Pimples. It’s not even a nice word.
Popcorn. That’s a much nicer word.
Stippled ceilings have come to be known as popcorn ceilings. However, in my opinion, popcorn is much too nice of a word to be associated with these ugly ceilings. Not to trigger any traumatic teenage flashbacks, but stippled ceilings are closer to pimples than popcorn.
Step one in the master bedroom makeover was to help the ceiling grow up from its ugly adolescence into beautiful adulthood–and I couldn’t just make like a fashion magazine and airbrush.
It was gonna take muscle, and it was gonna be messy.
So, armed with an all-clear on my asbestos test, trowels, a spray bottle of water, pole sander, extra sandpaper and a dust mask, I went to work.
In the basement where we also had stipple ceiling, I actually sanded a lot of it off. This technique gave me a really nice smooth finish, even if it did generate a tonne of dust. In the bedroom, I found soaking in water and then scraping with the trowel worked best. As much as the big yellow trowel would have been faster, I liked the control of my little trowel.
It was still a lot of work. Scraping a stipple ceiling is not fun. However, fueled by ju-jubes, I got it done. (My skin may have progressed from its teenage years, but my diet has not. The orange ones are still my favourite).
Underneath the stipple, the drywall was smooth and painted, which leads me to ask why? Why finish a ceiling smooth, paint it and then cover it in pimples? I just don’t understand.
We all know the prep work is most important to get a good paint job. I spent more time on prep for the bedroom than I ever have before. Scraping the ceiling, scraping the caulking from between the crown molding and the ceiling (ugh), patching hundreds of little chips in the ceiling (they were just minor chips of paint, but there were truly hundreds of them), patching one bad ceiling seam and one crack in the wall, sanding and pasting over again.
It took days.
Thank goodness I was off work for the Christmas break. Although it wasn’t the most restful holiday.
In the end though, my ceiling is all grown up and pimple-free. Much nicer to look at when I’m lying in bed in my new master bedroom. (Apologies for the really bad photo, but I think you can tell it’s nice and smooth. Oh, and there’s a sneak peak of the blue walls).
Have you ever scraped a stipple ceiling? Any techniques to share? Any insights on why people stipple ceilings? And most important, what colour ju-jubes are your favourite?