What is Popcorn Ceiling?

Popcorn Ceiling is a gift from which our previous generations have given us to make our homes beautiful. It is a saying that no matter how beautiful the moon is, its black spots always come between its beauty. Similarly, popcorn ceilings are those textured indoor ceilings that were previously used in residential homes until 1980.

The major cons of these ceilings were its bumps that accumulate dust and cobweb, which is almost impossible to clean. Also, in this busy life and ever-increasing polluting environment; it gets difficult to live in a house that has popcorn ceilings.

When facing similar issues, you can think about completely removing the popcorn ceiling from your house. But, before you plan to remove the popcorn ceiling, you must ask yourself a few questions.

This step is essential because removing the stubborn popcorn ceiling is not an easy task and involves a detailed plan before its execution.

Below are some of the popular questions to ask yourself before starting:

#1. Can we get rid of the popcorn ceiling completely?

When we plan to completely take off these popcorn ceilings, the first question is, “Is it possible to completely get rid of the popcorn ceiling?” The answer is yes. Popcorn ceiling can be removed and with the right knowledge, you can do it on your own as well.

But it is tough to remove popcorn ceilings:

  • When ceilings are painted before the house was textured.
  • When the paint is mixed with texture and repainted frequently from time to time

In such a case, the best option is to apply another layer of drywall to bury the existing layer, dust, and cobwebs. Else you can go for a fresh coat of paint on your popcorn ceilings.

But, if you have made up your mind to remove popcorn ceilings, nothing can be then impossible. All you need to do is get ready for the mess it can create, and plan your budgets accordingly.

Also, it is strongly recommended that you first try scraping a small area. It will help you understand the complexity of discarding the textured ceiling. Initially, for this trial, you can start by dampening the texture by using water.

If in this way you are able to make the ceiling wet, and its texture becomes soft, it won’t be tough to take off the entire popcorn ceiling.

#2. When should you avoid going for popcorn ceiling removal?

When you are planning to remove the popcorn ceiling, it is advised to check for Asbestos. This is a toxic material which is one of the reasons known to cause lung cancer. If you know that the ceilings were installed before the 1980s, you must go for a sample test.

If your engineer or local health department declares that your ceilings have asbestos, either avoid removal or pick the option of drywall. You may also contact a professional who has experience in removing the asbestos popcorn ceiling.

#3. How much does it cost to do remove the popcorn ceiling?

On average, to get professional help for popcorn ceiling removal, you will have to pay somewhere close to $.80 to $ 2 per square foot. It also involves the labor cost depending upon the area you live in.

The above cost can change, based on the following facts:

  • How old is your popcorn ceiling
  • What material it is made up of
  • How are you planning to get it removed,
  • Which tools could be of help and what is their cost

#4. What are the popular tools useful to remove the popcorn ceiling?

The textured ceiling is a messy and time-consuming task, hence, it requires essential tools for popcorn ceiling removal. Some of the common yet essential items are:

  • Duct tape;
  • Drywall taping knife;
  • ShopVac;
  • Nozzle shop vac;
  • Ladder;
  • Extension tube.

3 Steps to Remove Popcorn Ceiling Yourself

#1. Prepare the room to avoid a mess

Before you get started with the ceiling, cover all the furniture, walls, and floor. You must focus on covering or removing three things:

  • Furniture and walls
  • Fans
  • Electric boxes.

Ensure that you cover the lights and lamps so that you can protect them from unessential water spray.

It is advised to remove all your furniture and shift it to a safe place. But, if you don’t have this option, the market is full of various water-proof and dust-proof covers, like plastic drop cloths.

You can buy waterproof furniture protectors from Amazon.com which will save your furniture from seeping.

#2. Spray and Scrape

Scrapping is one of the most economical schemes when planning to completely remove a popcorn covered textured ceiling. All you need to do is to use a 4-inch utility knife. Skim it with a tiny and thin layer and make it smooth before beginning painting.

Though this process is very slow and creates a mess, it is one of the most cost-efficient methods known to completely remove popcorn ceiling. A note of caution is before getting into the scrapping method, consult an expert to ensure that there is no asbestos.

How to go ahead with scrapping?

Scrapping is a time-consuming task and thus, should be smartly managed. At Amazon.com there are various scrapping tools to remove popcorn ceiling that are available at economical prices. Take a look at the below product:

This is an easy-to-use tool that helps with popcorn ceiling removal. By using it, one can completely remove popcorn 10’ x 10’ ceiling in less than 30 minutes. For quick results, you can buy a threaded handle to reach an extension pole. Like popcorn ceiling POP EEZE Popeeze Scraper Vacuum

If your popcorn ceiling is not painted, this tool will work best for the removal of your popcorn ceiling. It is highly effective and hardly creates any mess. It doesn’t require to carry bag and replace it. It is one of the quickest methods to clean popcorn ceilings.

