Drywall is installed over a popcorn ceiling by using the joist locations as anchors for screwing the drywall into place. The process is less messy than removing the popcorn texture and requires little more assistance than a drywall lift to hold the pieces in place.
- Shim the joists
Place wooden shims into any holes in the ceiling along exposed joists. Make sure the shims are just thick enough to descend to the bottom of the hole, making the joist level with the existing ceiling. Cut the shims to fit the length of the holes with a saw and screw them into place.
- Mark the joists
Use a stud finder to locate the joists running above the popcorn-textured ceiling. Mark the location of the joists with a chalk string, covering the entire surface in the process. Place painter's tape onto the walls at the edge of the ceiling to mark where the joists end at the wall line.
- Extend junction boxes
Screw 1/2-inch mud rings into the electrical junction boxes located on the ceiling to extend the bottom of the junction box so that the new drywall layer doesn't cover them.
- Cut the drywall
Measure the distance from the wall to the chalk line on the joist that the drywall is hung from. Subtract 1/4-inch from the measurement to allow for a gap surrounding the new ceiling. Make the cuts so that the drywall extends only to the center of the joists, leaving room for adjacent pieces to be connected to the same joist. Cut the tapered ends from the drywall that run along the wall. To cut the drywall, use a utility knife to score the surface of the material, then snap the drywall on the scored line. Make a second cut through the remaining paper surface after snapping.
- Mount the drywall
Place a drywall lift beneath one of the corners of the room and set the first piece of drywall on top. Raise the lift so that the drywall is against the ceiling, leaving the 1/4-inch gap around the outside edges against the wall. Screw the drywall into place using drywall screws, placing them directly into the joists. Repeat the process until all of the drywall is in place.