How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

Last update: 2021-09-28

Please stop feeling uncomfortable when staring at your ugly popcorn ceiling from your bed every night. Don’t you like it? Simply remove it. I will provide you with a useful and efficient guide to replace your popcorn ceiling with a gorgeous and smooth surface:

Why Should You Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

The popcorn ceiling was popular in the mid-to-late 20th century because builders applied a textured treatment to absorb sound from the outside elements or cover up imperfections. Even you can skip some steps to save more money; for example, there is no need to paint the finished surface.

Since the 1970s, this ceiling style is out of the time; mainly, it collects dust and cobwebs over time. Thus, many homeowners want to remove this unsightly surface.

What Do You Need To Prepare Before Removing Your Popcorn Ceiling?

What You Need To Prepare

  • Goggles to protect your eyes from dust

  • A breathing mask can keep your nose and mouth from powdery dust

  • Step ladder to reach the high position

  • A garden sprayer or a spray water bottle to apply water on the ceiling

  • A wide putty knife or a drywall taping knife to scrape the popcorn ceiling

  • Paint to repaint your old popcorn ceiling

  • The plastic sheeting or plastic drop cloths to protect your walls, floor, and furniture

  • Painter’s tape to attach your coverings on the walls

  • Drywall joint compound to fix imperfections on the ceiling

Test For Asbestos

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

In the early 1980s, asbestos was added to the textured popcorn ceiling to be soundproof and function as an excellent fire retardant, but this is a cause of lung cancer.

Before removing, make sure that your ceiling doesn’t have asbestos. To test for asbestos, you can hire a professional, send the samples to a lab, even do it by yourself. The latter solution requires you to use suitable safety gear, such as a pair of gloves, a dust mask, and eye protection items.

Remember that only professionals can help you deal with your popcorn ceiling with a positive test for asbestos.

According to experts, it’s best to leave your popcorn ceiling with asbestos intact because it isn’t dangerous when in good condition.

Protect Yourself, Floor, Walls, And Your Furniture

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

If possible, you should remove your furniture from the area where it is under your popcorn ceiling. Although you can cover them with something, let you think about how hard you must move the ladder around your room while your furniture is still there. If you perform this job alone without any help, it’s challenging to bring your heavy and bulky furniture outside. In this case, you can cover your pieces of furniture, walls, and floor with plastic sheeting or plastic drop cloths. Remember to attach these coverings with your painter’s tape.

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

While removing the popcorn ceiling, your ceiling fans and hanging light fixtures are obstacles. So, if possible, you should take them down to perform this task easier and quicker. You won’t want to spray water into your electrical devices accidentally.

When it comes to electricity, you cannot help remember the following things:

  • Cover your electrical boxes, outlets, vents, and wires, with painter’s tape to protect them from damage and water.

  • Turn off the HVAC system.

  • Open the window for air circulation because scraping produces a lot of dust.

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

Finally, you have to protect yourself from your face (a pair of safety glasses and a dust mask) to your body (old long-sleeved shirts and long pants) because you can’t avoid some popcorn falling from the ceiling on your face and your body.

The Step-By-Step Guide On Removing A Popcorn Ceiling

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

You should spray your popcorn ceiling with water first because wet removal is more straightforward than dry removal; significantly, this way can minimize producing dust and powdery mess.

Simply use a garden sprayer to wet a four-by-four feet area of the ceiling. You wet the surface and wait for 15 minutes to let the water absorb. Don’t soak since a large amount of water can damage Sheetrock that is underneath.

Why shouldn’t you wet your whole ceiling at a time?

You had better work in a small section because your popcorn ceiling will dry before you reach it.

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling?

Let you use a drywall taping knife to scrape. Pay attention to move your tool along the wet ceiling gently and carefully without damaging the ceiling beneath.

Next, you need to sand the ceiling for a smooth surface. Before sanding, let you use a joint compound to repair gouges & damaged drywall tape and cover imperfections like visible joints and screws.

After sanding, it’s time to give your ceiling a new layer and coat of paint.

After finishing, don’t forget to remove the plastic sheeting or plastic drop cloths and return your furniture to the original positions. Now, you can enjoy your newly smooth ceiling.

It’s straightforward to remove your popcorn ceiling, but you have to ensure that your ceiling doesn’t have asbestos, causing lung cancer. With a positive test for asbestos, you should ask for help from professionals.

Once you have determined about the safety, prepare enough essential items and start removing them. What you have to do simply is spraying water onto the surface and scraping with a drywall taping knife. After that, you need to repair imperfections and sand the ceiling for a smooth surface.

Don’t forget to leave your comment below this article to tell me about your result. Is my guide successful? Which tips and tricks have you applied for the best performance?

Eugene Williams
Eugene Williams

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