Betty
Betty
  • Hometalker
  • Cartersville, GA
Asked on Dec 28, 2011

I have popcorn ceilings.

Sandra KnightBettyVeronica S
+16

Answered

I want them to go away. I have heard one way is to use a spray bottle and putty knife. I know this is way time consuming and messy. I have also heard of doing 1/4 inch dry wall to the ceiling . Is this bad. It seems a lot less time consuming. We are talking family room, kitchen , Breakfast room, dining room foyer and hallway. for the starters.
19 answers
  • Our AK experts weighed in and said they prefer to add new sheetrock as it provides the optimal finish. Popcorn ceilings are quite a challenge and there is really NO easy way to get rid of them.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 28, 2011

    Betty...I wrote an article on this a while ago. http://www.networx.com/article/the-mostly-painless-guide-to-removing I'm in the scrape camp as opposed to the cover camp. To me covering up the problem does not really make it "go away" you just hiding it for the next person to deal with it.

  • Few things to remember. If the popcorn is older it could contain asbestos. If your not sure, remove a small amount, put into plastic baggie and send to a lab. There are many all over the country that have a mail in program for around $35 for the test. Once your sure you do not have asbestos then you can proceed with the task at hand. As you understand this can be a wet and dirty job to do. All depends if they used paint when they put the popcorn onto the ceiling. In any case, you need to put plastic or drop cloths down all over everything. There are special scrapers that you can purchase at most big box stores that have long handles on them so you do not need to work from a ladder. Many of these scrapers have holders for plastic bags used to catch the stuff as you scrape the offending material off of the ceiling. Using a spay bottle or even a garden sprayer will help dampen the stuff thus weakening the bond to the ceiling making it easier to remove.

  • Faidra at CA Global Inc
    on Dec 28, 2011

    If its not to thick, you can have painters sand down then put on a layer of plaster. That's what we did and it looks great!

  • Betty
    on Dec 28, 2011

    AK, when you are adding the sheetrock are you putting this over the popcorn. I believe our house was built in 1996 so am not really worried about asbestos. I am sorry I just don't ahve the time are inclination to scrape for days and create a huge mess in the process if I don't have to and can get the same results.

  • Glkirk Builders Inc.
    on Dec 28, 2011

    Betty, Think about the process of veneering over. You will have all the edges to worry about. You will have more of a mess by the time you are finished. Buy some thin thin poly and t mask off everything right up to the ceiling, Get a good pump up sprayer and a 12 wide drywall knife and a stool to work off. I know you will be surprised how this stuff comes off. Prolly only take you an hour of scraping. You will need to most probably do some final finishing to the drywall finish as the original finisher knew it was going to be popcorn and didn't finish it as smooth as if it was to be painted. Use your 12" knife and some slightly diluded mud and you should get a nearly sandless finish. All your edges are already beded and finished. Granted, with furniture in the occupied home, it will be disruptive. But I thing scraping is the easier, faster and cleaner way.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 28, 2011

    I didn't want to ask a dumb question - but here it is: are popcorn and textured the same thing? I ask this because I have textured walls that we just painted & they turned out beautifully (in pink) with no extra prep. Yes, I said Pink.

  • Glkirk Builders Inc.
    on Dec 28, 2011

    No Sherry, Popcorn texture is a combination of styrofoam chips and a weak "paint like" substance. You buy it in dry form, mix water with it and spray it onto the ceiling with a special "hopper" gun. It is way too weak to be used on walls! The word "Textured" describes many many different finishes. Here in Va, the norm is a "sand finish" plaster. Its real plaster with a little silica sand mixed in, applied over a gypsum board, similar to drywall. It's applied 3/16" thick and a consistant "fan type" texture is produced using a sponge before it dries. The "drywall" process has many textures using all kinds of procedures. One is called "knockdown" There are lots of other plaster textures used in different parts of the world. Can you describe yours?

  • Kim S
    on Dec 29, 2011

    we sprayed and scraped with fantastic results. Not that much of a mess. Of course, we still had to spackle in some areas, but you will have to spackle with new sheetrock anyways.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 29, 2011

    Glkirk, I guess the only way I can describe my walls is they have a look unlike flat paint. I know it was easy to paint so I was glad about that. It was a little rough - not flat. It is a little different look. NOT popcorn.

  • Atlanta Finished Basements
    on Dec 29, 2011

    Its always most affordable to simply remove the existing popcorn drywall, dispose of it, and reinstall new drywall. Do you have a basic idea of the measurements?

  • Helen C
    on Dec 29, 2011

    It's not that hard to remove. A little messy, but if you use a wide dry wall finishing tool it will scrape right off.

  • Patricia M
    on Dec 29, 2011

    My husband did a lot of rehabbing before the economy crunch and they did several houses with popcorn ceilings...one house had doors, some walls, etc. covered too (YIKES !!) He said to keep costs down and yet leave the ceiling with a nice look they used the 12" joint grout trowel and just scrape off the popcorn gently. If you need to paint, you will see that this solution doesn't leave a smooth finish like drywall, but it has a swirl finished look. Have fun !!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 1, 2012

    If you want to go with a more "modern" look the splatter knock down can be applied to the scraped ceiling once the popcorn is gone...getting the ceiling smooth enough for that is not much work or mess.

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc.
    on Jan 1, 2012

    Betty, if you are planning on doing this yourself then after wetting and removing the popcorn. brush on a textured sand finish available at your local paint store. This is a very subtle and pretty finish that will cover the imperfections. You will have to prime first. That way you will not have to call a professional to skim all the ceilings after you have removed the popcorn. The popcorn went on in the first place to save them from this process. Personally, I like this look even better than flat ceilings, If you are resolved to have your ceilings slick, I would think about calling in a drywall contractor if you want them to look smooth when it's finished and still have your sanity (-; Best, Charles

  • IF you went over it, y0ou would need 1/2" or 5/8" gypsum board, NOT 1/4" because it would sag in short order on a ceiling. A professional would likely do at least some knockdown of high points before hanging new rock anyways too. I would find it far easier to just deal with knocking down and scraping the popcorn and then applying new skimcoat finish

  • Veronica S
    on Mar 28, 2012

    It isn't that hard to get it all down. lay down painters drop cloth and tape off other rooms. You can get large scrapers screw onto a pole. wear painters coverups and eye protection and go for it! It comes off pretty easy and vacuum with a shop vac. If it was applied before the late 70's you might want to check to see that it doesn't contain asbestos...

  • Betty
    on Mar 12, 2013

    Just a note on Dec 26th. We took all our Christmas decoration down. We moved upstairs with our little Beagle. On Dec 27th 3 wonderful men came in helped either move furniture or Spread plastic over what wasn't moved. It looked sorta like a crime scene where the cleaner was coming in to wrap us up in the plastic They scraped, they cleaned, they sanded and they mudded and they painted and on Sunday evening we had our house back. We had the main floor done. Master BR, two bathrooms, hallway, foyer study Great Room, DR, Kitchen, Breakfast room, It is wonderful. On tuesday we had a new years party and all I wanted was people to look at my ceiling. It was wonderful. The guys were great cleaning every day at the end of the day.

  • Sandra Knight
    on Aug 26, 2015

    I put 17 inch tile over it, been up two yrs and looks great

    , Ceiling tile over ugly popcorn ceiling Looks beautiful
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