In the ‘60s and 70’s popcorn ceilings were incredibly popular. The trend really took off as it added a visual texture and depth to drywall and plaster ceilings. Not only was it easy to do but it also helped hide imperfections as it required minimal additional effort after applying. However, today this look has become very outdated and most homeowners are choosing to remove their popcorn ceiling as soon as possible. Especially as this type of ceiling catches a ton of dust, cobwebs and is a real pain to repair if there are cracks and holes. Choosing to remove your popcorn ceiling is a great way to modernize and refresh your home, but before you begin, there are some key things you need to know in order to do this project successfully.
As with any job, the prep work is very important. This is especially so,
if you suspect or know that your ceiling was constructed before 1980. Before
1980 asbestos was widely used in construction of homes, including the ceilings.
For those of you unfamiliar with asbestos, all you really need to know is that
it is extremely toxic and can cause several types of cancers and diseases if it
is inhaled. So, before you begin scraping away at your popcorn ceiling you may
want to contact your local health department and ask about getting a sample
tested. An asbestos abatement contractor will be necessary in order to help you
deal with this toxic substance. However, if your ceiling is asbestos free, then
you’re ready to continue your prep work! Removing a popcorn ceiling makes a
huge mess when you begin attempting to remove it. To minimize the mess, you
will need to purchase some large rolls of sheet plastic that you can use to bag
the whole room. While you can use canvas cloths, it is not recommended as they
will absorb moisture and will result in additional mess to clean up. You will
also want to remove all or as much furniture as possible from the room you’re
renovating. As you remove the popcorn ceiling you will need to move your ladder
around, and any left-over furniture will just get in the way. Once that’s done,
your next step is to remove any ceiling fixtures and then protect the exposed
electrical wires by wrapping them in paper to keep them dry. Make sure you also
shut off the power to these fixtures by turning off the appropriate breakers on
your fuse box. With these steps complete, you’re ready to begin removing the popcorn
The first step
to actually removing the popcorn ceiling is wetting it. You will want to work
in small sections at a time – approximately 4×4 feet. Using a pump sprayer,
mist the ceiling lightly with water and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Make
sure not to use too much water as it may damage your drywall. You may need to
repeat this process again if the ceiling doesn’t soften up. If you find that
even after multiple soakings your ceiling is still hard as a bone, this means
that your popcorn ceiling may have had paint mixed into the texture when it was
sprayed. In this case, you will need to dry-scrape in order to break through
the paint and clear the whole ceiling. To do the actual scraping you can
purchase a wide putty knife or a 6-inch drywall knife. Either of these will
work well. However, you need to scrape carefully as the outer edges of these
knives can easily gouge into your ceiling. To avoid this, round off the corners
of your scraper using a sander, electric grinder or a file.
the Finish/Clean Up
With the popcorn ceiling removed you
may be thinking that you’re done… Not so quick! You will still need to sand
your ceiling in order to smooth out the surface and get rid of imperfections.
Once you’ve done this wipe down the ceiling with a damp rag in order to remove
the dust from sanding. Do not skip this step as it will result in peeling
paint. With this complete you are ready to prime and paint. Use a
stain-blocking primer for best results. This type of primer will cover up
watermarks, smoke and any other stains that can bleed through regular primer.
It will also ensure that your paint will stick better. Finish off by painting
with a long-handled roller and you’re done!
Removing your popcorn ceiling is a great idea in order to improve the style and look of your home, however, it is a much more involved project than you might expect. There is a surprising number of subtle but important steps including those that are important to protect your health. So, if you are concerned your ceiling may have asbestos in it or this project is beginning to feel overwhelming it might be a good time to consider reaching out to your local Naples renovation professionals. You may find that the savings in time, effort and safety are well worth the cost of hiring a pro rather than doing this project yourself.
If you have any questions or would like to get a free estimate, contact us here or call us directly at 239.963.7937.