Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

How to Remove Textured “Popcorn” Ceilings

Ceiling with textured finish

Ceiling with textured "popcorn" finish

Textured popcorn ceilings went out of style years ago, but many older homes—and some new ones—still have them. While taking down a textured ceiling is not that difficult, it is a messy job that requires hard work and special safety precautions.


There are two potential problems that can turn removing a textured ceiling into a DIY nightmare:

  • Asbestos: Acoustic texture manufactured before 1980 may contain asbestos and should be tested before being removed. While it doesn’t pose a health risk if left in place, removing a ceiling containing asbestos can stir up the fibers and cause them to become trapped in your lungs. More information about the dangers of Asbestos in Your Home can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency website.
  • Painted Ceiling: Another potential problem that can make removing a popcorn ceiling much more difficult is if paint has been applied over the texture. This prevents the texture from absorbing water, which is necessary to loosen the material. While a painted textured ceiling can be removed, it usually requires the application of a chemical stripper to breakdown the paint barrier.

To determine if either of these conditions applies to your ceiling, combine a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap with warm water in a hand sprayer. Lightly spray a small spot in an inconspicuous location, and wait a few minutes for it to absorb the water. If the water will not soak in, the ceiling has been painted. Otherwise, the texture should come off easily.

Obtaining a sample of ceiling texture to test for asbestos

Obtaining a sample of ceiling texture to test for asbestos.

To test ceiling texture applied before 1980 for asbestos, use a putty knife to scrape a small amount into a sealable plastic bag. If you’re concerned about the possible health risks involved in taking the sample, a testing service can be hired to come out and take it for you.

Send the sample to an approved testing service to see if it contains asbestos. To find a testing service in your area, contact the state environmental or health office. A directory of state offices can be found on the EPA website.

If the material is found to contain over 1% asbestos then by law you can not remove it yourself and will need to contact a professional asbestos removal company or leave the ceiling as is. Even if it doesn’t contain asbestos, it’s important to wear an appropriate dust mask or respirator when removing the ceiling.


To do the job you will need:

  • Plastic sheeting (2-3 mil for walls, 6 mil for floors)
  • Rosin paper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Rags
  • Putty knife
  • Pump up sprayer
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • 6” or wider floor scraper
  • Mesh sanding pad with handle
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Drywall joint tape
  • Dust mask or respirator
  • Coveralls
  • Eye protection
Electrical outlets covered with plastic

Cover electrical outlets with plastic before spraying ceiling


Removing a textured ceiling is a messy job so good prep work is important to keep from damaging your walls or floor and to make clean up easier.

  1. Remove all furniture from the room.
  2. Turn off the heating or cooling system and close any vents. Ceiling vents should be removed and covered with plastic.
  3. Turn off the power to the room and remove any ceiling lights or paddle fans.
  4. Cover wall outlets and switches with plastic, sealing them with painter’s tape.
  5. Cover the floor with plastic, extending it a foot up the wall and attaching it with painter’s tape.
Cover floor with plastic before spraying ceiling, and secure to walls with painter's tape

Cover floor with plastic before spraying ceiling, and secure to walls with painter's tape.

  1. Run painter’s tape on the wall around the ceiling along the walls and attach the 2-3 mil plastic sheeting to it, overlapping the plastic along the bottom of the wall.
  2. To assist in clean up, cover the floor with rosin paper, overlapping the sheets and taping them together.
Running painter's tape around the walls next to the ceiling

Run painter's tape around the walls next to the ceiling, and attach plastic sheets to it.

Getting It Down

Be sure to wear a dust mask or respirator and safety glasses, and keep the part of the ceiling you are working on damp to reduce dust.

    Spraying textured ceiling with solution using a sprayer

    Spraying textured ceiling.

  1. If your ceiling wasn’t painted, fill a pump up sprayer with warm water and add 2-3 tablespoons of dishwashing soap per gallon of water.
  2. Saturate a 4-6 foot square section of the ceiling with the solution. Wet it enough to loosen it, but not so much that it damages the drywall under the texture.
  3. Wait 15-20 minutes for the solution to be absorbed by the texture material.
  4. Use a floor scraper, or other wide bladed tool, to gently scrape away the popcorn texture. Be careful not to gouge the drywall or tear the drywall joint tape.
  5. If the texture proves difficult to remove, spray it again, wait a few minutes, and try again.
  6. Use a putty knife to remove any residual material as well as to get into the corners.
Using a scraper to remove wet ceiling texture

Using a scraper to remove wet ceiling texture.

