Cheapest Way to Cover a Popcorn Ceiling

What is the Cheapest Way to Cover a Popcorn Ceiling?

Popcorn ceilings were common in houses built in the 20th century. It is not smooth as it has bumps on it. It is believed to absorb noise and sound and it is faster to make.  It is also used to cover flaws in the ceiling.

Popcorn ceilings are no longer popular because of the ban on asbestos in 1977. Also, this ceiling attracts dust. And it is dangerous because you can’t clean the dust since it’s not a smooth surface.

Many people are covering or scraping the popcorn ceiling. If you want to cover the ceiling and make it look smooth, you would be considering the price of each method. Therefore, what is the cheapest way to cover a popcorn ceiling?

The cheapest way to cover a popcorn ceiling is by plastering the ceiling again to smoothen the surfaces. You can also use drywall or tongue-and-groove wood panels to cover the popcorn ceiling easily without breaking the bank.

Can You Cover a Popcorn Ceiling?

Of course! If you want a smooth ceiling and the house you bought has a popcorn ceiling, you can cover it. There are various ways to cover the bumps so that they won’t look visible and your ceiling can also have a good view at the same time.

What is the Cheapest Way to Cover a Popcorn Ceiling?

The cheapest way of covering a popcorn ceiling is by plastering the ceiling again. This method is not costly at all except if you don’t have the equipment at home.

The equipment you need for this method includes a joint compound, mud mixer, drywall sander, mud pan, bucket  (5 gallons), roller, taping knife, and drill. This method is easy to do yourself but you might only need a lot of patience.

What Can You Cover a Popcorn Ceiling with?

Covering a popcorn ceiling is preferable. You can cover a popcorn ceiling with the following:

  • Joint compound
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Dropping tiles
  • Wooden planks
  • Drywall, etc

Anyone you choose will also be determined by the price. While some are cheap, they all will last long when done rightly.

How to Cover Popcorn Ceiling the Cheapest Way?

Below are the cheapest ways to cover a popcorn ceiling:

1. Skim Coating

This is the cheapest way of covering a popcorn ceiling. The equipment needed includes a mud pan, joint compound, drill, bucket, drywall sander, roller, tape knife, and mud mixer. Below is the procedure to skim-coat the popcorn ceiling.

  • Dilute the joint compound first in the bucket using a drill and a mud mixer till it gives you a smooth feel. It must be as thick as yogurt.
  • Apply the coat to the popcorn ceiling using a roller. Smooth the surface with a taping knife.
  • After applying the mud, allow it to dry before applying the second coat. Do the work in sections and see that the bumps are not visible again before you stop skim coating.
  • Sand the ceiling and paint it when it is dry.

2. Cover with Planks

This is another way to cover the popcorn ceiling. It is also a cheap one because the woods are the most expensive equipment needed to complete the job.

The equipment needed for this includes the woods (lightweight), nails, a stud finder, a ladder, measuring tape, a miter saw, a jigsaw, liquid nails, a nail gun, chalk, and a pencil.

Before you start, you need to know the way the joists of your ceiling run so that the wood would be perpendicular to it. Below is the procedure:

  • Mark the joists of your ceiling with a chalk
  • Use a miter saw to cut out the edges of the wood. Planks that would be near lighting and vents should be trimmed with a jigsaw.
  • Paint the planks before installing.
  • Install the planks and nail them in the joists.
  • Make sure the boards fit before nailing them to the ceiling.
  • Leave a gap at the edge of the ceiling so as to allow the planks to swell.
  • Cover the gap with trims.

3. Fix Ceiling Tiles

Every ceiling tile you get will have its installation instructions. So you have to follow the instructions for a successful installation.

The equipment needed includes ceiling tiles with their installation kits, drill, screws, drill bit, measuring tape, chalk, and razor anvil cutter. Below is the procedure:

  • About 3/4 inch or 1 inch below the ceiling joints, mount L-brackets along the top edge of the ceiling. Use screws to fasten the brackets every 1.5ft to 2ft.
  • Your room layout will determine how your ceiling tile grid will look. So you have to use the razor anvil cutter to trim the tiles when necessary.
  • Mark your ceiling joists and where the tiles will be if they will be perpendicular to the joists.
  • Fasten main runners every 16 inches to 24 inches. Install the tiles and cross the T’s: snap them into place.

Is it Better to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling or Cover it?

Removing a popcorn ceiling is a lot of tasks and takes a lot of time. It is stressful and causes dust. After removing the popcorn ceiling, it is stressful to clean up the dust so it is better to cover it.

Covering it won’t take much time and energy. Just like covering concrete walls in the basement, by covering the popcorn ceiling, you can beautify your ceiling the way you want. There are various ways to cover the ceiling and some are really cheap. 

Can You Put Shiplap over Popcorn Ceiling?

Yes, you can put a shiplap over the popcorn ceiling. Since you can cover the ceiling with wood, a shiplap can be used also. Shiplap will even make your room look finer.

A shiplap is a wood used for the exterior sides of sheds, barns, and farmhouses. This wood is different from the normal planks that exist because they are cut in ways that they can overlap and fit together. When installing this wood, it’s like you are arranging a puzzle.

To use a shiplap to cover the popcorn ceiling, you need to know the number of planks you will need. To get this, multiply the length and width of your ceiling and then divide it by the surface area of each plank.

How Much Does it Cost to Cover Popcorn Ceiling with Drywall?

Covering the popcorn ceiling with drywall is not expensive. All you need to know is the number of square feet you will be covering.

Each square foot costs between $3 and $6. This price will determine how much you get it. If your ceiling is 250 sq. ft then you should be spending between $750  and $1500.

This price doesn’t include the equipment you’ll use. If you don’t have the necessary equipment to install the drywall, you’ll have to purchase them.

Also, because of the weight of the drywall, you’ll need to rent a drywall lifting tool. All these factors will contribute to the increase in the cost of installing the drywall.

Can You Cover Popcorn Ceiling with Beadboard?

Traditionally, beadboards are thin wooden planks that are used to give visual effects to the home. These boards are narrow in shape. They are mainly used to cover the walls.

But recently, beadboards are no longer wood; they are made of various materials like vinyl. Although they are used to cover the walls, they can be used to cover the popcorn ceiling.

To install the beadboard, measure your ceiling to know how you will cut the boards. Also, you’ll need two people to assist you in lifting the boards so that you can nail them to the ceiling. Covering the popcorn ceiling with a beadboard is not expensive.

Final Thoughts

Popcorn ceilings were fashionable in those days when they were first made. But over time, they are no longer a good sight to behold. Rather than scraping off the bumps, cover up the ceiling. Scraping off will take time and energy, and it requires tedious cleaning of the house after it is done. Cover up the ceiling instead and continue to enjoy the fine view of your ceiling.