How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

While laying in bed trying to fall asleep, you may be tired of looking up at your popcorn ceiling. You have just decided that it time to update your home to modern design trends by removing the old popcorn ceiling that was so popular in the last century. We put together this guide for you to help you understand the basics of knocking down a popcorn ceiling.

Essential Steps to Knockdown a Popcorn Ceiling

Safety First! Wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). The experts recommend wearing a respiratory mask, covering all exposed skin with a long sleeve shirt and pants, cover the head and feet with a protective covering. It doesn’t matter how cautious you are; the material will fall on and around you. Removing a popcorn ceiling is a dirty job.

Clear the area. If you have children or pets, don’t let them enter the work area. Relocate them to a different room of the house. You don’t want children and pets exposed to the dust and debris. Also, they could track all that nasty dirt to other rooms of the house. Therefore it is best to only have the necessary people in the work area for safety and to prevent contamination.

Cover the floor and furniture. Cover the floor with plastic sheeting or a drop clothe. This so that you don’t get your house incredible messy and when the job is through you can just roll up the covering and through it in the bin.

Dampen the ceiling. Dampen the ceiling with a garden hose or sprayer. Working in one small area at a time. Dampening the area will help control the dust and make the popcorn easier to remove.

Use a pole with a blade to scrape the ceiling clean. It is easier to scrap the remove the popcorn texture from the floor than from standing on a ladder. Also, a long pole allows you do remove the surface without having to stand directly under the falling debris.

Let the ceiling dry then fill gouges and holes with joint compound and drywall mud. You should now have a smooth surface that you can paint.

If you are unhappy with your ability to remove the popcorn ceiling at in point you can always hire a professional to finish the job for you.

Should I Buy a Home with a Popcorn Ceiling?

Whether you call them popcorn ceilings, textured ceilings, acoustic ceilings, its all the same thing. That ugly bumpy stuff stuck to the ceiling! Whatever you call it, you want to know if you should buy a home with the stuff!

Brief Popcorn Ceiling History

Let me give you a bit of popcorn ceiling history. Many homes built in the 1930s through the 1990s have popcorn ceilings or some texture applied to the ceiling. If you are fortunate, you may have some with sparkly glitter. Oh, the 1970s.

All that was before our government found out that asbestos causes all kinds of terrible health risks and the EPA banned the stuff in 1978. The EPA found out that if you inhale a bunch asbestos, the fibers can cause lung cancer! Asbestos sometimes used, but not always, as an ingredient in popcorn ceiling texture.

Popcorn Ceiling Dangers

Well isn’t asbestos dangerous? Asbestos is not harmful if left undisturbed or contented. However, saying that you still may not want popcorn ceilings in the home, you are going to purchase.

Popcorn Ceiling Options

Your option for dealing with a popcorn ceiling is you can leave it and enjoy the nostalgia of a bygone era, you can paint it, or you can remove it.

It’s not that expensive to remove, so you really shouldn’t let it stop you from buying your dream home. You can remove popcorn ceiling relatively quickly, or you can hire a professional to do all the heavy lift for you.

Should I Remove a Popcorn Ceiling?

There may be issues where you would want to remove a popcorn ceiling. Popcorn ceiling is a texture that resembles; you guessed it – popcorn. Though some say, it looks more like cottage cheese! The popcorn ceiling texture was a common decorating technique used for some years. But like many things from the 70’s and 80’s has become outdated and possibly dangerous.

Before you start the task of knocking down the textured ceiling, think about the reasons and risk of removing the popcorn to determine if whether or not you should proceed.

Consider This Before Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn Ceilings May Contain Asbestos

It is possible that your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, which can cause severe health issues if disturbed. Any popcorn ceiling texture applied before 1978 will likely contain asbestos. If you aren’t 100% sure when the popcorn ceiling was installed you should assume that it contains asbestos.

If you leave the ceiling alone, it won’t poses a health risk. It is when the asbestos is disturbed that allows the fibers to become airborne and enter the lungs that asbestos becomes a health risk. Once the fibers come into the lungs, the possible health risks are lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis.

Test for asbestos before starting any work on a popcorn ceiling. Hire an expert to remove the popcorn ceiling and your home if the test returns positive for asbestos.

Popcorn Ceiling Are Hard to Paint

Popcorn ceilings are extremely hard to paint, with so many crevasses and pits it is difficult to apply an even coat of paint. Paint rollers are not adequate to paint a popcorn ceiling. So that leaves you with only two options: a paintbrush or a sprayer. Painting the ceiling by brush is slow and tedious and using a sprayer takes a skilled hand and can be expensive to rent.

Popcorn Ceilings Make Your Home Look Dated

Popcorn ceilings in homes were all the rage from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. Popcorn ceilings were common because they were easy and cheap to install. Now popcorn ceilings just make your home look outdated.

Popcorn Ceilings Are Difficult to Repair and Maintain

Popcorn ceilings are difficult to keep clean and require routine maintenance. Dust and dirt can get trapped into every nooks and cranny making your home look dingy. Even more than that a popcorn ceiling accumulates allergens and mold spores that could make your family ill. Replacing your popcorn ceiling can improve your health.

Use a step ladder and brush attachment on a vacuum to brush the service of the ceiling to remove dust. But use caution, touching the popcorn texture can stir up the asbestos particles releasing them into the air.

Repairing a popcorn ceiling can be challenging as well. If the ceiling drywall becomes damaged or perhaps a wet spot has formed your ceiling will need repairs. Fixing a ceiling means removing the popcorn texture from the damaged area, removing and patching the drywall, then applying texture and paint. As mention previously, removing the textured ceiling can release asbestos particles into the air, so it is best to call a professional.

Popcorn Ceilings are Challenging to Remove

Removing a popcorn ceiling is a challenging and dangerous task, so it would behoove you to hire a professional to help. A professional popcorn ceiling removal company will help you ditch that old decor and bring your home up to current trends.

Frequently Asked Question

What steps are included in the popcorn removal process?

Our process is we mask the floors, removing existing texture, applying new texture, painting, and cleaning up.

How long does the process take?

Popcorn removal typically requires 3 to 10 day depending on the size of your home.

Are you insured?

Yes, we are fully insured.

I’d like to discuss my project and get a written estimate. How do I do that?

Fill out the form to request a free consultation. During our scheduled meeting we will provide you with a firm estimate.