Back in the 70’s contractors realized how much time and money could be saved by using a spray-on treatment for ceilings in residential homes.
It was cheaper and faster than painting and was also used to cover up poor workmanship, stains and other ceiling defects. That’s when the now dreaded ‘popcorn’ ceiling was born.
Luckily, removing popcorn textured ceiling comes down to five basic steps. The easiest method comes down to testing for asbestos, preparing the room, wetting down the ceiling, scraping the texture material off the ceiling and finally, using joint compound to fix any noticeable ceiling flaws.
Testing for asbestos
Not all popcorn textured ceiling contain asbestos, but I can’t stress enough the dangers that it can cause to you and your family once it becomes air-born. Before any work begins, make sure it’s safe to continue.
Asbestos becomes dangerous when fibers are released into the air.
If your ceiling contains asbestos, chances are that you would be fine to leave it alone. But, if you want to remove the popcorn texture from your ceilings, then start by – testing for asbestos.
What you’ll need for this project
You won’t have to spend much money to complete this kind of project. The real care and time should go into properly preparing the room.
1. Asbestos testing kit
2. Plastic sheeting
3. Painters tape
4. Light garden sprayer
5. Wide high-grade putty knife
6. Thick-grade construction paper
Turn off the power
Before grabbing the hose and spraying, don’t forget to completely shut off the power, then cover all outlets and removed ceiling light fixture hole with plastic sheeting and painters tape.
1. Preparing the room
We are using the wet down method to easily remove the textured material which will cut down on dust and allow for the product to easily peel off the ceiling.
This method will save you a lot of time and headaches, but remember, water and houses don’t mix well. You must be sure to take the time to properly prep the room – protecting the walls, floors and resulting in an easy clean up.
The prep process is straight-forward:
• Start by removing all ceiling fixtures, then covering the fixture holes and all outlets with individual thick plastic sheeting.
• Tape plastic sheeting so that half of it touches the floor and the other half is on the wall creating a waterproof corner. Make sure everything is sealed tight.
• Cover the remaining floor with plastic, remembering to overlay and use layers of tape for a tighter seal from water.
• Tape plastic sheeting on all the walls leading up to the ceiling.
• Finally, place multiple layers of high-grade construction paper to soak up any drops of water that may not get soaked into the ‘popcorn’ texture material.
2. Wetting the ceiling
While using a soft garden sprayer, work in small 4 to 5 square feet areas ensuring that you thoroughly wet the area without soaking it causing lots of water to drip to the floor.
This process may take some time as you allow the texture material to soak up water and slowly work your way around the room trying to avoid getting water everywhere.
3. Scrape the popcorn ceiling
Take the wide putty knife, placing it at an angle while applying even pressure to remove the texture material. If you run into hard to remove areas, apply more water and let it sit for a few minutes. Your going for a smooth and even ceiling, but don’t worry if you mess up here and there since a quick application of drywall compound will easily hide any flaws you’ve made.
It may take a bit to get a flow of things, but it won’t be long before your a pro.