We have the type of ceiling that makes people cringe. You know, the ones that are usually shown accompanied by scary music on home improvement/diy shows when the prospective homeowners first walk into the house.
The dreaded POPCORN ceiling…
I love that photo, it sums up exactly how I feel. Not only is this stuff ugly, it collects dust like you wouldn’t believe.
I don’t know if it’s as common in other parts of the country, but they can be found pretty much in every older home in south Florida (unless it’s been removed). The darn thing has followed me around everywhere I’ve lived.
I’ve been dreaming of removing our popcorn ceiling for such a long time. I had dreams of a smooth beautiful ceiling with recessed lights that bathes the room with soft light. Kinda like on a Candice Olson episode.
But then, my dreams were crushed….
We recently had the popcorn tested. My brother-in-law hooked us up with a testing lab he frequently works with and we were able to get it done for free. Awesome.
But the news we got, not so awesome.
Our popcorn ceiling has asbestos! We’ll have to say goodbye to smooth ceilings and recessed lights, unless we want to spend thousands of dollars having this stuff removed. Which is not an option.
On the bright side, the concentration of asbestos is extremely low. It’s just slightly above the threshold that you have to involve asbestos abatement professionals. But it’s there.
For some strange reason someone made the executive decision not to have it applied to every room. There’s none in the kitchen or in any of the bathrooms. Luckily those rooms were sparred, they do have a really poorly applied plaster texture. But I think that can easily be smoothed out or just covered over.
I’m not giving up without a fight though, there has to be a way to cover this
crap stuff up. As I see it, we basically have four options:
Option 1: Cover it up with drywall
Not really feeling this one. The installation would probably be a nightmare and we would have to drill into the popcorn which would release asbestos into the air. And the whole point is not to do that.
Option 2: Cover it up with ceiling tiles
I know what you’re thinking; ceiling tiles? But they have some really cools ones now, that don’t look officey at all.
The plank ceiling isn’t too bad, but could end up looking a bit country and I can’t imagine having that in every room of the house.
This I love! It would look amazing in one or two rooms max. It would be too overwhelming for the entire house, though.
I’m not completely sold on this option plus it could get very expensive.
Option 3: Leave the popcorn ceiling as is
This is my least favorite option, but definitely the cheapest. I could just wait and hope it come back into style. Not likely.
One of the points of this whole thing and why I wanted to remove the popcorn ceiling in the first place, other than aesthetics, was to bring in more lighting. There are only so many table and floor lamps you can have before it starts looking like a lighting store.
We could add some sconces and track lighting to help with the lighting issue. But I am not a fan at all of track lighting, in fact I really don’t like it. Every time I think about it I get a flashback to the 80′s. But the kind they have now isn’t too terrible, it’s much smaller and nicer looking.
That can be our plan B for now.
Option 4: Cover it up with plaster
Ok, now we’re talking. The more I think about this one, the more I’m liking it. I found a great article on covering your popcorn ceiling with paster and it looks pretty easy to do.
The author says she was able to do her whole house and it only took about one day per room. Not too bad, this one’s definitely doable.
Yay, so we have a solution! I’m gonna take her advice and do a test run in the closet first and if it goes well will tackle the rest of the house.
As for the lighting, we’ll just have to use a combo of lamps, sconces and track lighting. I won’t get my recessed lights, but at least I won’t have to stare at the popcorn ceiling anymore.