What is the easiest or best way to remove popcorn ceiling?

I want to paint ceiling in small bedroom that has a popcorn finish on the ceiling.

  3 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Nov 30, 2017
  • 27524803 27524803 on Nov 30, 2017
    Removing popcorn from a ceiling is NOT hard... it is just tedious and a pain in the a**
    You will need: eye protection, a ladder, a garden pump sprayer filled with warm water, a wide putty knife or dry wall scraper*, a heavy-ish tarp** large enough to cover the floor, a large trash can, a large dust pan, and a broom.
    * don't bother with the drywall scraper that has the bag attached... it get too heavy to maneuver.
    **we found that a heavier tarp makes it easy to sweep up the dropped popcorn as it does not move around as much when you walk on it... IT WILL GET SLIPPERY WHEN IT GETS DAMP... SO BE CAREFUL**
    1. put down your tarp and set up your ladder
    2. spray one section of the ceiling, about 3 ft X 3 ft (or as far as you can
    comfortably reach from the ladder) with the water in the pump sprayer
    and wait 10 to 15 minutes
    3. Spray 1st section again and spray the next section.
    4. Use the putty knife or scraper and using long strokes, scrape the popcorn
    off of the ceiling and on to the tarp. You want to "skim" along under the
    popcorn, try not to "break" the paper surface of the drywall itself.
    5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the popcorn is scraped from the whole ceiling.
    SWEEP up the popcorn often (gives your neck and shoulders a break)
    into the trash can... be sure and empty it often as it will get really heavy..
    really fast.
    Hope this helps.
    NOTE: the drywall under the popcorn will be rough, you will probably be able to see the seams and where the screws secure the drywall to the ceiling. The ceiling will, most likely, have to be addressed before you paint.
    My husband use a spackle product to smooth out the seams and patch the screw divots. He then had to sand (very dusty) and prime the ceiling before we could paint... (stiff neck and arms... dust all over)
    I used a product called Venetian Plaster* in another room... I had it tinted to match the color we used on the other ceilings in the house. Venetian Plaster, normally calls for 2 coats.. I use one, slightly heavier coat, and the 2nd coat was a paint that had a primer in it... (stiff neck and arms... done)
    *we had use the Venetian Plaster (per can instructions) to cover a wall in our den, where we had removed paneling. The dark squiggles of glue used to secure the paneling kept showing up thru the paint.
  • If you want to paint it and not remove it, use a roller that has a thicker nap. I have done this with no problems.