So-called “popcorn ceilings are, without a doubt, one of the worst design trends of the last century – but, unfortunately, they can be found in almost every house built in the ‘70s, ‘80s and maybe even ‘90s. As you might expect, the fragile “kernels” are prone to being scraped off or spontaneously dislodging near the tiniest water leak – in fact, I’ve had to repair the stuff for both reasons with my handy-dandy Homax 4120 Acoustic Texture Touch Up Kit.
Popcorn texture requiring repair
This kit looks and, sort of, performs like a cross between a super soaker and a cake decorating kit. First, mix up some “material” - drywall mud, some polystyrene chips and a whitener. Once that’s done, point the sprayer at the ceiling and pump – hard – to squirt the contents at spots needing filling. The nozzle adjusts so you can match the texture around a bare spot. Once you’re done spraying, there’s an included knockdown tool to that will flatten the texture if that’s what you have (more of a ‘90s design, we think).
In my experience, the kit works fairly well, especially if you don’t look closely at your ceiling. I haven’t had to match a deep, fluffy texture (‘70s), and none of the jobs required addition of glitter. I’ve tried it on walls, too, but it’s not very good at an orange-peel texture. Or maybe I’m not. You’d also better have some ceiling paint, because the texture has a typical drywall mud gray color when it dries.
I advise that you wear safety glasses (the liquid is gritty and a little corrosive) and cover everything in the room with newspapers or a drop cloth. By all means, practice – maybe on the garage ceiling or a piece of cardboard taped overhead – before taking on a repair in the middle of the living room. It does take some practice to get the texture size right.
Everything cleans with water, so – assuming you’ve carefully cleaned the reservoir and spray nozzle – you’ll have some left over for the next time. Your neighborhood hardware probably carries refills of the texturing material if you run out...