It’s something that buyers cringe seeing when previewing homes for sale. The dreaded (and dated) popcorn ceiling. It’s a job that, with a little time and effort, can easily be tackled by a homeowner. But, can also be hired out at a reasonable price to a professional. Having a smooth ceiling can make a big difference in any room. A do-it-yourselfer can easily tackle the popcorn ceiling removal, but it will take some time, manual labor and also a variety of supplies. The hardest part about the job is usually looking up at the ceiling for an extended period of time.
One problem that may come up when investigating the removal of a popcorn ceiling is if the ceiling has been painted over. If paint has been applied to the popcorn ceiling texture, then it will prevent water from being absorbed into the texture (making removal more difficult). Additional items may be used to aid in the removal of the popcorn texture. Usually, a chemical stripper applied to the area will aid in the breakdown of the paint barrier.
If you decide to remove the popcorn ceilings yourself, then make sure to wear a respirator or dust mask as well as eye protection. Keeping the section that you are working on damp will aid in reducing the dust created by the removal of the popcorn ceiling.
Here are 7 Steps to Help in Removing Popcorn Ceilings:
Step 1: Before tackling the project of removing popcorn ceilings, it must be determined if it contains asbestos. If the home was built before 1978, then sending off a few samples for testing is a must. Any EPA certified testing lab should be able to test the samples. Keep in mind that the popcorn texture that contained asbestos could still be purchased off of store shelves even into the 1980’s. Should your ceiling contain asbestos, then a certified asbestos removal contractor should be hired to complete the job. Keep in mind that by law, any material that contains over 1 percent asbestos must be removed by an asbestos removal professional. Leaving an asbestos ceiling in place doesn’t inflict much harm, it’s when the asbestos is disturbed that it poses a greater health risk.
Step 2: The next step of the project is to prepare the room. To do this, all light fixtures should be removed (but make sure to turn off the power before this is done). If any furniture is in the room, then it can be either removed or covered. Next, put up plastic sheeting on the walls and flooring attached with painters tape to catch all of the popcorn ceiling residue.
Step 3: Begin to wet the ceiling. A garden sprayer is a perfect tool for this step as you work in an area of 4 to 5 square feet at a time. Just be careful not to over-wet the ceiling area.
Step 4: Scrape, scrape, scrape. The ‘popcorn’ like material can be removed by scraping the ceiling with a joint knife or another similar tool. If an area presents difficulty in removing the popcorn ceiling, then additional water may be needed to wet the area more thoroughly.
Step 5: Cover any nail holes or bare joints with joint compound. Then, sand the ceiling in preparation for priming and painting.
Step 6: Paint or texture coat the ceiling. Visit a paint store professional for suggestions on paint. Most professionals will suggest a drywall primer to be applied first followed by a ceiling paint or conventional paint. Keep in mind that a flat finish usually hides imperfections better than other types of paint finishes.
Step 7: Clean up! The chances are that the space is dramatically updated by the removal of the popcorn ceiling. Now it’s time to clean up and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
The removal of dated popcorn ceilings can make a big difference in just about any space and the smooth ceiling will add value to the home.