A.Dan Greenough, a painting and finishing contractor in the San Francisco Bay area, responds: I always spray-paint popcorn — or blown-on acoustic — ceilings. When you roll them, the material breaks loose and clogs the roller.

If you have to roll them, look for a special textured foam roller cover designed for acoustic ceilings. These covers have slits and cross-hatchings that allow the foam to better conform to the irregular ceiling surface. The idea is to apply the paint with the least possible pressure to prevent the ceiling material from breaking loose.

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