What's the EASIEST way to take down popcorn ceiling and repaint it?

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Our entire house has popcorn ceiling. We've been in the house 30 years, done oodles of gorgeous upgrades, painted, love our home. BUT THIS CONTINUOUS CEILING IN OUR SPLIT LEVEL HOME IS REALLY GETTING TO ME! Help! Would it be better to pay someone to remove it and repaint it or do it ourselves. We are both 68! Dinosaur age!!!!

  7 answers
  • You can save a bunch of money by doing yourself. Do one room and see if you are up for the task. Here are some links to help you out. The upside to having it done is that they have an entire crew and can be done in a matter of hours. See if these links help you decide.




  • Alberta Coulter Alberta Coulter on Nov 25, 2017
    I have never tried it, but I have looked at other sites about how to do it. It's very labor intensive and requires a lot of over head arm work. As I understand it, you have to mist the ceiling with water and then scrape to get the little bits off. I'd say hire someone competent. It would probably not do either of you any good to try to do it yourself! I'm 71 and wouldn't even consider doing it myself.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Nov 25, 2017
    68 is not old! i'm 73 and still remodeling. Popcorn ceilings that old will probably have a lot of asbestos fibers in it, so please, wear a mask as asbestos fibers can get into your lungs and cause cancer.
    You can paint popcorn ceilings and that would seal in the fibers, but you would still have that bumpy look.
    You can do it yourseslf. Put down tarps, spray a section of the ceiling with water and scrape off the popcorn. Then paint. Very messy.
  • 27524803 27524803 on Nov 25, 2017
    My husband and I are both 67 and we have and are redoing our ceilings.
    Removing popcorn is not hard... it is just tedious and a pain in the a**. (especially for me, as I do not like ladders)
    I would check out HomeAdvisor.com or AngiesList.com and get some estimates from a reputable contractor and see what it would cost to have the popcorn removed and the ceilings re-textured (not in a popcorn) or re-finished, primed and painted.
    Note: builders use popcorn texture when they don't want to pay the cost for the drywall-ers to tape, mud, and sand the drywall on the ceiling so after the popcorn is gone the ceiling will be rough.

    Just so you will know... this is what it will take for YOU to do the job yourselves:
    You will need: eye protection, a ladder tall enough to comfortably reach your ceiling, a garden pump sprayer filled with warm water, a wide putty knife or drywall scraper (don't bother with the drywall scraper that has the bag attached.. it gets too unwieldy and heavy), a room sized heavy-ish tarp, a large trash can, a large dust pan, and a broom. and optionally and hat (no brim) or shower cap
    1. Spray one area of the ceiling using the pump sprayer about 3 ft X 3 ft (or
    as far as you can comfortably reach from the ladder) Wait about 10-15
    minutes.
    2. Spray the first area again and spray the next section...
    3. Use the putty knife or scraper and scrape off the popcorn.. long smooth
    strokes... letting it fall onto the tarp..if it is not coming off easily... spray
    again and wait a few minutes, before you scrape again.
    4. Continue spraying and scraping sections until you complete the whole
    ceiling.
    5. Sweep up the fallen popcorn often (to give your arm and neck a break)
    and to keep from getting it all over the bottom of your shoes (it can be
    slippery on a metal ladder step) EMPTY your trash can often as wet
    popcorn ceiling stuff can get really heavy... really fast.
    Personal note: we were removing the carpet in one room so we scraped the whole ceiling down into the old carpet.... it took a LOT of grunting and groaning to roll the thing up into a big burrito... then it took several large men to get it thru the door, down the hall, out to the truck to take it to the dumpster... the next room we did.. we had just put down a tile floor... we let the stuff fall onto the tile... then we simply swept it up into a trash can to take out to the trash... then all we did was let the remainder dry before vacuuming and mopping the floor.
    You will have to address the finish of your newly scraped ceiling before you prime and paint ....I used a product called Venetian Plaster to re-texture one ceiling ...rather than fill divots with dry wall mud, sanding, priming and painting.... it can be tinted and I used 1 coat of the Venetian Plaster and the second coat was paint with primer... the results were a nice texture and relative ease of application (worth it even if it resulted in a stiff neck)
    I hope this helps.
  • UTAHGAL UTAHGAL on Nov 25, 2017
    30 years? you might be living with asbestos and a reliable company would have to take it down and dispose of it if it is asbestos.
  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 25, 2017
    Depends how safe you will feel working on a ladder all day with your arms over your head. If thats no problem, its best to first test the ceiling for asbestos.... get a kit at a homestore like Lowes. Once your good to go,
    Tape plastic tarps on the walls and floors to encase the room. Get a shop vac with a long hose, you can rent them at an equipment rental place. and a garden sprayer filled with warm water. Spray the ceiling, and use a 6" drywall taping knife duct taped to the hose just below the knife to catch the majority of the popcorn. Wear a hat and old clothes.
    Hey now here's one you can do from the floor.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOvTAY9jpQY
  • Ruth Youngker Ruth Youngker on Nov 25, 2017
    What happen to me. I was painting my laundry room popcorn ceiling . I looked back and it was coming down in sheets. A little wash of the ceiling Done repainted looks nice. All by accident