Painting Vermiculite/popcorn/texture ceiling

Vermiculite/Popcorn ceilings if you have never painted them before can be the most frustrating painting job you will ever come across. The rough texture just does not take the paint like you think it should.

This process can used up to ten times the amount of paint to do a similar size ceiling.

I remember quoting on my first one (back in 1996) and allowing $350 to paint the ceiling. I spent over $900 on materials alone and it took me two days!

So if you still want to do the job yourself here are some tips………

Prepping Your Work Area

Cover your floors, walls, and furniture with plastic to protect them from possible paint splatter. Wear eye protection and a dust mask! Asbestos does get used in these from time to time.

Using a 24mm Nap roller

Choose the right paint roller for the job. You’ll want a frame with an extension pole. You will also want a lambs wool roller sleeve.

The bigger and fluffier the better.

When you dip the roller into the tray, get a good even coat over the roller nap before taking it out of the tray.
When you paint your vermiculite ceiling, move the roller in just one direction. Going back over the texture can cause it to come loose from the ceiling.

Your roller will clog up with the popcorn that is loose so be prepared to spin it out or use multiple sleeves on the one job.

Using an Airless Sprayer to Paint the Popcorn Ceiling

If you have access to an airless spray gun, put it back in the garage. Airless sprays really are a useless way of trying to paint this type of ceiling. If you don’t believe me have a look at one done with a roller and one attempted by spray.

Good luck with this project and like always give us a call if you get stuck.


Stephen Lockyer
Stephen Lockyer
Professional painters and Decorators on the Gold Coast. Serving all your interior and exterior painting needs.

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