How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling Yourself

Revitalize your living space effortlessly by following these expert tips for safely and cleanly removing popcorn ceiling texture. Our knowledgeable editors and specialists meticulously select each product we showcase, and we may earn a commission from your purchases. Popcorn ceilings gained popularity during the ’60s and ’70s, as they conveniently concealed ceiling imperfections without painting.

removing popcorn ceiling easy

However, these dated surfaces have become a nuisance, attracting dust and cobwebs while making it difficult to repair cracks and holes. Although removing popcorn texture from ceilings can be messy, it’s well worth it if the underlying material is in good condition. Discover the most efficient way to eliminate popcorn texture from your ceiling with these hassle-free tips.

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Here is a more detailed article on How To Remove Textured Ceilings With A Electric Drywall Sander

Why Did They Use Popcorn Ceilings In Old Homes?

Popcorn ceilings were mainly used to hide imperfections 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, it’s essential 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 essential.

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 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 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 plan on removing your popcorn ceiling, I recommend hiring 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 essential.

Remove popcorn ceilings with drywall sander

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How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling

1) Prepare the room: Start by removing all furniture and covering the floors and walls with drop cloths or plastic sheets to avoid any damage.

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 to your sprayer and mix with a fabric softener, paint conditioner, or any soap solution like Dawn dish soap.

Spray the solution on the ceiling and wait 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.

To fix those spots, you must use a drywall compound and a spackling knife.

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 paint it using the right 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 spackle over it.

Before skim coating, you must sand it first to knock down all your peaks.

Is it better to remove the popcorn ceiling or cover it?

There are two ways to deal with a popcorn ceiling: remove 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 cover it using wood planks or drywall.

Frequently Asked Questions About Popcorn Ceilings

  1. Q: How do I know if my popcorn ceiling contains asbestos?
    A: Before 1980, popcorn ceilings could contain asbestos. Have a ceiling sample tested for asbestos before attempting to remove it. You can hire a certified asbestos testing service or have a sample analyzed by an accredited laboratory.
  2. Q: Can I remove the popcorn ceiling texture myself?
    A: You can remove the popcorn ceiling texture yourself—but it’s messy and time-consuming. Follow these steps to ensure your removal job goes smoothly.
  3. Q: What tools do I need to remove popcorn ceiling texture?
    A: To remove popcorn ceiling texture, you’ll need a spray bottle filled with warm water, a putty knife or popcorn ceiling scraper, a drywall sander, a joint compound, and a high-quality primer and paint.
  4. Q: How do I prepare my room for removing popcorn ceiling texture?
    A: Remove all furniture from the room and cover the floors and walls with drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect them from damage. Wear protective gear such as goggles, gloves, and a mask to shield yourself from dust and debris.
  5. Q: How do I remove popcorn ceiling texture without making a mess?
    A: Dampen the ceiling with warm water before scraping the texture to help reduce the amount of dust and debris. Work in small sections, and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean up the mess.
  6. Q: How long does it take to remove popcorn ceiling texture?
    A: The time it takes to remove popcorn ceiling texture depends on the room’s size and the ceiling’s condition. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete the process.
  7. Q: Will removing popcorn ceiling texture damage the underlying material?
    A: Removing popcorn ceiling texture can damage the underlying material if not done correctly. It’s essential to work in small sections and avoid scraping too aggressively.
  8. Q: How do I repair any damage to the ceiling after removing the popcorn texture?
    A: Use joint compound to fill in any holes or cracks in the ceiling. Sand the surface with a drywall sander to create a smooth surface, then prime and paint the ceiling with high-quality paint.
  9. Q: Do I need a professional to remove the popcorn ceiling texture?
    A: While removing popcorn ceiling texture yourself is possible, it’s essential to consider the potential health risks and the time and effort involved. Hiring a professional can ensure safe and successful removal.
  10. Q: How much does it cost to remove popcorn ceiling texture?
    A: The cost to remove popcorn ceiling texture varies depending on the room’s size, the ceiling’s condition, and whether or not asbestos is present. It’s best to get a quote from a professional interior painter to determine the cost.

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