Popcorn ceilings are just not as popular as they were at one time. However, when you live in a home that already has them, it can be a real pain to scrape them down and finish them to a flat ceiling surface. If you have ever taken on this task, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
When your popcorn ceiling needs a repair because of a water damage stain, it's not such a difficult or time consuming thing to do. With a little patience and the right materials, most homeowners can tackle this job themselves unless the staining is very wide spread.
Finding the Source of the Water Staining is Essential
Before you even begin to think of fixing the water stain, you must make sure that you have found the source of the leak and get that repaired first. If you have a one story home, then chances are the leak is coming down from your attic and staining the ceiling. This could be because of a leak in your roof. If your home is two stories or more, then the leak could be coming from a bathroom or other water source upstairs.
Depending on the size of the stain, you should be able to gauge how bad the water leak is. Once you have located the leak, then you will know whether it is something you can fix yourself or if you need to call in a plumber or a roof repairman. If there is extensive damage where the leak has been occurring, it could even be necessary to call in a water damage expert to evaluate the situation and make sure there is no mold to the area. If the area of ceiling has been contaminated with mold, it will be necessary to remove at least a portion of the ceiling drywall and replace it.
Gathering the Right Repair Materials
Scraping a popcorn ceiling even in a small area can be very messy. You will need some sort of drop cloth to go on the floor under the area you will be working. You can cover any nearby furniture if needed to prevent it from getting dirty. A sturdy ladder will be in order to make it easy to reach where you need to. You will need a scraper to get the old drywall texture off. A plastic scraper can work, but if the texture on your ceiling is fairly thick, then a metal scraper might be best. You will need a roller. If the area is large, use a large roller, if it is a small area, then a small roller should work well enough.
You may need to purchase a small can of KILZ. This is a paint primer that will cover water stains after the area has been scraped. Then you will need the correct aggregate compound. For popcorn ceiling repair, you can get the aggregate in various grades, fine, medium or coarse. You will also need sandpaper.
Doing the Actual Ceiling Repair
First of all, you must remove the texture from the affected area by scraping it off. You will want to scrape about an inch further out all the way around from where the actual stain is. This helps ensure you can blend the new texture in with the old. Next, you will need to sand the area down so that the primer will adhere correctly. This is where you can use the Kilz primer to cover a water spot.
If you had to replace and area of the ceiling with new drywall, you will need drywall tape and drywall compound to cover the seams first. To do this, you need to apply the mud over the seams, cover with the drywall tape and remove any excess mud with your scraper. It must be allowed to dry thoroughly and then you sand. You may have to repeat this process several times in order to have invisible seams that can be painted with primer and then textured. If you are unfamiliar with this process, you could get a painter or drywall person to do it for you.
After you have scraped the area, apply the Kilz and let it dry. Next, you apply your aggregate compound. Start out with a small amount first with your roller. It is easier to add a little more than it is to remove it after you have applied it. Smooth the aggregate and blend it into the edges of the scraped area. The best way to tell if the area is blending well is to stand away from the repair and look at it that way. If the texture on your ceiling is fairly think, you may need to do a couple of coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying more. Be careful to not overlap the aggregate past the edges of the repair spot. This way you will have a more professional look and the repaired area will not stand out like a sore thumb!