How to remove popcorn ceiling

We are having problems removing popcorn ceiling. What is the easiest way to remove it.
  10 answers
  • Judy Capone Mantell Judy Capone Mantell on Sep 22, 2015
    We used hot water in a spray bottle and a scraper. Don't forget this is hazardous material (asbestos), so take appropriate safety precautions. Some communities require special disposal methods.
  • Lmallarts Lmallarts on Sep 22, 2015
    Just an FYI: In early formulations it often contained white asbestos fibers. When asbestos was banned in ceiling treatments by the Clean Air Act of 1978 in the United States,[1] popcorn ceilings fell out of favor in much of the country. However, in order to minimize economic hardship to suppliers and installers, existing inventories of asbestos-bearing texturing materials were exempt from the ban, so it is possible to find asbestos in popcorn ceilings that were applied through the 1980s. After the ban, popcorn ceiling materials were created using a paper-based or Styrofoam product to create the texture, rather than asbestos. Textured ceilings remain common in residential construction in the Upper Midwest of the United States. Although the process is messy, popcorn texturing can be easily removed by spraying it with water to soften it, then scraping the material off with a large scraping trowel or putty knife.[2] As the texturing may have been applied before the ban on asbestos, its removal should only be done by a licensed professional or after testing of a sample by a qualified laboratory has ruled out asbestos content.
  • Floweraday Floweraday on Sep 22, 2015
    I rented a commercial steamer, spread drop clothes everywhere. It was a real mess, the popcorn finish was on the ceiling and the walls. We have an old house and the upstairs wall and ceiling finishes are in all the rooms.
  • Vicki at Entri Ways Vicki at Entri Ways on Sep 23, 2015
    Have you considered covering them instead of removing them? Here's an example of some tin tiles you could use to cover. Or go for the less expensive cardboard option and spray paint them with metallic paint.
  • Bg Bg on Sep 23, 2015
    spray 2-3 ft square area with hot water - let sit a couple of minutes and scrape off (being careful to scrape flat across , so you don't gouge the sheetrock. We did our entire house about 4 years ago
  • Jcb Jcb on Sep 23, 2015
    I have been wanting to do this to my kitchen ceiling but hated thinking of the mess. I think I am going another way. I have decided to cover it with some kind of floor covering! Probably lightweight wood or "fake" wood. Since my kitchen is basically white, that is the color I plan to choose. Sounds so much easier than scraping.
  • Dee Maxwell Dee Maxwell on Sep 23, 2015
    Just be careful there is no asbestos; a lot of popcorn ceilings have that! I would just cover it either with planking or tin whatever look you want. Beats exposure to asbestos.
  • Sandy Sandy on Sep 23, 2015
    I did my ceilings, spray with water from a spray bottle and use a large scraper. Be sure and cover floors, pretty messy.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Sep 23, 2015
    When asbestos is dry and you try to scrape it, that is what causes the problems of inhaling in the chemicals. Keep it wet and you won't have a problem. Sometimes they used it to cover up dry wall mistakes so it might not be as smooth as you like underneath the popcorn.
  • Sheri Gomez Sheri Gomez on Apr 28, 2017
    Get some of those painters coveralls with hoods and it will save you a lot of time getting cleaned up afterward because it can get pretty messy. We used the hot water in a sprayer then came back with a large squigee type tool and it comes off pretty easily. Like the comment above, remember asbestos is deadly so wear a mask or respirator if you have one. Keep it wet so it's easier to scrape off.
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