No More Popcorn Ceilings!

>> 9.03.2009

I hopped aboard the “no more wire hangers” train years ago, but as a renter I had no choice but to put up with the popcorn ceilings. Are they unnoticeable to some, maybe? To me, the idea of having modern, smooth, and clean ceilings would be worth any amount of effort or money it would take to get them down! I want to share my experiences with the removal because I had a difficult time finding a lot of information on the process. Read about my experience below, but don’t be shy about asking any questions! I’ll be happy to help you out or encourage you to make the change J.

Before you start- 1. Find out if your popcorn ceilings contain asbestos. If they do, I can’t help you. You’ll need to find a professional. Asbestos can be very harmful and lead to long-term illnesses.

2. Start gathering materials. My process included several trips to Home Depot/ Lowe’s/ Dollar Tree. Here are the things that I ended up needing:

  • Plastic drop cloths- Dollar Tree (24- three times as much as I thought I needed)
    Spray bottles- Dollar Tree (2- I actually used the backup)
    Vinegar- Grocery (1 gallon)
    Paint scraper- Dollar Tree
    Joint compound- Lowe’s (medium bucket)
    Paint rollers- Lowe’s (3 pack)
    Paint treys- Dollar Tree (4)
    Painter’s tape- Lowe’s (large 1 inch roll)
    Drywall sander- Home Depot (included pole attachment)
    Drywall sanding paper- Home Depot (fine, medium, rough- they say first step, etc)
    *Safety Goggles- Dollar Tree (2)
    *Drywall Breathing Mask- Lowe’s (2 pack) a
    I already had:
    Ladder
    Extension pole for sander and paint
    Paint roller frame
    Paintbrush
    *Don’t try this project without these items!

3. Cover everything in the room with drop cloths. Use the painter’s tape to tape the cloths to the wall. Make sure that all of the outlets are covered!

Seriously, your room will look like this!
4. Prep for scraping. This part isn’t too difficult. First, mix 1:10ish ratio of vinegar: water and store in spray bottle. Next spray ceilings with mixture to the point where they start dripping (that’s more than enough). Some people like to use hoses to wet the ceilings really well, but I didn’t feel like I had enough control over the water and I didn’t want the flooring or electrical outlets to get wet. My way definitely takes longer.
Remember this photo?
5. Scrape away. Get up on your ladder and re-spray the area that you want to scrape. Angle the scraper at 45 degrees and push against the popcorn. This should come off extremely easily. If it is difficult, you probably need to either add more liquid or let it soak in for a bit more. Be careful, because if the drywall gets too wet, it’s likely to dent and need repair later. Also, there will be drywall tape around the edges of the room. Do not scrape that off. You can also repair that with joint compound.
This is what the drywall looks like underneath.
6. After you scrape all of the popcorn bits off of the ceiling, you’ll be ready to prep the ceiling for painting. Stay tuned for details on prepping and painting the drywall!

Can you imagine my frustration in seeing Home Depot promote this?!

Have any experience with popcorn ceilings? What did you do differently? If you have any questions, I'd love to help!

6 comments:

Katie Kubler September 3, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! Be sure to follownso you can see when I post a giveaway coming up! Love the ceiling! Happy Blogging!

Jane (Frugal Fine Living) September 3, 2009 at 11:46 AM  

I hate popcorn ceilings and am thankful we don't them in our house. However, it's nice to know if we ever live someplace that does, there's a way to get rid of them. Great post!

Jane

Sarah - La Jeune Marie September 3, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

Wow, what a project! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

micah September 3, 2009 at 8:20 PM  

Thanks for commenting on my little blog! The ceiling project looks like a lot of work, but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end. Good luck!

sundance,  September 4, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

You really did a nice, thorough job, from what I can see of the "after" picture. Kudos!

design_aholic December 2, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

I was able to just use water to soak mine- no vinegar needed! The point to note is that they need to be sprayed until they're dripping- no need to do the extra scraping work- let the water do that for you! Nice work!

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