How to remove a popcorn ceiling

How To Remove A Popcorn Ceiling

The joy of popcorn ceiling removal

Removing popcorn ceilings is the latest trend in home ownership. Popcorn ceilings were desired back in the 1950s but now homeowners want a more modern and stylish look to their homes. Unfortunately, removing a popcorn ceiling can be an arduous task. For this reason, you may want to hire a professional to remove a popcorn ceiling. If this is the direction you wish to explore, the average cost of Popcorn Ceiling Removal can be anywhere between $1110.96 – $3,517CAD depending on the size of the room or if you want to do your whole house.

If you plan on removing your popcorn ceilings yourself, we will go over if removing a popcorn ceiling is worth the cost, how to remove popcorn ceilings, and lastly, we will provide some tips and supplies needed before removing a popcorn ceiling.

About Popcorn Ceilings

Why were popcorn ceilings popular?

Popcorn ceilings, otherwise known as acoustic ceilings, were first introduced in the 1950s. Some speculation on the rise to prominence has to do with home buyers enjoying the look and the bolstering effect to sound it provided. Builders also preferred using the popcorn effect because it was easy to hide imperfections in their craft, as well as, being considerably cheaper.

Why are popcorn ceilings bad?

Popcorn ceilings are not inherently bad however, popcorn ceilings are generally considered a negative for home owners and future purchasers. One of the reasons this type of ceiling is considered a deterrent to home owners is because popcorn ceilings are tougher to paint. If a home owner plans to redecorate, they will have a difficult time painting a ceiling that is textured as opposed to a flat ceiling.

Should I remove my popcorn ceiling?

When weighing the pros and cons each individual item has a certain amount of value to each person. However, if you own a home that was built before the 1980s there is a high chance your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos which is dangerous for us to breath. For this reason, it is universally recommended to remove popcorn ceilings in your home and have a professional do it.

Is it worth the cost to remove popcorn ceilings?

For a 1,400 square foot home worth $200,000 you would add a value of $2,500. Removing popcorn ceilings will increase the value added to your home. The additional value might be equal to or slightly more than what was put into the cost of removing.

Removing Your Popcorn Ceilings

How do I remove popcorn ceilings?

The most common method to remove popcorn ceilings is to scrape it. This is the best method to remove popcorn ceilings as it is cost effective and can be done by one person.  You will want to use a 4-inch utility knife or a drywall knife and scrape across the ceiling. Once that is done place a thin layer of joint compound to smooth out any imperfections and finally sand it before painting.

Safety precautions before you start with popcorn ceiling removal

The first safety precaution to take is to check if your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos or lead paint. If your ceiling is tested positive, have a professional perform removal of the popcorn ceiling instead. Another tip is to not spray your ceiling with water. Many people spray the ceiling with water because they think it will make the scraping easier. However, the water sprayed into the ceiling will make it expand and crack resulting in damaging the ceiling itself.  

Next steps after you remove the popcorn ceiling

Once you are done scraping, you will need to smooth over your ceiling. You will need to do this with at least one layer of joint compound. Once that is done, you will need to sand it to smooth out the ceiling before painting it.

Can you remove popcorn ceilings without scraping?

Yes, you can remove popcorn ceilings without scraping by either covering it with drywall or skim coat a new design. Covering popcorn ceilings is technically not removing the popcorn however, if you have asbestos in your popcorn this is the safer option. Scraping the popcorn ceiling that may contain asbestos will release asbestos into the air.  Covering is also how you can remove popcorn ceilings without making a mess. Before considering this option ensure your ceiling can withhold the additional weight.

Additional Tips For Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Tools to remove popcorn ceiling

1. Drywall Knives

Here are the following tools you will need to remove a popcorn ceiling. The first tool you will need is a drywall knife. This is the tool you will use to scrape the ceiling. A good tip for using a drywall knife is to round off the edges so you reduce the change of damaging the ceiling. 

2. Mud Pans

You can also use a mud pan to avoid a mess. While scrapping, hold a mud pan below the part you are scrapping.

3. Sanding Equipment

After this you  will need a sander to sand down the ceiling to make it smooth. 

Prep Your Room

Make sure the room you are scraping is covered for easy clean up. Cover or remove any furniture in the room to make it easier to move once you are done scraping one part of the ceiling.

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