How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Drop cloth
Spray bottle
Small putty knife
Plastic sheets
Long sleeved shirt
10-inch taper knife
Plastic bags

One of the most antiquated faux finishes is the popcorn effect which is why learning how to remove a popcorn ceiling is important. The popcorn ceiling is a textured ceiling that consists of thousands of tiny bumps. The look is no longer popular which has made it popular to learn how to remove popcorn ceiling issue. This is a job not meant for the faint of heart as it's very tiring, somewhat difficult and takes a lot of time. This look was popular in the 60s but has since gone from popularity. The following article will show you how to remove the popcorn ceiling texture.

Step 1 – Safety First

Learning how to remove a popcorn ceiling is easy enough but the process can actually be dangerous. This type of ceiling finish was all the rage in the 60s and, since then, scientists have determined that asbestos is not good for your health. Unfortunately the popcorn effect is caused by using asbestos. Wet the ceiling in several areas and use a putty knife to scrape off a very small amount into a plastic bag. Use one plastic bag per area to be tested. Look up local labs in the phonebook and have the samples tested for asbestos. If present then do not do the job yourself. Either hire a professional or paint the ceiling with drywall paint. If there is no asbestos then feel free to continue.

When removing the popcorn ceiling always wear your gloves, long shirt, hat, face and eye protection. This is a very messy job and inhaling the popcorn stuff can make you ill. Cover the floor with a drop cloth and remove all of the furniture. If you cannot remove the furniture then cover it with plastic sheeting.

Step 2 – Loosening the Popcorn

You could try sanding the ceiling down but that would create more of a mess than any other method you could try. In order to easily learn how to remove popcorn ceiling mater you need to know that when it gets wet it becomes loose. Fill an empty spray bottle with plain water and begin spraying the popcorn ceiling. Let the water soak on the material for about a minute before continuing.

Step 3 – Remove the Popcorn Ceiling Material

With the material moist you can use the 10-inch taper knife to scrape it off of the ceiling. Do this in sections and do not drench the ceiling with water. Work in sections that are about 3-feet square. Continue in this fashion until the popcorn ceiling is removed. It may take several passes to get it all off. You have just learned how to remove a popcorn ceiling except for the finishing touches.

Step 4 – Finishing Touches

Once the popcorn ceiling material is off you will need to sand the ceiling down. You may find dents and small holes or cracks. Repair this using spackle and a putty knife and sanding it down until smooth and blended.