The Popcorn is Gone!

>> 9.07.2009

Last week, I posted about taking down the popcorn (acoustic) ceilings. As promised, here are the simple steps to prepping and painting the drywall:

1. After scraping, you should have a surface that is a little rough:

2. Take a *drywall* sander attached to a pole and smooth out the surface. I find it easier to stand on a ladder, hold the pole under my armpit, and use my torso to move the sander in an arc motion (but I'm not 6'4).

3. Clean the remaining dust off of the ceiling. I used a dampened floor mop. *If you skip this step, you'll come across bubbles and peeling paint.
4. You should end up with a smooth ceiling. If there are dings or dents, just take some joint compound and fill it into the dent then smooth with a putty knife.
5. Painting time! Before using your ceiling paint, use that same extension pole and paint roller with drywall primer (a very important step!). I ended up doing two coats of primer and one coat of ceiling paint to get a result that I wanted. It was tempting to skip the ceiling paint and just leave the white primer up, but I knew that the primer wouldn't hold up half as long as the paint would. The finished product (and a sneak peak of another project I'm working on :) ).
I'm happy to say that the popcorn is out of 90% of my house (excluding the one room I'm living in)! I'm even happier to say that I literally saved thousands by removing the ceilings myself.

Here's the breakdown...
Estimate to prep and remove popcorn- $1/sq ft
Savings (roughly): $1,000
Estimate to prep and paint ceilings- $1.25/ sq ft
Savings (roughly): $1,250

After subtracting the cost of paint and supplies, I've saved a total of $2,060 by doing this project myself! Although the removal created a giant mess in my house and I had to work each day after work and on the weekends, I'm so happy that I didn't hire the job out. Seriously, if I can do the entire thing myself (minus a few hours of boyfriend help), anyone can!


LizzieBeth September 7, 2009 at 6:06 PM  

Looks great! Honestly, why did people put popcorn ceiling up in the first place? Ugh.


alanna rose September 8, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

Excellent job! I can't believe how expensive it is to hire out home improvement jobs - even if I could afford to have someone else do all of the work around our house I'm not sure that I would. When you get done with a DIY job, and you love the results, the satisfaction of doing it yourself feels awesome!

change is a good thing September 8, 2009 at 3:35 PM  

Nice work! It looks great! Look forward to seeing what your next project is going to be. :)

Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria September 9, 2009 at 4:39 PM  

I am so glad I just found your blog! Thank you for stopping by mine. I will be getting ready to do this to the new home we are buying. This helps a lot!! Thank you! I am now a follower!

Hugs to you and good luck on the giveaway!

Heather September 10, 2009 at 10:29 AM  

Just found your blog - so glad to see soeone who has done this!! I've been itching to go nuts on our ceilings, but couldn't find tips from anyone who has done it. Thanks!!

design_aholic December 2, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

Kasey! I'm so glad to have found this! We're right smack dab in the middle of this same project, doing it ourselves. My one challenge is our front room is vaulted, at about 14 ft. And, my house was build in '78, so I have to retexture the ceilings (orange peel texture) and can't leave them smooth. I'm glad to see some of the tools you used, and will try to source those for the remainer of my project. :)

Check it out here (the sneak peak)

Wicked Thrifty May 26, 2010 at 8:05 PM  

i desperately need to do this. i HATE mine. thank you for the reassurance that i can!!!

Noe Velasco July 31, 2012 at 8:55 PM  

Excellent advice. It's a big hassle, but definitely worth it. For anybody still on the fence about it, check out this article on the top reasons to get rid of your popcorn ceilings

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