Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How to Easily Remove an UGLY Popcorn Ceiling

**EDITED** Our ceilings do not contain asbestos because we had them tested. Most asbestos applications were in commercial construction, NOT residential. The use of asbestos was intended to create more fire retardant surfaces in schools, workplaces, factories, etc. If your home was built before 1978 there is a slight possibility that your popcorn ceiling has asbestos.  The only way to be certain is to have it tested. Western Analytical Lab can do that for you with a simple sample. 

My first DIY since the move and it's a needed one...at least for us! We found a house we loved in TX and it was a total 1970's Brady Bunch palace. This sucker hasn't been updated in 36 years!! 

One of the first things to go was the popcorn ceiling in the kitchen. We still have 11 rooms after this, one with 10' ceilings, & 3 hallways. Eeesh. 

Finding out how easy it is to remove popcorn ceiling was a complete accident. I was in the middle of removing THREE layers of grass cloth wall covering in the kitchen (I guess they updated with more grass cloth?) and over sprayed the walls onto the ceiling. Once wet the popcorn practically fell off on its own. 


Let's get started!
Supplies:
Spray Bottle (typically used for bug spray) $19.99 at Home Depot
Fabric Softener (used cheapest our store had) $4
Drywall Taping Knife (make sure edges aren't bent & nicked or it will scratch ceiling) $10
Plastic Drop Cloth to keep mess confined


1. In the Sprayer mix 1/2 gallon HOT water and 1C of fabric softener. It's pointless to use more than 1/2 gallon at a time because it works best when hot. Having a helping getting another batch of mixture ready as the first person scrapes will make the project move very quickly. 

2. Spray onto ceiling with enough of the mixture to only WET the ceiling. Anymore can damage the drywall underneath. Wait about 15-20 seconds and scrape the popcorn off. 


Make sure to keep the blade parallel with the ceiling as to not have the edge of the knife gauge the drywall underneath. 


It will come off in sheets!! 




It does tend to make a mess so beware! Wear old clothes and section off a room with the plastic drop cloth. 



It looks so much better and we were only finished with half of the room! Stay tuned for more "after" pictures of the kitchen projects. 

*EDITED*  Our ceilings do not contain asbestos because we had them tested. Most asbestos applications were in commercial construction, NOT residential. The use of it was intended to create more fire retardant surfaces in schools, workplaces, factories, etc. If your home was built before 1978 there is a slight possibility that your popcorn ceiling has asbestos.  The only way to be certain is to have it tested. Western Analytical Lab can do that for you with a simple sample. 

2 comments:

uhsaywhat said...

Did you have an issue with the popcorn sticking to areas with sheetrock mud?

Natasha Roe said...

Uhsaywhat - Once its gets wet it scraps off really easy. the trick it not get it too wet. just a light spray and then if more is needed that's fine. the only places that seemed to stick really well were the dry spots.