Repairs and Finishing Touches

You’ll probably need to do some drywall finishing to the ceiling after the texture has been removed, including:

  1. Hammer any visible nails or screws below the surface and cover them with joint compound.
  2. Replace any damaged drywall tape and smooth out the joints with joint compound.
  3. Once the repair work has dried, sand the ceiling with a long handled mesh sanding pad. Sand only to remove the high spots, as too much sanding will damage the ceiling.
Sanding the ceiling with a long handled, drywall sanding pad

Sanding the ceiling with a long handled, drywall sanding pad.

  1. The final touch is to prime and paint the ceiling using latex ceiling paint.

A Great Workout

Removing that dated popcorn ceiling will save a trip to the gym by giving your arms and upper body a great workout. In addition to your bulging biceps, the smooth ceiling will add value in your house and make all the hard work worthwhile.

Further Information

Please Leave a Comment

65 Comments on “How to Remove Textured “Popcorn” Ceilings”

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  1. Bill Says:
    July 2nd, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Sooo…what if the ceiling is painted? After all, aren’t most ceilings painted?


  2. Norm Weseloh Says:
    July 2nd, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    For me, it is a very appropriate article in that I have on my chore list removal of “popcorn texture” in several rooms.

    Thanks for such a good article.

  3. Philip Stein Says:
    July 2nd, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I have water based popcorn textured ceilings. I would like to install crown moldings. My question is how do I conceal the seams of were the molding meets the popcorn cover? If I touch the popcorn in anyway it is destroyed and can be seen. Thank You

  4. Mary Fowler Says:
    July 3rd, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Thanks for the information on popcorn ceilings.It was Great. I might try it, my house is 3years old. I don’t think there’s any danger. Thank You Very Much.

  5. Pat Says:
    July 3rd, 2008 at 4:49 am

    I work for Home Depot. In the paint dept. we have a tool that is made especially for removing popcorn ceilings. You attach a garbage bag to the tool and it collects the ceiling as you scrape it down. It has a scraper on the tool. You can also attach a long handle to the end and saves your arms. Many customers have told me that it really works great.

  6. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Bill,
    Popcorn ceilings often are left unpainted. If they have been painted, the paint will have to be broken down so the water can penetrate. Try spraying it first with a stripper such as (like DIF) first. Good luck with your project!

  7. Shawn Says:
    September 20th, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I have a newer popcorn ceiling – wouldn’t it be easier to just add new ceiling panels over it?

  8. chris Says:
    November 15th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    would it be better just to slap 3/8 drywalll over the popcorn?

  9. chris Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    i am taking down the whole ceiling, its not in great shape and i need access to rewire the second floor as i dont have an attic

  10. Valaresia Says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 7:28 am

    My husband and I are considering purchasing an older home, built in 1981. Every room in this large home, 3500 square feet has popcorn ceilings that has gold glitter. Since this is a foreclosure home, and the bank that owns the property is in an entire different state, there is no property disclosure. My question is: if the popcorn ceiling is found to have asbestos upon inspection, would it be better to hire a company to scrape the popcorn ceiling causing the labor cost to be tremendous, as parts of the ceiling are two story and others are vaulted? Or would it be better to just demo the ceilings and redrywall, which will also be quite costly? The ceilings are the only concern with this home as everything else basically needs paint and new flooring.

  11. alexandra a Says:
    January 7th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I found this information very useful. Unforutunately, my ceilings are painted which means I have an extra step. To make matters worse, it’s evident that my ceilings are not in the best shape. It looks as though there may have been a leak that was repaired but the patch job is horrible- the ceiling isn’t level. So that means I will have to learn how to patch up the ceiling or hire someone to do it- damn!

  12. Susan Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I am sitting her thinking of redoing my ceilings. My handyman suggested I get the Home Depot scraper and knock it down myself. Otherwise, it is costly. I paid $600 for the LR, DR, and Hall. It was wet and messy but done in two days. Trying to save money this time around.

  13. Dave Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I removed my popcorn ceiling easily using the method above. Just make sure that the floors are covered and you mask off 12 inches down from the ceiling. The tool from Home Depot works well but the edges tend to gouge. A 10 inch taping knife works the best. I did it in about one minute for every square foot and the drywall underneath was in pretty good shape. As the article says, sand and prime.

