How To Remove Popcorn Ceilings The Easy Way

4 Materials
3 Hours

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How To Remove Popcorn Ceilings The Easy Way

Remove out dated popcorn ceilings the easy way without having to rent any special equipment

Popcorn should only be covered in extra butter & in my lap for Friday movie night…

It should never be on a ceiling!

I understand why builders used to apply it to ceilings but it’s just one of those things I wish never ever existed.

Our farmhouse was chalk full of popcorn when we bought it & room by room we have been making things right!

We Successfully Removed It From:

By now I would say we are basically professionals 😉

I know this process can seem intimidating but I promise it’s really not & can completely transform a room!

Plus it makes the ceilings look so much bigger & cleaner!


Our master bedroom felt cramped, dingy, & dark


Now it feels big, bright, & clean!

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Here’s how you can remove your popcorn ceilings too, the easy way!


  • Spray Bottle
  • Scraper
  • Sander
  • Paint


Depending on if you are keeping your flooring or not you will also need a tarp. We were removing all the carpet anyways so we didn’t bother trying to protect it.

  1. Start by spraying a portion of your ceiling with water. It shouldn’t be soaked, just damp. We found this sprayer worked the best for us.

2. Next, working in small sections take your scraper & scrape away the damp section of the ceiling. Be careful not to scrape too hard because you want to keep ceiling damage to a minimum.

Scraping at about a 45 degree angle works best.

3. Keep your sections small & workable. You want to only be scraping the damp parts of the ceiling.

4. Make your way around the entire room working from the outside to the inside. After its all scraped off, it should look similar to this.

5. Once the ceilings is completely scraped go back with a hand sander & smooth any rough surfaces. Then, its finally time to paint!

Normally we go with white ceiling paint but for our walk-in closet we got fancy & used Gray Owl by Sherwin Williams

Before: First Walk-Thru

It really doesn’t take very long at all but it is messy! Messy but worth it!

If you are beginning a room renovation I definitely recommend starting with the popcorn ceiling removal because the walls & flooring do get pretty messy.

You can see Eli’s complete big boy room makeover here!

I hope if you were feeling nervous about taking on this project you now feel confident & empowered!

You can do it & it will be so worth it!

Want to see all our farmhouse renovations & projects?!

Search “ our farmhouse” or find them all here!

Ready to tackle another affordable DIY home update?

Check out our slideshow on 10 DIY ways to raise your home's value on a budget for more brilliant ideas.

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Lia with Southern Yankee DIY
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 9 questions
  • Jmg84082498 Jmg84082498 on Aug 25, 2023

    What if the popcorn has asbestos? What's a safe way to get that down?

  • Mls28948995 Mls28948995 on Aug 25, 2023

    How do you removed painted-over popcorn ceiling?

  • Dan88953307 Dan88953307 on Sep 17, 2023

    What are room sizes.My bedroom is 10’x12’+2’ closet, not very big, queen size bed, , .where should curtain rod hang above window casting and how far above electric heater should curtain hang. Read 8”, for fire safety, seems too high.

Join the conversation
3 of 33 comments
  • Glenda Ortega Glenda Ortega on Aug 25, 2023

    This is extremely dangerous and should not be done without first having a professional check the ceiling for asbestos content. If your ceiling has asbestos, DO NOT REMOVE IT THIS WAY. Second, always wear face and breathing protection, the guy in the photo has neither. Getting chips in the eye and breathing in dust is asking for major health problems. This article is very irresponsible.

  • Gwen Barham Loftus Gwen Barham Loftus on Aug 25, 2023

    Easier way: Buy 1/4 inch drywall and put it directly over the popcorn ceiling, Tape, mud, lightly sand and paint. It is far easier than scraping your ceiling and no one will know you just went right over it.

    • Judy Judy on Aug 27, 2023

      I like your idea, I'm going to install beadboard paneling over my popcorn ceiling.