Asked on May 21, 2017

How do I get the "popcorn" off my ceilings?

Georgia RobinsonWilliamJudy Ferrell


The first thing Joanna does to any room is put down hardwood floors and get rid of the popcorn on the ceilings. I'm ready to try this myself. What do I need? How do I do this?
4 answers
  • Judy Ferrell
    on May 21, 2017

    water in a spray bottle, drop clothes, spackling knife, lots of time. Spray water on popcorn and scrap, repeat.
  • William
    on May 21, 2017

    How to Remove a Popcorn Textured or Acoustic Ceiling

    Check for Asbestos

    Take a small sample of the ceiling material and send it to an EPA certified testing lab before you begin. If your ceiling contains Asbestos, you will need to have a certified asbestos removal contractor do the job for you.

    Turn Electricity Off and Remove Light Fitting/s

    Since you’ll be using a lot of water in this project, first be sure to turn of the electricity and check it with a circuit tester. Remove all furniture and ceiling light fittings.

    Cover the Floor with Plastic Sheeting

    Tape small pieces of plastic over each electrical outlet and cover the floor with heavy duty plastic floor sheeting, extending it up the walls a foot or so.

    Cover the Walls with Plastic Sheeting

    Run painter’s tape along the upper edge of the walls then cover the entire wall with plastic sheeting, taping the top edge to the tape already there. Roll out a layer of resin paper on the floor.

    Wet the Ceiling

    Using a garden sprayer, wet the ceiling, working in 4 to 5 square feet areas at a time, wetting the ceiling thoroughly, but being careful not to over-wet it.

    Scrape the Popcorn Material off the Ceiling

    Round off the corners of a joint knife (to prevent gouges) and use it to scrape off the popcorn ceiling. If you run into any hard scraping areas, apply a little more water, wait and then try again.

    Unroll Second Layer of Resin Paper and Finish Scraping

    Unroll another layer of resin paper directly on top of ceiling debris and continue scraping ceiling. When all material has been scraped off, take down plastic sheeting from walls, roll up wet paper and plastic on floor and place all into a large garbage bag.

    Re-cover any Bare Joints Using Joint Compound and Joint Tape

    Mix joint compound in a tray and apply along the joint lines. Dip joint tape into water, squeeze of excess and use a putty knife to press the tape into the joint compound. Smooth off excess.

    Fill any Eroded Nail Holes

    Use two thin applications of joint compound to bring holes flush with the wallboard.

    Sand the Ceiling

    Use a sanding pad on the end of a long pole to sand off any high ridges.

    Finish Your Ceiling

    Fill any low spots with another coat or two of joint compound, sanding in between coats. Prime the ceiling using a primer that says “for wallboard”. Your ceiling is then ready for you to paint or texture as you like.

  • William
    on May 22, 2017

    Rebecca, thank you for the compliment. I am divorced, but not looking. Just friendships. To many replies are vague. I like to be more specific and thorough
  • Georgia Robinson
    on May 22, 2017

    I was just at a local Lowes and they have a specific tool with a long handle to remove popcorn ceilings (I have popcorn ceilings and I abhor them)
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