Popcorn Drywall Texture

Drywall 101
First Published:
December 23, 2010
Last updated:
May 03, 2024

Popcorn Drywall Texture

Spray Acoustical Texture, commonly called Popcorn Texture, is one of the most common yet least liked drywall textures in the industry. Popcorn Texture has the appearance of popped corn due to the addition of small styrofoam balls in the mud.

Spray Acoustical Popcorn Texture is found exclusively on the ceilings of rooms. Where Popcorn Texture is used on the ceiling, another type of texture is used on the walls. This texture is commonly found in hotel rooms built before 1990 and even in some residential applications from the early 1980s and before.

Don't remove Popcorn Texture unless you understand the risks

People are usually more interested in removing this Popcorn Texture than they are in using it for new projects. If you planning on removing popcorn texture from your ceiling or any area, please read first read carefully about some of the dangers of removing Spray Acoustical Popcorn Texture.

Acoustical Popcorn Texture sprayed before 1978 is very likely to contain asbestos. Materials containing asbestos, including Popcorn Texture, must only be removed by trained and licensed professionals. The government imposes strict regulations on the removal of asbestos. These regulations serve to limit the serious health risks associated with the removal of asbestos.

Acoustical Popcorn Texture applied after 1978 probably does not contain asbestos. If it has been tested and confirmed not to contain asbestos, it can be removed easily with water and a large drywall knife.

How Popcorn Texture is applied

Spraying popcorn texture requires the use of a texture sprayer. The same texture sprayers used for spraying Spatter Knockdown Texture and Orange Peel Texture can be used for Popcorn Texture.

Popcorn Texture has styrofoam and other materials added to the drywall mud mixture to create a puffy appearance. A large nozzle is used on the spray gun to spray popcorn texture. Popcorn Texture covers the entire surface with a thick layer of texture. It will cover many imperfections in the drywall finishing.

Click on this image for a larger picture

Picture of popcorn drywall texture

If you need to texture a small area because of drywall water damage or other reasons, pre-mixed cans of Spray Acoustical Popcorn Texture are available in home improvement and hardware stores. The method of application is very similar to that of spray paint.

Cans of spray texture usually have written on them the recommended coverage rates. However, you may want to plan on using more material than they recommend. These cans usually do not cover quite as much as they say they can.

Once Spray Acoustical Popcorn Texture is applied, it can be painted using an airless paint sprayer. It is not possible to effectively roll or brush paint on the surface of acoustic popcorn texture.

Is Popcorn Texture good for new construction?

Finally, if you are contemplating using popcorn texture in your home, you may want to think twice. Popcorn Texture is not very popular. You may even consult a real estate agent to determine whether acoustic popcorn texture will reduce the appeal of your home to potential buyers.

If you are contemplating what type of texture to use for a new home, check out Santa Fe Texture or Skip Trowel Texture. These two are much more common types of drywall texture.

If you are set on having popcorn texture sprayed in your home, make sure to consult a drywall contractor who has experience spraying this type of texture. It is not a do-it-yourself type of texture.