How to Repair a Popcorn Ceiling That Has Peeled

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 drop cloths

  • Step stool

  • Putty knife

  • Scissors

  • 4 push pins

  • Disposable gloves

  • Acoustical ceiling spray

  • Stain-blocking primer (optional)


If the popcorn ceiling peeled due to water damage, apply a stain-blocking primer to the area before applying the texture.

Popcorn ceilings, also called textured or acoustic ceilings, have a rough texture on them. Because the texture is applied over the existing dry wall on the ceiling, it can peel off over time due to moisture, impact damage or simply old age. Repairing a peeling popcorn ceiling involves removal of the damaged portions and reapplying a new coat of texture. The process involves low-cost items available at any home improvement store.


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Step 1

Lay a plastic drop cloth on the floor under the peeling ceiling to make cleanup easier later. Set a step ladder under the peeling section and climb up on to it to access the ceiling.

Step 2

Position a putty knife blade at an angle to the ceiling. Scrape over the peeling section to remove it. Continue scraping until no more ceiling texture comes off.


Step 3

Cut a long strip off of another plastic drop cloth that is at least 6 feet long and 3 to 4 feet wide. Place the edge of the tarp piece at one side of the ceiling hole and pin it to the ceiling with a push pin. Wrap the remainder of the plastic around the hole in a square or rectangular shape and attach it to the ceiling with three more push pins.


Step 4

Put on disposable gloves and shake up the can of acoustical texture for one to two minutes. Place your hand inside the plastic square you hung earlier. Hold the can 9 to 14 inches from the ceiling and spray the texture on using short bursts until the repaired section blends in with the surrounding ceiling.

Step 5

Allow the ceiling to dry for 24 hours and remove the pushpins and the tarp.