Is there a previous trend more despised than a popcorn ceiling? If you’re staring up and wondering how to remove the popcorn top, you’re certainly not alone.
The popcorn ceiling, a popular furnishing trend of the 1970s, is also known as an acoustic ceiling or stucco ceiling. They were originally installed to absorb sound from above or to cover up existing blemishes and imperfections in the ceiling. But like many trends from that era, the popcorn ceiling has fallen out of favor and many homeowners are wondering how to remove a popcorn ceiling or how to simply disguise this now-loathed design feature.
Are you ready to tackle the DIY job yourself and learn how to get rid of a popcorn ceiling? We asked how to safely and easily remove popcorn ceilings.
How to remove the popcorn ceiling
If you’re tired of looking at your existing popcorn ceiling and are ready for a makeover, there’s good news. Removing a popcorn top is an easy DIY project that takes just a little time, muscle, and minimal effort.
Could your ceiling ideas be ripe for a rediscovery? The ceiling offers endless opportunities for creativity and should be treated with the same care as any other wall in your home. If removing your popcorn ceiling isn’t an option, you can also try dressing it up with trendy wood paneling ideas for walls, plaster, sheet metal tile, or glass.
1. Test for asbestos
Before you begin, it is important to ensure that your ceilings do not contain asbestos. Prior to the early 1980’s, asbestos was an ingredient many used in textured popcorn tops. The popcorn-like texture was used to help builders deal with sonic travel and was a great flame retardant.
We recommend having this “fifth” wall tested by a professional, or you can also purchase a do-it-yourself test kit at a hardware store, which will require you to send the samples to a registered laboratory. When walking the DIY test track, be sure to use the appropriate safety equipment such as gloves, a respirator or twilight mask, and eye protection.
If your ceiling tests positive, you should hire an asbestos removal professional to remove the texture, or you can ask them to cover the entire ceiling with siding, drywall, or plaster.
2. Prepare to remove
If your popcorn ceiling does not contain asbestos, you can prepare for removal, but take appropriate safety precautions. “It’s always best to wear a particulate mask during removal,” says Jeremy Hume, President and CEO of Phoenix CR Pro. Also, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.
Prepare the room by removing all furniture and paying special attention to anything valuable or sentimental. Mask the walls with painter’s plastic and cover the floor with plastic sheeting. “It’s best not to cover the floor with a cloth tarp because the cloth isn’t waterproof,” says Jeremy.
It is important to turn off the power to the room and open the room windows to ensure good ventilation.
Luckily, the project doesn’t require any special or particularly expensive tools. Essential tools for removing popcorn tops include:
- spatula or paring knife
- Drapes or plastic sheeting (plastic sheeting is considered a better option due to its water resistance)
- garden sprayer
- safety goggles
- dust mask
4. Spray the ceiling with water
Not surprisingly, a wet blanket is easier to scratch than a dry one, so start by dampening the blanket with a garden sprayer to soften the material.
“Using a pump-type garden sprayer, lightly mist an approximately 5-by-5 foot section with water and wait 10 to 15 minutes to allow the water to soak into the popcorn,” says Jeremy Hume. “Don’t soak the ceiling as this can damage the drywall.
You’ll want to work in small chunks; Otherwise, the areas will dry before you reach them. After spraying with a garden sprayer, wait about 10-15 minutes to allow the water to be fully absorbed.
Now you can start scraping. “Use a spatula and gently run it over the wet ceiling,” he says. Be careful not to damage the underlying ceiling material.
Walk around the room until all the texture has been removed. You may have to go over stubborn areas more than once. Patience and persistence are virtues when removing the popcorn top.
5. Sand, prime and paint
After the popcorn top has been successfully removed, the top can be sanded and any necessary repairs can be made. If there is damage to the ceiling, such as B. Grooves, repair them with joint compound before sanding.
After sanding the ceiling, give it a fresh coat of paint. Once the paint is finished and dry, remove the plastic wrap, reinstall all the lights and ceiling fans, and marvel at your newly smooth ceiling.