How can I remove popcorn from ceiling.


Several years ago, I painted over the popcorn ceiling because it had yellowed. Now how can I easily remove the popcorn from the ceiling.

  15 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Sep 02, 2021

    Here's a good link on the "how to's" of removing a popcorn ceiling, but first they take you through the precautions of potentially dangerous materials that maybe up there:

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 02, 2021

    Homax makes a good scraper that you can use. Cover everything with plastic. Wear protective clothing, cover your hair, and wear safety goggles & a mask. Dampen the area, then scrape. After getting the bulk of it removed, sand/mud/sand until you are happy with the results.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Sep 02, 2021

    Removing popcorn ceiling (especially after its been painted) is a pain in the butt but totally doable just very messy. I did it in a house I flipped years ago. I covered the floors with plastic, got a good spray bottle with a pump and wetted the ceilings down before scraping. Its doable!

  • Em Em on Sep 02, 2021

    Removing Popcorn Ceiling That Has Been Painted…

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 02, 2021

    It is a messy and time absorbing task. Get lots of plastic sheeting and masking tape, and COVER everything in the room. Put down drop clothes to protect the floor. Even mask the walls. A spray bottle with water or soap and water solution and a putty knife will work, but it takes hours and hours, and you have to sand it after it dries to smooth it out. (our actual procedure was to get a bucket of water and mop, and get it wet, let it stand, then scrape it off. ) There may be removal systems out there that are more effective than my "back then" experiences (before you-tube!), so I would suggest searching this site in the "find your next project" box.

  • William William on Sep 02, 2021

    It may take a little extra work since it was painted

  • Dee Dee on Sep 02, 2021

    A wet scrape is easier than a dry scrape. Use a garden sprayer to wet a small area (four-by-four-foot) of the ceiling. “You will want to wet down and spray the ceiling with water to make the removal of the popcorn easier,

    1. Test for Asbestos Before You Begin Popcorn Ceiling Removal

    Before you start, it’s important to make sure that your textured ceilings don’t have asbestos. “Prior to the early 1980s, asbestos was an ingredient that many used in textured popcorn ceilings,” Krzyston says. “The popcorn texture was used to help home builders deal with sound travel, and it was a great fire retardant.” He recommends having the surface tested by a professional, or at the very least purchasing a do-it-yourself test kit from the hardware store and sending the samples to a lab. If you go the DIY test route, make sure to use the appropriate safety gear, such as gloves, a ventilator or dusk mask, and eye protection. “Do some research before diving into a weekend project,” he cautions.

    If your ceiling tests positive, you should have a professional licensed in asbestos abatement remove the texture or cover the entire ceiling with paneling or drywall. “If you have asbestos, it is best to leave the ceiling intact, as there is no real danger if it is in good condition,” he says.

    2. Gather Your Tools

    If your ceiling is asbestos-free, it’s time to get to work. Fortunately, the project doesn’t require any special tools, and you may already have everything you need on hand. The essential popcorn ceiling removal tools include:

    1. a garden sprayer

    2. a wide putty knife or drywall taping knife

    3. drop cloths or plastic sheeting

    4. painter’s tape

    5. ladder

    6. safety goggles

    7. dust mask

    3. Protect Walls, Floors, and Yourself

    “Scraping the ceilings is very messy—so have plenty of drop cloths and tarps on hand,” Krzyston says. Remove furniture from the room, and cover floors and walls with plastic sheeting. Attach sheeting to walls with painter’s tape. Taking down ceiling fans or hanging light fixtures will also make the job easier—just be sure to cover electrical boxes with painter’s tape to protect the wires from damage and water. “Turn off your HVAC system and close and cover all vents and electrical outlets with plastic,“ he says. Since this is a job involving water, make sure to turn off the electricity to the room you’re working in.

    Before getting started, you’ll also want to open the windows to let air circulate. Keeping the space ventilated will help you breathe easier as you scrape away. You’ll also want to wear a dust mask and safety glasses. And make sure you’re prepared for a long project. For experienced DIYers or professionals, estimates say it can take about 20 hours to remove 500 square feet of popcorn from the ceiling. For the less experienced, it will likely be longer, and it can also be quite difficult on your body, with all that time on a ladder. Plan to take plenty of breaks so you don’t overextend yourself.

    4. Spray the Ceiling With Water Before Carefully Scraping Away the Popcorn Texture

    Fact: A wet scrape is easier than a dry scrape. Use a garden sprayer to wet a small area (four-by-four-foot) of the ceiling. “You will want to wet down and spray the ceiling with water to make the removal of the popcorn easier,” Krzyston says. “Don’t soak it, though, as too much water could damage the Sheetrock that is underneath.” You’ll want to work in small sections; otherwise the areas will dry before you reach them. After you spray with a garden sprayer or spray bottle, wait about 15 minutes to let the water absorb.

    Now you’re ready to start scraping. “Use a wide putty knife or drywall taping knife and gently run it along the wet ceiling,” he says. Be careful not to gouge the ceiling beneath. (Filing the edges of your putty knife can help avoid gouges.) Make your way around the room, until all the texture has been removed. In some areas, you may need to make a second pass. Remember, you can always spray the ceiling again to help loosen up a difficult area.

    5. Sand, Prime, and Paint the Ceiling

    Since you already have the floor and walls covered, go ahead and take care of sanding, priming, and painting now. If there’s any damage to the ceiling, such as gouges or damaged drywall tape, repair with joint compound before you start sanding. When you remove the popcorn ceiling, you might find hidden imperfections, like visible joints or screws; you can also cover these with joint compound and then sand them.

    After sanding the ceiling, give it a fresh coat of paint. Once the paint job is complete, remove the plastic sheeting, reinstall fans or lights, and enjoy your newly smooth ceiling.

    Covering Up Old Popcorn Ceilings

    If scraping away the texture on your ceilings sounds like too much of a mess (and you should definitely prepare for a mess), or your ceilings are particularly damaged, it may be easier to cover the whole thing up. Although installing a new layer of drywall is possible if you want a fresh start, there are also a few potentially easier options. For instance, you can find some pretty convincing faux tin tiles that can be attached to the ceiling with construction adhesive. If you favor wood paneling, you can attach wall planks directly to the ceiling with a nail gun.

    With highly textured ceilings you’ll need to install furring strips to your ceiling and then attach the paneling to the strips to avoid an uneven look. Note that with this method, you will need to remove small sections of the popcorn texture in order to attach the furring strips, so testing for asbestos is still essential.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Sep 06, 2021

    It’s not a easy job you need to scrape all the pop corn off with scrapers it’s a big mess.