Once you have all the tools, start with the below steps:

  • Spray the ceiling;
  • Let it get soaked for a few minutes;
  • Repeat spraying again;
  • After a few more minutes, scrape the ceiling with a texture scraper;
  • Make use of a large putty knife;
  • Popcorn will start falling out;
  • If not, please soak the ceiling for a few more minutes;
  • Be careful about the quantity of water and ensure the ceiling is not too wet as it can lead to popcorn stubble;
  • Make use of refuse bag attached with the scrapper to collect stubble directly;
  • Repeat the steps for the entire roof ceiling.

Best way to Spray the ceiling

To remove the popcorn ceiling, dampening the ceiling is important. Spray the ceiling before the process starts and once water is completely absorbed, spray again. You need to ensure it is properly wet and soft.

Only spray the desired amount of water because too much water will damage the drywall.

If you are planning to spray the ceiling on your own, you can use products like

Using electric spray gun products will make your life easy, you can adjust this vertically, horizontally, and circular. All you need to do is plug in the socket, and start spraying the ceilings as per your convenience.

#3. Sanding, Repairing, and Refinishing

Once you scrape the popcorn, it’s time for sanding, repairing, and refinishing your ceilings. The below steps will help:

  • Use a sanding pole to sand the ceiling;
  • Remove all the leftover debris;
  • Make use of joint compound;
  • Apply multiple coats of drywall mud.

Why Cover Ceiling with drywall?

It is better to screw the affix ceiling-grade gypsum board on the ceiling. Although a bit pricey, going with this option makes more sense compared to scrapping. An add-on to this method is that you will get a smooth finish with fewer efforts and almost zero air pollution. 

It is suggested that you hire a professional service provider who can get you sorted with this task so that there is minimum waste. The best part of this is, once it’s done nobody will ever imagine that your ceilings were popcorn-like.

When planning to do it on your own, you can use products like Drywall Sander (available on Amazon) which are helpful in sanding stubborn popcorn ceilings.

For example, you can take this electric variable speed drywall along with disc sander available on Amazon. This tool is highly efficient in sading, and thus, it gives a super finish to your wall ceilings. One tip to use electric variable speed drywall is to put the traps or plastic sheets as it will capture maximum dust.

Other popular options could be:

#1. Replace Popcorn Texture with Unique Skim Coat Texture

By using this method you will skim the coat texture, which is helpful to remove popcorn ceilings. Moreover, it is really easy for common homemakers to do it by themselves.

All you need to do is consult this idea with a veteran ceiling contractor to make sure that this method is applicable to your house’ ceilings. Further, it is essential to check that the material you are using is silicon free. As silicon material is known to shrink, it can drastically compromise the actual look of your ceiling.

#2. Go For the Lightweight Tile Option     

Tiles can be a good alternative to remove the popcorn ceiling, and it also is the most beautiful way of decorating your house. Some of the lightweight tiles like styrofoam tiles are available in the market having all the abilities to help in the make-over of your house ceilings.

The easiest way out is to stick these beautiful looking objects on your ceiling and in a way you are saving the environment from getting polluted.

For example:

You can buy ultra-thin tiles available on Amazon. These tiles help you with the remodeling of your ceiling and the best part is, installing these tiles is a smooth process. Moreover, maintaining thin tiles is also not a time-consuming task.

Even if you have certain customized requirements, you will get what you are expecting. These tiles are available in multiple designs, colors, and finishes. Further, taking these tiles for decorating your home is a better option when compared to other mineral fiber tiles.

These were the four basic ways of removing the popcorn ceiling. If you find no possible options among these four, it is time to move on to alternatives like distracting attention from the popcorn ceiling by actually decorating it in unique ways.

The Last Note:

Popcorn ceilings can be a time-consuming task, and thus, you need to be smart so that you get a beautiful house without taking much pain.

We agree that popcorn ceilings are ugly and take away the beauty of your house. That is one of the reasons why most people completely get rid of popcorn ceilings.

In most the cases, removing the popcorn ceiling is not environment-friendly. However, if these popcorn ceilings are really affecting the way you look at your house, go ahead and completely remove it.

Nowadays, interior designers and engineers are also working to redecorate your house and transform it into something mesmerizing. So book a consultation with one of the experts and work on the possible alternatives available to re-shape your ceilings.

Share with us which idea worked well for you and also let us know how effective these ideas were in the comment section below.