When it is time to repair a popcorn-textured ceiling, a little detective work is the first course of action.
Step 1: Determine what caused the damage to the ceiling and repair it. There is no need to go through the trouble of repairing a popcorn ceiling, until you are certain the mitigating factor has been eliminated.
Step 2: If the home was built prior to 1990 test the ceiling for asbestos. Texture products with asbestos were used through the 1980s. If the ceiling contains asbestos, a certified abatement specialist will need to remove any loose texture material.
Step 3: Wear protective goggles, long sleeves and a hat when applying any texture product. Cover the surrounding area completely with tarps or plastic sheeting. Use tape and plastic sheeting to build a tent around the area to be refinished.
Step 4: Remove any loose material near the area to be patched. Paint or prime the surface before applying texture.
Step 6: Use a piece of cardboard and test various methods of application and texture products to find the one that best matches the existing ceiling.
Step 7: There are several varieties of spray-on texture specifically for patching. It is difficult to control the application of spray-on texture, and improper use can cause quite a mess. When using spray-on texture, follow the directions carefully. Spray with the can in an upright position and use half-second long, sweeping strokes to apply the product. Use as little product as possible both in testing and in application.
Step 8: Various types and sizes of texture aggregate are also available in dry form. Dry products can be added directly to paint; assuring the patched material will match the existing ceiling color. Rolling this type of product onto the surface is typically easier and more efficient than spray textures. Try various roller naps and brushing techniques to see what method best approximates the existing texture.
Step 9: Textured patching materials are also available as a pre-mixed product. Pre-mixed products are best brushed or troweled on.
Step 10: Once you have chosen a product and application technique, apply a small amount of texture material to the patch area. Feather the texture material into the surrounding surface. If necessary, apply a second coat of texture after the first coat has dried.
Clean up any overspray immediately, but leave protective coverings in place until everything is completely dry.