A popcorn ceiling has only one single redeeming feature and that is that it minimizes noise. Otherwise, popcorn ceilings are a much unloved and unpopular home feature that many people have removed.
If you want to update the interior of your home, Flying Colors Painting can help you achieve your vision. You can decide what you’d like to do to your home as far as improvements and changes while reading our series of home improvement blogs. In this series, we discuss many options for updating your walls and revamping your space, as well as tips and tricks for removing old interiors to get ready for your next project.
In this blog, we’re going to show you the ins and outs of removing the annoying popcorn ceilings of the past to prepare your space for a new finish. The level of aesthetic enhancement a beautiful, smooth finish ceiling makes in a room is immense and cannot be overstated.
(Before and after of a popcorn ceiling removal we did!)
Before we begin, let’s go over the basics. Popcorn ceilings became a staple in households circa 1940-1990. The textured finish helped with noise cancellation and hiding structural imperfections and was relatively affordable to install.
With the improvements in home renovation and innovations in technology, the technology behind popcorn ceilings has become obsolete and, on the design side, is often viewed as out of fashion and ugly. Apart from being an eyesore, popcorn ceilings tend to collect dust and can contain asbestos. For all these reasons, it may be time for removal if you have popcorn ceilings.
Popcorn ceilings, depending on when they were installed, may contain asbestos. Before you begin removing your ceiling, it’s important to research when your popcorn finish was installed to make sure it does not contain asbestos. If it does, we recommend consulting a professional for removal. Asbestos is only harmful once disturbed, so if you discover your ceiling contains asbestos, the best thing to do is to contact a professional to help with removal.
Removal of popcorn ceilings is a big project, but you can do it yourself with the right tools. Here are the tools you’ll need for your removal project:
You also want to make sure you have a dustpan and garbage cans easily accessible to help with cleanup after the removal process is complete.
Popcorn ceiling removal is a messy project! Begin by covering your floor with drop cloths or some other covering to help with cleanup. Also, make sure to put on a dust mask and eye protection to help protect your face from any falling particles during removal.
Fill a sprayer with warm water. We recommend using a lawn sprayer. Make sure what you’re using to spray water on your walls has a significant amount of pressure to help the water penetrate the surface of your ceiling. Spray water over your ceiling with the goal of a saturating the surface.
You can start with a smaller area as a test spot and then work on a larger area if you’d like to make adjustments after you see what works best. The key is to give the water enough time to soak into your ceiling thoroughly. You may want to go over certain spots more than once, especially around the corners of your ceiling.
After your first layer of water has soaked in, go back and respray the entire ceiling one more time. As soon as you finish spraying the second layer, you should begin scraping with your floor scraper. If your ceiling is adequately soaked, you should be able to scrape off the popcorn finish with little resistance. You may have to spray again if there’s too much resistance.
You should be able to get most of the popcorn ceiling removed with the floor scraper. But for small patches or hard-to-reach areas, you can go back with a putty knife to pinpoint specific spots. The putty knife will also be helpful for areas around ceiling fixtures such as lights and fans.
Once you’ve given your ceiling time to thoroughly dry, you can wipe away any leftover dust or residue and move on to the next stage of the project. Your ceiling space is ready to add the finish you choose!
For a complimentary consultation, contact our team of experts at Flying Colors Painting to walk you through all your home improvement options and help your interior design dreams come true.