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Genius Disguises for Textured Popcorn Ceilings

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

We don’t give ceilings enough credit for the effect they have on a room. Whether they draw the eye upward with bold paint, or add detailed definition with molding, ceilings help set the mood for your home. Even if you have a beautifully decorated room, a popcorn ceiling instantly casts a dated vibe over your hard work. The good news is that you have options when it comes to transforming this ugly surface into something that adds to your room, instead of distracting from it.

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Covering up your popcorn ceiling is a good option for a bunch of reasons. Since you’ll likely need a professional, removal can be expensive. Besides the cost, it is also a fairly messy process and won’t guarantee your ceiling will be 100% texture free.

When doing DIY work on popcorn ceilings, check to see if your home was built in the 1980s or before. Many popcorn ceilings from that era contain asbestos, which can be released into the air during the removal process, and is dangerous to your health. You can test your ceiling yourself with a home kit, but might get more peace of mind from calling in a specialist.

(Image credit: Lindsey Kay Averill)


Adding a layer of drywall to mask your popcorn ceiling is an easy way to get a smooth ceiling. However, if you decide to install it yourself and are working alone, you may need a drywall lift. You can rent one from your local home supply store, like Home Depot or Lowes. If you’re thinking about installing recessed lighting at some point, however, adding drywall will make that more difficult.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)


Painted beadboard or tongue-and-groove planks give your room a warm, cozy feel and neither options requires too much work or a huge budget. Depending on the materials you use, this is a DIY you could do in just a few days! Know that you may need a furring grid to help map out the ceiling as you place the planks or beadboard.

(Image credit: Liz Calka)

Pressed Tin

Whether you decide to go metallic, or painted for a more muted look, covering up with tin tiles brings drama into your room. This can be an affordable way to cover up an ugly surface and add some shine.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Skim Coat

Your ceiling will still have some texture, but a skim coat won’t look dated like a popcorn texture does. Use a quick-set mud drywall to give your skim coat a good base and avoid having your popcorn ceiling ruin your skim coat.