How to get rid of popcorn ceilings

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What is the easiest way to get rid of popcorn ceilings?
  35 answers
  • Liza Wild Liza Wild on Mar 24, 2016
    I seen a video where a guy duct taped a wider scraper to the attachment of a shop vacation and without wetting he scraped the ceiling and all the mess vacuumed up at the same time! I haven't personally tried this technique yet but it looked like it worked well
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    • Warren A Steele Sr Warren A Steele Sr on Mar 24, 2016
      Also, the instructions I saw with the scraper and vacuum idea said NOT to wet the popcorn.
  • Ranger Ranger on Mar 24, 2016
    Thick paint.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 24, 2016
    Move! LOL I have seen this removed on HGTV and it is really messy...and expensive from what I understand. Popcorn is used for a reason...when building a house it is faster to use popcorn than to get the ceilings floated out level and smooth. So if you want to take it down, be prepared to spend the time to work on getting your ceilings properly finished. That is why they charge $500 a room to have none textured ceilings! And unless you can float out ceilings yourself, keep in mind that it is hard to find someone to do a "little job!" If you do this, make sure you adequately cover your vents with plastic...out flow and intake both. Otherwise, sanding dust will bet in your entire house! FOREVER! Also remove everything from the room and put down protective covering on floor...and over doorways to contain the mess!
  • 3cookies 3cookies on Mar 24, 2016
    Taping and plastic for the entire room then scraping if you want smooth ceilings. If your popcorn is not coming down and completely intact you can cover it with polystyrene foam tiles or celium tiles that you glue up. I have scraped mine..came off really easily but boy is it messy...I like the vacuum idea. I large area left to do now but will be thankful when it's done. Good luck!
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 24, 2016
    Depending on how old your home is I would make sure there is no asbestos before tackling this project.
  • Verna Sue Verna Sue on Mar 24, 2016
    We just finished doing out ceilings. Fill a squirt bottle with warm water spray the ceiling about 3x3 section. Get a scraper, let the water set on the ceiling for a few seconds then take the scraper across the section you sprayed and it will come right off.
  • Lee Williams Lee Williams on Mar 24, 2016
    Yes, plastic all over the room and then use a spray bottle or garden sprayer with water. Coat well and wait a minute or two, then use a 6 inch drywall knife to scrape. Should come right off. A real mess, but worth it. Good luck!
  • Judy Galloway Judy Galloway on Mar 24, 2016
    Spray small area at a time with water. Let sit for a bit and scrape with a wide flat blade . We used the kind of sprayer you use for garden sprays--- has a plastic tank that hold more water than a spray bottle but you could use that also. I removed popcorn texture from entire 5 room condo in Florida. Put down plastic because it is a mess and you will be covered with it but so worth it.
  • Linda Linda on Mar 24, 2016
    Popcorn ceilings 1970's and 1980"s. " Popcorn asbestos ceilings are not dangerous per se. Health risks for mesothelioma only arise when the ceiling material is disturbed, releasing asbestos fibers into the air. This typically happens when the air erodes the asbestos from the ceiling material. Asbestos fibers are also disturbed when the ceiling material is scraped off or sanded during renovation or remodeling".
  • Jo Ann Blais Jo Ann Blais on Mar 24, 2016
    Use 1/4 " drywall, and just cover them.
  • Bobbie Bobbie on Mar 24, 2016
    There several great videos on YouTube that will help you step by step.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Mar 24, 2016
    Easy? Think again. Add at least three marriage counsellor sessions to that budget! (and a lot of wine!) lol
  • Angela Roberts Angela Roberts on Mar 24, 2016
    This probably isn't the easiest but I've seen people plank over them with wood and it looks amazing.
  • J Vaught J Vaught on Mar 24, 2016
    I saw a video recently where a sharp-edged tool was securely taped to the end of a shop vacuum so that as the popcorn was scraped away the debris went into the vacuum. Sorry I can't remember the source!
  • Puppymom Puppymom on Mar 24, 2016
    If the ceiling hasn't been painted, you just scrape it off. I would put down and cover everything with plastic.
  • Marsha Nigh Marsha Nigh on Mar 24, 2016
    Cover them with drywall. You practically need a hazmat team to handle all the dust if you try to sand them, and it takes more time than you can possibly imagine.
  • Sarah Sarah on Mar 24, 2016
    I scrapped all the popcorn ceilings in my whole house! It is really messy! To contain the mess, I emptied the room and put one big piece of heavy duty plastic to cover the floor. Then I tacked up sheets of thin plastic on the wall so it was tight up against the ceiling and draped the plastic over the piece on the floor. And last I stretched another piece of plastic over the floor covering the layered wall plastic and the heavy duty plastic. You can use either a plastic squirt bottle filled with water or a hose set on mist of the nozzle. I used a hose because I wanted to do it fast! Mist a 3 foot section of the ceiling at a time until it's fairly saturated then scrape it off with a 1 foot scraper. Then sponge the fairly clean section and move on to the next to repeat. You can either dump the scraped off popcorn on the plastic on the floor but I used a plastic garbage can lid as a container for the popcorn as I scraped it off the ceiling. When you're done roll up the top piece of plastic on the floor and throw it away. Take down all of the wall plastic and you may have to sponge the walls that have some white drips. When everything is dry, you will need to either put some kind of texture back on the ceiling or mud and finish the seams. Good luck, I saved lots of money doing it myself but it is a very messy process!
