How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling Yourself

Popcorn ceilings, or stucco ceilings, were all the rage in the ’70s and ’80s. But these textured ceilings have fallen out of favor for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they are notoriously hard to paint. So if you’re looking to add some value to your home — or just want to simplify your life — removing popcorn ceilings is a great place to start.

Why Did They USe Pocorn Ceilings In Old Homes?

removing popcorn ceiling easy

Popcorn ceilings were mostly used to hide imperfections by builders.

They also muffled noise because of the absorbed sound.

Is It Safe To Remove The Popcorn Ceiling?

Removing popcorn ceilings is safe in most cases.

Before starting any ceiling project, however, it’s important to test for asbestos.

Asbestos was used in many textured ceilings until the 1970s due to its ability to withstand heat and fire. If you don’t know when your home was built or if the ceiling was installed, testing is important.

how to remove popcorn ceiling

How To Check Your Ceiling For Asbestos

You can check your popcorn ceiling for asbestos yourself with a home kit.

It’s really simple.

You just get a small sample from your ceiling and send it to the lab.

This asbestos kit has a turnaround time of one business day.

Do All Popcorn Ceilings Have Asbestos?

asbestos fibers in popcorn ceilin

Yes, most popcorn ceilings have asbestos.

‘The key to determining whether or not your popcorn ceiling has asbestos is to look at when it was installed.

In 1989, the U.S. government banned the use of asbestos in ceilings, and most ceilings installed after this date, would not contain any asbestos.

However, this doesn’t mean asbestos is harmful. As long as it is undisturbed, it is not hazardous to your health. If you disturb the asbestos, it can become airborne and dangerous to breathe in.

If you are planning on removing your popcorn ceiling, I recommend you hire a professional contractor who knows how to safely remove it without disturbing the asbestos fibers.

The Tools You Will Need To Remove Your Popcorn Ceiling

For popcorn removal, there are a few tools that you will need such as a sprayer, scraper, drywall joint compound and putty knife, sander, paint and roller, light, and a fan.

The sprayer you need is the usual garden sprayer that you use with some fabric softener.

A scraper is also absolutely necessary.

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling

1) Prepare your work area. Make sure that your work area is clean. This will make everything organized and easy to work.

cover furniture with plastic

Always keep in mind that removing the popcorn ceiling produces a messy outcome so make sure to cover your appliances and furniture with plastic or newspapers. You should also point a fan outside the window because it will blow the dust away from your house.

2) Wet down the ceiling surface by adding water into your sprayer and mix with a fabric softener or paint conditioner or any soap solution like Dawn dish soap.

Spray the solution on the ceiling and then wait for about 20 minutes for it to soak through all of the layers of the popcorn texture coatings until it becomes soft but not too wet.

3) Start scraping off your textured ceiling.

interior painting popcorn removal

Once everything is removed let your ceiling dry completely.

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Prepping your ceiling for paint

Your next step is to skim coat your ceiling.

There will be some spots that have tears and nicks from scraping.

You will have to use a drywall compound and a spackling knife to fix those spots.

After your patches are dry you can sand them and seal them using a PVA drywall primer.

Related article Best Primer For Drywall

Once your ceiling is primed you can go ahead and paint it using ceiling paint.

How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling That Has Been Painted Over

The popcorn ceiling that has been painted over is very difficult to remove.

Therefore it is easier to just spackle over it.

You will have to sand it first to knock down all of your peaks before skim coating.

Is it better to remove popcorn ceiling or cover it?

There are two ways to deal with a popcorn ceiling: remove it, or cover it up.

Most of the time, removing the popcorn ceiling is too labor-intensive.

It also takes a lot of cleaning. I mean a lot! Therefore it’s probably easier to just cover it using wood planks or drywall.

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