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Discussion Starter #1
I have a small bedroom that is just long enough and wide enough to use for a home theatre with a projector. The ceiling is popcorn, which is a stucco sort of texture surface. This place was built in the 1978. There is a possible concern that the popcorn ceiling has some asbestos in it. As far as the popcorn ceiling in the bedroom for use as a home theatre, I don't care about the texture and look, and if anything, the uneven surface can even help with acoustics (this ceilings were often called acoustic ceilings). As most of you know, when setting up a projector home theatre, particularly one with a large 100" diagonal screen, you're best to have a completely light controlled room, and, it is best that the walls and surface be a dark, flat colour. At the moment, the popcorn is a nice bright white.

I am planning to paint the popcorn ceiling a flat black with an oil paint, but, I am hoping that if and/when I decide to sell this place in the future, say in 2 or 3 years, I can paint over the black ceiling and change the colour without applying 20 coats of paint.

The idea of the oil paint is that it doesn't cause the water based popcorn ceiling to flake off, and, in case there is asbestos in the ceiling, the oil paint will create a somewhat effective seal. I have thought about having the popcorn tested for asbestos, but, I'm not planning to remove all of the popcorn ceiling. If anything, I may want to remove a small strip at one end of the room, and would probably only do that if I verified that there was no asbestos.

So, does anybody have experience with popcorn ceilings? Have you re-painted a darkly painted popcorn ceiling? What were your results? Any other thoughts?

thanks,

:)
 

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If there is no asbestos, removal can be really easy. A light water mist and a wide scraper can remove very quickly (depending on what type of "popcorn:). I think better to remove, then paint - once painted it is much harder to remove.
 

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There is the option of using the very dark blue latex paint I have, if I use the proper primer first. Can't use the latex or a latex primer since the popcorn ceiling is water based.

If the ceiling is un-painted, what primer would I use to prepare the popcorn ceiling for a latex paint? Would it smell as much as the oil paint I have?
 

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I primed and painted my ceiling in my home theater. Used same primer I did on the walls and a black latex paint on the ceiling. Took 4-5 coats. I have a stipled ceiling.

I would recommend spraying, or hiring someone to spray it for you. It was a pain. I would spray if I did over.

You should be able to spray a primer and white over the black when you move, or remove with the mist and scraper, then re stipple the ceiling.
 

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There is a high likelihood of asbestos in the "popcorn" as I believe it was a standard building material in homes up until 1985. Most people don't know that asbestos is found in drywall, lath and plaster walls, older electrical wiring, flooring adhesive, house siding, children's clothing(!), old toys, etc. I've seen old sweaters knitted out of asbestos. It seems like it is everywhere. The amounts you are talking about on your ceiling are minimal and if you have cut any holes in your drywall you have already exposed yourself to asbestos, but again the amounts are very small. Here's some reading:

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_001.cfm

As asbestos is a fiber that floats in the air abatement companies will spray it down with water when removing the material. I suppose you could spray your ceiling and scrap it off, but I'd be more worried about the mess than about the minor asbestos level in the material. Plus, it will look like a horrible scraped ceiling and will require a good coating of plaster/mud to smooth it out. If you want the smooth surface you would be better off putting new sheets of drywall on the ceiling, but that's even worse of a mess once you finish taping and sanding. The other option is painting which is also a bit messy but looks good afterwards.

Personally I would just paint it a flat colour and use a really good primer when it is time to paint it back to normal. Don't worry about having to seal in the asbestos with an oil base paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep, I'm pretty much just going to paint it. I'm using a flat black oil paint. The oil will work best with the material, since a latex water based paint is messy as it may make the popcorn ceiling start to come apart.
 

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I assume you're going to spray. A friend of mine tried rolling and the ceiling came off on the roller and needed to be completely removed/redone.
 

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I am rolling oil paint using an 18 mm pile roller, and possibly a split foam roller. Using a pile roller and oil paint reduces the tendancy for the popcorn to come off. When you use a latex and/or a split-foam roller, you both loosen the popcorn due to the water content, and the pressure required to release paint from the foam roller. I already have the paint, and all the stuff required to roll the paint on, and I'm willing to take my time and be careful. It can be done.
 

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I am rolling oil paint using an 18 mm pile roller, and possibly a split foam roller. Using a pile roller and oil paint reduces the tendancy for the popcorn to come off. When you use a latex and/or a split-foam roller, you both loosen the popcorn due to the water content, and the pressure required to release paint from the foam roller. I already have the paint, and all the stuff required to roll the paint on, and I'm willing to take my time and be careful. It can be done.
It sounds like you kind of have your mind made up so it's a bit unclear why you were asking for input. 57's advice of spraying would be the easy and risk free method....

But even if you are not inclined to do the whole task as a spray job, I might be inclined to use a few spray cans of primer on it first to provide some barrier before doing your risky roller method. If you smudge one patch of the popcorn material, you might be looking at a do-over or that tricky popcorn repair spray.
 

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I will look into spray equipment rental costs. I would want to spray an oil paint. A flat black or a very dark flat colour. I started this thread to ask questions, but I reached a conclusion after a while that I was going to roll. I guess I have reached a point where unless I find out spraying is really easy and in-expensive, I will go ahead with rolling the flat black oil paint I have.
 
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