Once all the rage (primarily for its acoustic properties) popcorn ceilings are waning in popularity. Why? Lots of reasons. But here are a few. 1) As they age, they get brittle and shed bits of stuff onto surfaces below, like counters and hair and salads (hypothetically). 2) They collect dust near vents and ducts, making gray streaks. 3) They are very hard to clean. Attempting to do so invokes reason number 1, making more of a mess than you started with.
So what can you do?
Let’s look at five alternatives to popcorn ceilings.
1. Shiplap or faux shiplap. In most cases, wood planks can be installed right over the existing popcorn.
2. Tin tiles, or faux tin tiles. Again, these can usually be installed right over the existing popcorn.
3. Coffers. This is a very architectural look that involves a grid of (sometimes hollow) wood beams over the ceiling. Popcorn would need to be scraped off before coffer installation.
4. Fabric. Really! Do a Google image search for ‘fabric ceiling’ and you’ll see what we mean. This is an easy DIY option involving a LOT of fabric, a staple gun, and probably some shoe mold or quarter round to cover staples.
5. Orange peel or knock-down texture. Probably the texture you have on your walls, quickly accomplished by a paint crew. Scrape off the popcorn, sand it down, spray on thin mud, knock it down (to flatten), then paint it when it dries.