Paint 101: 6 HOW TO REMOVE POPCORN CEILING- A complete guide by Painters in Austin

Paint 101: 6 HOW TO REMOVE POPCORN CEILING- A complete guide by Painters in Austin

Is there anything more universally loathed than a popcorn ceiling? If you find yourself staring upward, wondering how to remove popcorn ceilings, you are not alone. Let’s face it: They’re eyesores. They’re also known as acoustic ceilings, stucco ceilings, or, worst of all, cottage cheese ceilings. They were big in the mid- to late 20th century. Builders installed the textured treatment to help absorb sound from above or cover up imperfections in the ceiling. But like many trends from the 1970s, the popcorn ceiling has fallen out of favor and many homeowners are removing or covering up the unsightly surface.

If you are tired of looking at lumps and bumps- we’ve good news for you. Clearing up a popcorn ceiling is a fairly easy task- and we’re here to walk you through the process.

  1. The Asbestos test:
  • Before you start, it’s important to make sure that your ceiling doesn’t have asbestos. If you go the DIY test route, make sure to use the appropriate safety gear, such as gloves, a ventilator or dusk mask, and eye protection.
  • If your ceiling tests positive, you should have a professional licensed in asbestos abatement remove the texture or cover it with paneling or drywall. If you have asbestos, it is best to leave the ceiling intact, as there is no real danger if it is in good condition.
  1. The tools you’ll need:
  • a garden sprayer
  • a wide putty knife or drywall taping knife
  • drop cloths or plastic sheeting
  • painter’s tape
  • ladder
  • safety goggles
  • dust mask
  1. Protecting the goods:
  • Cover floors and walls with plastic drop cloths as you begin your how to remove popcorn ceiling project. Don’t use canvas drop cloths because water can soak through. Cleanup is easier with plastic too, because you can just ball it all up when you’re done working and throw it in the trash. Leave the plastic in place after popcorn ceiling removal to catch the mess you’ll make repairing and sanding the ceiling later.
  • If possible, remove all furniture from the room you’ll be working in. When learning how to remove popcorn ceiling, it is messy work, and you won’t want furniture in your way every time you move the ladder around. If moving everything out of the room isn’t possible, cluster it and cover it with drop cloths.
  • Taking down ceiling fans or hanging light fixtures will also make the job easier—just be sure to cover electrical boxes with painter’s tape to protect the wires from damage and water. Turn off your HVAC system and close and cover all vents and electrical outlets with plastic. Since this is a job involving water, make sure to turn off the electricity to the room you’re working in.
  1. Spraying the ceiling with water:
  • For easier scraping and practically no dust during popcorn ceiling removal, use a garden pump sprayer to mist the ceiling and let it soak in for about 15 minutes before scraping. Only give it a light misting—too much water could damage the drywall or loosen the joint tape. If the texture hasn’t softened after 15 minutes or so, spray it again and wait another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • If the texture still hasn’t softened, it might be painted, or paint might have been mixed into the texture before application. In either case, water won’t easily penetrate. If the texture is painted, you might be able to dry-scrape it first to expose some of the unpainted texture and follow up with wet scraping. If the texture has paint mixed in, you might have to dry-scrape the whole ceiling or cover it up with drywall or T&G boards.
  1. Section off the work:
  • Only spray and scrape a small area at a time—about 4 x 4 ft. If you work too large of an area at once, the popcorn might dry before you have time to scrape it off. If that happens, respray the area and wait another 10 to 15 minutes before scraping.
  1. Gouging:
  • Round off the corners of your popcorn scraper—whether it’s a wide putty knife or drywall taping knife—so it won’t gouge the ceiling and leave you with dozens of ceiling wounds to repair. Use a file, a sander or an electric grinder to do this
  1. Sanding and painting:
  • Since you already have the floor and walls covered, go ahead and take care of sanding, priming, and painting now. If there’s any damage to the ceiling, such as gouges or damaged drywall tape, repair with joint compound before you start sanding. When you remove the popcorn ceilings, you might find hidden imperfections, like visible joints or screws; you can also cover these with joint compound and then sand them.
  • After sanding the ceiling, give it a fresh coat of paint. Once the paint job is complete, remove the plastic sheeting, reinstall fans or lights, and enjoy your newly smooth ceiling.
  1. Looking for professional work:
  • DON’T STRESS, GIVE US A CALL! It might be overwhelming to think about how you are going to tackle the project of painting your ceiling. There are a lot of steps consider if you are thinking of taking the project such as: task force, materials and supplies. Many homeowners may not know where to start or what tools they might need.
  • That is where we can help! At Painters in Austin Texas, our experts will know exactly how to tackle your project so that your kitchen is painted in a timely manner and without any mistakes. Give us a call today and we will come out to your home to give you a free estimate!