  • Mary Stanley Mary Stanley on Mar 24, 2016
    I took all the popcorn paint off my bedroom ceiling. First I layed a drop cloth on the floor. Then I sprayed the ceiling with water to cut down on the dust. You can use a sprayer or a bottle if that is all you have. Do a small section at a time, about 4x4. Then I used the scraper especially made for scraping off popcorn paint. I came right off without a lot of dust everywhere.
  • Heather McKinney Heather McKinney on Mar 24, 2016
    Takes it off and cleans up at one time! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu3ov27D928
  • Black Hills Rosie Black Hills Rosie on Mar 24, 2016
    These ladies suggested ideas I didn't think of, but I will share one that I remember reading: Using a straight board, scrape ceiling with its edge. My ceiling needs tlc, also, but procrastinating as long as possible.
  • Connie Paulsen Connie Paulsen on Mar 24, 2016
    I saw a post where a man taped a scraper blade to his shop vac, most of the stuff went into the vac.
    • KatAych KatAych on Mar 24, 2016
      @Connie Paulsen If it was recently, that was me! :-) I've gotta try that, myself...I've still got a couple rooms with the stuff on it and the thought of it falling down everywhere and having to clean it has been putting me off...but the shop vac approach has persuaded me to move this project up on the To Do list!
  • Ranger Ranger on Mar 25, 2016
    Hmm, what about wallpapering and then painting over the wallpaper?
  • Ranger Ranger on Mar 25, 2016
    Sorry, scratch that above (wallpapering and painting), just realised what you meant by popcorn ceiling. Doh!
  • M. M.. M. M.. on Mar 25, 2016
    First, get a sample tested for asbestos!! It was very popular to have it mixed in with the texture, and you DON'T want to be home when the certified asbestos-removal people are working! If it's not asbestos-containing, there is an enzyme spray from the hardware store that mixes with water and then it basically scrapes off with a wide blade, usually about 18-24 inches wide on a long pole (so you can walk across the floor instead of getting up and down a ladder 25 times!). Spread out tarps coz you'll get wet clumps raining down everywhere! This is the voice of experience...
  • G G on Mar 25, 2016
    Scrape, scrape, scrape. Then start sanding. Careful, alot of that stuff has asbestos in it. Pretty much, get used to having a textured ceiling. Don't worry, it'll come back in style someday
  • Carole Carole on Mar 25, 2016
    I am biting the bullet and having it done. It is being taken down , repaired, and painted all in three days. All I have to do is remove any small things and the heavy furniture will be covered or moved. That is all for three rooms. Everything I have read seems all too involved and time consuming especially if the ceiling has been painted a number of time. Good Luck if you are doing it your self!
  • Naydene Cook Naydene Cook on Mar 25, 2016
    I know this is not going to be much help but maybe you can investigate further. I saw on a blog or maybe on hometalk, where they scraped and vacumned at the same time. No drop cloth no dust no mess did a room in 20 ins.
  • Donna Jagielski Kutzer Donna Jagielski Kutzer on Mar 25, 2016
    I also saw on a tv show where they taped an ice scraper to the vacuum and it scraped the popcorn and vacuumed it at the same time. Not much mess and it was done in no time!
  • Kari Roberts Kari Roberts on Mar 27, 2016
    You could cover them with foam tiles made to look like tin tiles.
  • Laura H Laura H on Mar 28, 2016
    We are doing ours in our house now as we remodel each room. Each room is already emptied out so we don't have to worry about covering everything up as we work, except for the floor, light fixture and the vents. We use a spray bottle filled with water and scrapers. Like others have said, spray well, let it soak in for a few minutes and scrape. We decided not to scrape it down all the way and leave it flat because if you do, you will have to add some type of texture back or you will see the tape and bedded areas too easily. We just knocked the popcorn down far enough where it left an orange peel type texture. It takes some practice to get this right but in the end, it's a lot easier than taking it all down and having to re-texture . It is very messy. We were told that as long as we kept everything very wet, the asbestos wasn't as much of a problem. I don't know if that's true or not. You might want to get yours checked before starting to see if they have asbestos in them.
  • Janet Schen Janet Schen on Mar 30, 2016
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu3ov27D928 No mess removal of popcorn ceiling.
  • Donna Donna on Apr 07, 2016
    The easiest thing to do is cover them. The tin look plastic tiles are available at Lowes and Home Depot. You could also use repurposed wood depending on the style you want for your finished ceiling.
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