Linda’s kitchen: On popcorn, paint and paper

Okay, so the big kitchen remodel (and by big, I mean, lots of work, very DIY weekend warrior) began in earnest this weekend with the removal of the dreaded popcorn ceiling. So, we started where we all must, with clearing out the kitchen. As you can see, small, oddly shaped and not gorgeous.

Here is the lovely popcorn. You should have seen the original light fixture. Oh. My. god. It was big, it was square, it was dark brown faux wood, it had 9 light bulbs hanging upside down off it. Could not be more ugly. Too bad I never took a photo of it! You can see its shadow lurking. I’ll likely be keeping the existing fixture as I’m not sure I can swing a new one (or at least, one I’d want) at the moment.

Since my building was built in the mid-80’s, we decided to go with the belief that there is no asbestos in the popcorn (it was in these ceilings up till the late 70’s). Unfortunately, the ceiling had been painted at some point, which makes removal of popcorn significantly harder. But, my very dear friend, and perpetual hero, Rob, took on the challenge and 8 short hours later (give or take lunch breaks and a trip to the hardware store), we have this masterpiece:

It’s looking better, no? Yikes. My DIY copper pot rack is looking a little worse for wear as well. (Don’t even ask about the dust!!)

So, the current question is, will we be able to get this ceiling to the point to be able to paint it, or is that an impossibility and will we need to paper? Or, should I go with a bead board ceiling. My real hope is that I can do a beautiful painted ceiling in a pale green, with cream bead board walls and painted cabinets. Here’s a roundup of photos I’ve gathered:

Painted Ceilings

via Alicia B. Designs

Bead Board Ceilings

via Bunny’s Closet

Gina Milne’s Kitchen via Willow Decor

Victoria Hagen Design via Willow Decor
via This Old House

Wallpapered Ceilings

So, this coming weekend, we’re going to be applying a joint compound to the whole ceiling and sanding to see how smooth we can get it. Oh, and we’re going to install recessed lighting at some point.

To be continued…

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xoxo Linda

17 thoughts on “Linda’s kitchen: On popcorn, paint and paper”

  1. Wow. It already looks better! What a lot of work. I'm so excited for you!

    A painted ceiling and beadboard walls sunds lovely. I love beadboard ceilings, especially in small rooms. They look so cozy. I also love anaglypta wallpaper on ceilings. It's easy to paint it to look like tin.

    You might want to put a quick coat of primer on the ceiling before you skim it, just to make sure the joint compound doesn't pull loose in places in the future.

  2. Can't you skim coat the ceiling then paint?? I think if you can do that..that would be a great thing..if not…beadboard rather than paper! Can't wait to see the final reveal!!

  3. Well it looks like you just have trowel gouges, which a skim coat should take care of easily. I recommend skimming and priming a test section and then painting with your desired color to see how it looks. If you don't like that then my vote is the bead board! Can't wait to see what you pick.

  4. Well, whatever you do, you are looking UP…..from someone who does this a LOT…tie a thick shirt (like a sweatshirt) around your neck, it acts like a neckbrace but looks a little cooler than a real one 🙂


  5. Thanks so much for mentioning my kitchen. You know I am partial to the beadboard! Such a hard job to get off the popcorn! I did it once and it was back breaking! I love the Elements of style room! I am sure with your attention to detail it will come out fabulous!!

  6. Oh why oh why oh why did ANYONE ever think popcorn ceilings were a good idea?? You should start a Save the Ceilings campaign. LOVE the wallpaper options – gorgeous patterns.

  7. What the hell were they thinking in the 1970s & 1980s. I loathe those popcorn ceilings. They're not only ugly but a health risk. I wasn't too sure about your green painted ceiling until I saw the photos on this post. Now I want to re-paint my freshly painted white kitchen ceilings. I can't wait to see the result and please keep the beautiful chequerboard floor.

  8. Loved the 'idea' pictures, every one a winner. But let met tell you that my dearest girl friend papered ceilings in both her living and dining rooms. The paper was always coming down. She had it done professionally so assumed the job was done right. I don't know but after many repairs she got rid of it, the papered ceilings and the house. Good luck, you are having fun and that's what matters. Ann

  9. beadboard walls painted a cream color with a painted ceiling sounds wonderful. I have scraped many popcorn ceiings and it is no fun…. but so worth it.

  10. def love the cladding on the ceiling – go for it – I wish we could be we've got downlights everywhere… a bit of a nightmare for timber cladding!

  11. Your inspiring Linda!

    Here's my 2 cents…While I do love the look of bead board, unless you have high ceilings the bead board will make the space feel smaller. Ditto for a medium or dark paint or paper on the ceiling. And if the kitchen is already a small space with standard ceiling heights you could be creating an even smaller feeling space.

    My vote is to skim the ceiling and paint it a pretty color to compliment the other colors in your pallet, but in a lighter shade.

    Ok I'm done. 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

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