How do I remove popcorn ceiling?

I have the old popcorn ceiling finish throughout my house and I want it gone! I can't afford to have it professionally removed, so is there a way I can do this myself? It's already flaking off in several places and just looks tacky.

  8 answers
  • Shoshana Shoshana on Jul 05, 2017
    An easier method might be to simply cover it up. Something like this project might be what you're looking for!

  • Barb Barb on Jul 05, 2017
    It's a chore and back breaking. Cover furniture and floor or move furniture to another room. A spray bottle of warm water and a scraper. Spray a small area at a time then use scraper try not to gouge the sheet rock. Be patient you may have to do a couple of times. have fun and good luck.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jul 05, 2017

  • Tina Moore Tina Moore on Jul 05, 2017
    use a wide spackling compound blade/scraper and start scraping from one end to the other being careful not to put to much pressure on the scraper and don't angle it to much. You can mist with water as you go to keep the paint dust under control and be sure to put down plastic sheet to make cleanup a breeze.

  • Barb Barb on Jul 05, 2017
    Take spray bottle of water...moisten and when thoroughly moistened....scrape. Be sure to cover the floor for easier cleanup

  • Barb Barb on Jul 05, 2017
    Sorry didn't notice the first answer which is really thorough~ :D

  • Cristina Addie Cristina Addie on Jul 05, 2017
    I tried a bunch of different removers, and found that vinegar and dish soap was the fastest (and cheapest) way to do it. You can also use plain hot water, but it takes longer. The idea is to find the right mix so it penetrates the paint and popcorn before dissolving the wallboard underneath.

    Fill a garden sprayer with HOT Water. The hotter the better.
    For every gallon of HOT water add 1 cup vinegar, and 7 tablespoons of Dawn Dish soap. Too much soap and all you are going to get is bubbles. Too much vinegar and you are just wasting it.
    Pump the sprayer. Pump, pump pump, and make sure you have it good and pressurized. You want a good stream coming out that sucker, not a little trickle. Also the pumping action mixes up all the vinegar and dish soap.
    Spray the solution on the popcorn ceiling. The idea is to get it just wet enough so the stuff scrapes off easily, but not so wet that you soak the drywall underneath. Here’s a guide: spray enough so it is exactly this wet – just wet enough so it doesn’t drip down in your eyes. If the water mixture starts dripping onto the floor, you have sprayed too much, and are wasting water and over wetting the popcorn ceiling, and potentially soaking the drywall. Get some towels and dry the area that is too wet. This photo is what it looks like if it wasn’t wet enough.
    After wetting a 3 foot by 3 foot area, 9 square feet, wait about 3 minutes to let the stuff do it’s job. OK that’s an estimate, not scientific at all. But you want the solution to soak in. When done properly, the putty knife just slides across the ceiling, and it is easy to scrape the popcorn off. Your time may be longer depending on age, amount and type of paint and total styrofoam content of the popcorn. With a smooth motion, scrape the ceiling with the scraper. You should get a wide strip of the stuff just falling off the ceiling. If you don’t, try again. There isn’t a wrong way.
    Soon, you will be able to do a decent sized bedroom in about an hour – in fact, you will probably spend more time cleaning the floor than the ceiling.

  • Gracie Gracie on Jul 05, 2017
    This is backbreaking work and quite messy. I tried to get several professionals to do it and they wouldn't touch it. Im just living with it.