Q: How can I remove a textured ceiling in order to paint it?
A: Boy you have embarked upon one messy job. This is the most difficult of home repair projects. A textured or "popcorn" ceiling is essentially styrofoam added to the paint. It is blown on to the ceiling with a gun and hose.To remove first move everything out of the room.
You then have to drape out the room with wall to wall plastic in order to catch everything that falls. It is a mess. Wet the surface with a garden sprayer and let the moisture penetrate the popcorn. Then gently run a scraper through the popcorn. Most of it should come off pretty easily. Be very careful not to scrape into the ceiling.
The resulting gouges would then have to be spackled and sanded.Yet again another mess.Popcorn can successfully be removed but to be safe this probably should be left in the hands of a professional painting contractor. You can easily cause more damage and the mess can spread everywhere if you do not properly prepare.
When it comes to houses built from the 1960s to late '80s, nothing says "needs updating" quite like popcorn (aka "acoustic" or "cottage cheese") ceilings.
Popcorn ceilings were the standard for bedroom and residential hallway ceilings for its bright, white appearance, noise reduction qualities and ability to hide imperfections
Is there anything nastier than an acoustic popcorn ceiling treatment? It collects dust. Spiders expertly build networks of cobwebs across it, and the worst part? You can't take a broom and wipe off the cobwebs without losing part of your ceiling!

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2 of 24 comments
  • Cindy Putman
    on Sep 5, 2016

    I had painted my ceiling 3 times over the years. I used a razor scraper. Most of it came off easily except over the seams. I used a palm electric sander with a medium grit (makes LOTS of dust) and for the corners a sand paper sponge. It looks fantastic.

  • Warren A Steele Sr
    on Nov 6, 2016

    Mostly NOW the DIY sites and channels say to just drywall or panel over it. I know, sounds expensive, but for me, for a smaller space like our kitchen nook, of even the DR, it would be worth not making the work and the mess. My son-in-law and I even used a special tool along with a 5 gal. pre vacumn item before it went into the wet/dry shop vac, but oit was still too much work over one's head. Then we had to use "knock down" to cover every thing up. Unfortunately, the DR also leads into the larger LR, which I just am not looking forward too. And now my helper is my Ex Son-n-law.

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