How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling: 10 Tips to Remove Popcorn Ceiling Faster and Better

Popcorn ceilings were seen all over the place back in the 60s and 70s. It provided a fun texture to the ceiling and was a great way to hide any imperfections and cracks. There is a problem with popcorn ceilings though. 

The texture is notorious for gathering up dust and cobwebs. Once these little annoyances are there they’re hard to clean off. That’s why you may be better off learning how to remove popcorn ceiling.

Let us teach you how! Keep reading for a complete guide on how to get rid of popcorn ceiling the right way and leave a smooth, gorgeous surface in its wake.

1. Take Proper Precautions  

Before the 1980s popcorn ceilings were created using asbestos. So, before you start scrapping it away you need to make sure that yours wasn’t. Otherwise, it can make you sick. 

You can buy a testing kit or send a sample to a lab in order to confirm the existence of asbestos. Either way, when you’re getting your sample you will need to put on gloves, eye protection, and a mask. 

If your sample tests positive for asbestos you’ll have to have a professional come in to do the job or leave your ceiling as it is. 

2. Gather Your Tools  

The job doesn’t require anything too complicated to get done. You’ll need something that can spray warm water, a wide putty knife, a plastic sheet, a ladder, and painter’s tape. Once you’ve gotten your materials, it’s time to start getting the room ready. 

3. Prep the Room to Get Messy   

One important thing to note is that this job is going to get a little bit messy. Cover your floors and walls with your plastic sheeting. Don’t use a drop cloth because things are going to get a little wet and moisture can leak right through it. 

Plastic also does a better job of catching the debris so you can dump it into the garbage later on. 

4. Get the Furniture Out 

If it’s within the realm of your abilities, get all of your furniture out of the room before you start the project. Bulky furniture may get in the way when you’re trying to move the ladder around to scrape the ceiling. 

If you can’t remove the furniture, try to push it all into one place at least and cover it with plastic to protect the fabric.  

5. Remove Fixtures and Fans 

Remove your fans and light fixtures. They’ll only serve to get in your way and they’ll get covered in wet popcorn debris. You also run the risk of spraying water into your light fixtures on accident. 

You can use electrical tape to cover any wires that you’re worried about destroying.  

6. Spray with Warm Water

Now that you’ve got your room ready, it’s time to actually start the popcorn removal process. To begin, spray the section that you want to start with and wait for around 15 minutes for the popcorn to soften up. 

If after 15 minutes the popcorn doesn’t start to soften then you can spray it once more and wait for another 15 minutes. Be warned, you don’t want to completely soak your ceiling. 

If you do then you may damage the drywall that is underneath the popcorn. This being said, if the texture still doesn’t soften after the second time then it may have been mixed with some kind of paint. 

What you’ll have to do in this case is dry scrape some of the paint away and then go in with the warm water. 

7. Scrape the Ceiling 

When at last you get the texture to soften you can go in with the scrapper. You want to work in small sections at a time. This is because if you spray your entire ceiling parts of it are going to dry before you get to it. 

If a spot you’re about to work on does dry up, then spray it again and wait for the fifteen minutes.  

8. Clean Your Mess 

Now that you’ve scraped all the popcorn off the ceiling you’re going to have a large mess on the plastic tarp that’s sitting on the floor. Take it outside and shake it off into a garbage can. 

Bring the tarp back in and place it back on the floor because you’re going to need it again for the next parts. 

9. Do Any Touch Ups  

Before you paint the ceiling you’re going to need it to be as smooth as possible or it will look like a mess. Get a drywall compound and place it in areas that are cracked or dented. 

Use a drywall knife to smooth out these problem areas. Let the compound dry overnight, sand it, and then wipe it clean. 

10. Prime and Paint Your Ceiling 

To complete the look, you’ll want to go over your ceiling with white paint. Grab a roller with an extension attachment. This way you can paint the surface without having to get the ladder back out. 

How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling the Right Way 

Popcorn ceiling was popular in the 70s and 80s but it gathers a lot of dust and debris that can be annoying to get rid of. If you’re tired of trying to clean it then you may be better off getting rid of it. 

Use these tips to do it not only the right way but the safe way as well and enjoy your new smooth ceiling 

They’re always more updates you can do on your home other than getting rid of the popcorn ceiling. Check out our blog daily for even more homeowner’s advice.