Match Texture

In order to have a repair that doesn’t look like a repair, you need to match the texture of your popcorn ceiling. There are three types of aggregate you can buy for a popcorn ceiling: fine-grade, medium-grade, and coarse-grade. These grades give you a start, but from there, it’s a matter of trial and error in terms of application. Experiment on an old piece of plywood, adding more aggregate until you’ve succeeded in matching the texture, before you apply the same material and technique to your ceiling.

3. Using the Wrong Amount of Texture

You not only have to match the texture, but you must also determine the amount of product to apply on a popcorn ceiling when you patch it. Once again, this is a matter of trial and error. It’s much better to start with too little and then add a second or third coat as needed. Applying more is much easier than trying to remove it. Be sure to wait until one coat has dried before you apply the next.

4. Applying the Texture to Non-target Areas

When you have a target area on your popcorn ceiling that you need to patch, you should be very careful about covering the other areas. If you fail to do so, you’ll end up with far too much texture on the surrounding areas, which will also make the patched area of the popcorn ceiling stand out.

5. Spraying On

When you’re patching a popcorn ceiling, don’t spray on the texture. You will have far less control and the patch may look like little more than a shoddy repair. It’s much better to use a roller. It will take longer, but if you do it well and take your time, the patch will be seamless.

6. Neglecting to Sand

Don’t just cut out an area to patch. You also need to sand the surrounding area so that you’ll be able to blend in the texture properly. Remove all the old texture from the area you want to patch first and then sand any edges around it. Doing so will make any new work on the popcorn ceiling blend a lot better.