How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling (and Then Fix the Damage You Caused)

5 Days
Easy
Let's talk for a moment about the "texture that must not be named." You've all seen the tutorials on how to get rid of it. And guess what? Getting rid of it isn't hard. But getting rid of it without also damaging the drywall underneath...that's a whole different story.
how to popcorn ceiling removal, diy, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, Removing popcorn ceiling
Removing popcorn ceiling.
In case you haven't seen the tutorials on how to de-popcorn a ceiling, I'll do a quick recap:
1) Test it. It may have asbestos. If so, you have my condolences -- looks like you're stuck with it (unless you cover it with new drywall).
2) Use some sort of sprayer to get it wet. Really wet.
3) Let it sit and soak for a bit.
4) Use a putty knife (or if you're fancy, a plastic scraper made specifically for scraping popcorn off ceilings) to scrape off the popcorn.
If your drywall was primed before it was popcorned, removal is pretty easy. Messy and tedious, but easy.
If your drywall was NOT primed, however...
how to popcorn ceiling removal, diy, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, Damaged drywall from popcorn ceiling removal
Damaged drywall from popcorn ceiling removal.
...bad things can happen.
In my case (because I'm just lucky, I guess), large chunks of paper peeled away with the popcorn. If this happens to you, here's the remedy:
1) Prime the drywall with RX-35, a primer that repairs and seals damaged drywall. It dries kind of tacky, so it helps keep the damaged paper from bubbling up during the next steps.
2) Skim coat the entire surface with some slightly-watered-down joint compound and a 12" taping knife.
3) Sand.
4) If necessary, repeat steps 2 and 3. Then prime, paint, and enjoy!
how to popcorn ceiling removal, diy, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, Drywall damage after removing popcorn ceiling
Drywall damage after removing popcorn ceiling
how to popcorn ceiling removal, diy, home maintenance repairs, how to, wall decor, Repaired drywall ready for priming
Repaired drywall, ready for priming.
It's a long and messy job, but it really isn't that challenging. It just takes patience. And a good respirator.

You can read the full story on my blog.
Sarah's Big Idea
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