Here in the Cape Fear region, there are quite a few properties that have what is known as a “popcorn” ceiling. Also known as “stipple”, “acoustic”, or even “cottage cheese”, this texture style was quite popular in the US and Canada starting in the 1930s, and it remained a common feature in homes right up to the early 1990s. As this texture has fallen out of favor since then (unless that is, the homeowner is specifically going for a “period” look) a common question is “why were popcorn ceilings created in the first place?” The answer to that is manifold: when they were introduced, they were popular for their bright, white appearance as well as their ability to absorb sound and reduce noise. Another benefit was that popcorn texture did a great job of hiding imperfections in the ceiling surface.

Aesthetics aside, there were drawbacks to the popcorn ceiling from the start. One was that they tended to collect dust and could stain over time from things like cigarette smoke. And to make matters worse, cleaning them was not an easy task. But the biggest problem with them was that they often contained fibers of asbestos, a carcinogenic substance. When the US passed an amendment in 1970 to the Clean Air Act of 1963, it forbade the use of asbestos in the materials used to make popcorn ceilings (amongst other things). Even though paper and Styrofoam materials were subsequently used in place of asbestos fibers, the popularity of the popcorn ceiling dropped off significantly.

But of course, not everybody rushed to have their popcorn ceilings removed, and some people still liked the look as well as the acoustic benefits they provided. As drywall specialists, we at PatchMaster Serving Cape Fear have come across many a popcorn ceiling since opening in 2021! And whilst in some cases, we have had to repair water-damaged ceilings and then recreate the popcorn texture to match the rest of the room (usually a bathroom, it seems), we also have been brought in to remove the popcorn and create clean, smoothed out, white ceilings in homes all over the Cape Fear region; be they colonial-style homes in downtown Wilmington, Castle Hayne ranches, or vacation properties in Carolina Beach. In each case, our skilled technicians were able to remove the texture without creating massive amounts of dust, leaving in their wake completely smooth, white ceilings, and leaving the living areas spotless—like the team, and the popcorn ceiling—was never there in the first place.

Contact us today for a consultation, visit or call 910-777-7519.



Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.