  14. Jenn Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    I just removed my popcorn easily. I used the method above but used a plastic scraper. This worked miracles and lessened the chance for gouges. For the 5 x 6 room it took me one hour including clean up. Have a shop vac on hand, its a must for messy clean up. Luckily the ceiling is in good shape so I’m on my way to sand and prime.

  15. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Hi Jenn,
    Good idea about using a plastic scraper, thanks for the info.

  16. Tracy Says:
    January 9th, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I live in a modular home that was built in 1986. The textured ceilings which were done in a stucco effect with what looks like joint compound. I sent a sample to a lab and according to them it contains 0.5% Chrysotile asbestos. My point is don’t assume your home doesn’t contain asbestos containing material based on it’s age. Have it tested anyway. I am having another lab test a sample because I found out there is a mimic for asbestos called high density polyethelene. Still waiting for those results.

  17. Lisa Says:
    January 29th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    We started removing the popcorn from our 1954-built home before I was aware of the potential for asbestos. If anything, I thought I’d have to worry about lead. Anyway, we are almost done now and I am concerned about him sleeping in the room once we are finished. We have the windows open and a fan blowing out.I plan to vacuum and mop anything left on the floor when we are finished. Any suggestions?

  18. swun Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Hello Lisa,
    I am no expert but some where I read said DON’t vacuum. You will stir up the asbestos into the air. home vacuum cleaner filter can’t filter tiny asbestos and all end up in the air. Just mop wet and wipe down above floor place with wet cloth.

  19. Dustin Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I have done this in two homes that are both old homes. The one house, my mothers, I know that the popcorn was added when the previous owners remodeled it, it was all on plaster and had no problems. It is very messy but well worth the effort. once we got the texture removed we papered the ceilings with the textured paper called anyaglptia (unsure of the spelling), it looks like the old tin ceilings. It is pretty simple to hang, you must have two people and plenty fo chairs or scaffolding. I have always loved it from the first time I used it in a farmhouse years ago. But I was truly amazed at the people that have been in the house and that is the first thing they notice and compliment on. You used to be able to get it at Lowes but I just recently bought more to do the bedroom upstairs and had to order it online. It is about 15-17 bucks a double roll with shipping. The one thing to remember if considering this is dont assume that the square footage coverage on the package is what you need to buy, insted find out how wide the paper is and the length of the rolls, the most recent I bought was 21″ wide and 33′ long, so there fore I am only able to get two strips out of a roll leaving me with about 8′ waste, but you dont want to try to seam the paper in the middle of a strip. Simple things like these projects with replacing old light fixtures and buying the nicer ones, not like the ones they put in spec homes make a huge difference.

  20. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Hi Dustin,
    Thanks for the advice.

  21. dkf2222 Says:
    October 31st, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Gee Wizz Folks…asbestos from one room wont kill you. The guys with the asbestos issues worked in it their whole life..All the hype was so asbestos folks could be sued over and over and over for millions and billions.

  22. dkf2222 Says:
    October 31st, 2010 at 8:17 am

    And by the way…as someone mentioned earlier….lots and lots of ceilings are painted. How do you get that off?

  23. Dorothea Says:
    January 15th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Why doesn’t somebody design a scraping tool that has the corners of it bent upward a little bit on the ends? Then nobody would have to gouge the ceiling accidentally, and they could work faster? Seems like I have seen that somewhere!?

  24. Brandon Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Do These Same Steps apply to a sponged textured ceiling. My house was built in ’85 and they used what looks like a sponge to make the textured ceiling. It breaks off in pieces that looks like joint compound. Will this be harder and more of a mess?

  25. Brandon Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Well nevermind…got my answer. They used joint compound or some type of putty to do the textured ceiling. I used a test area near a corner and found that when I sprayed the ceiling, almost instantly, I could see the drywall paper and where they used mud to cover the screw indentions. Upon scraping, the putty knife digs into the drywall paper way too easy….thinking about just drywalling over it. Taking new drywall and screwing it into the existing dry wall….any thoughts on this?

  26. Chris Says:
    February 26th, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I took a large putty knife and lightly scraped the popcorn off the ceiling. A slight texture remained, which looks great. I then painted the ceiling.

  27. Doug Says:
    March 5th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    On metal scrapers, round the corners a little to prevent gouges.

  28. Tara Says:
    March 10th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I have painted popcorn ceilings throughout most of my house. In the bedrooms, I think I will just put up panels over it all. It seems the simplest thing to do, plus it adds insulation.

  29. Barbara Smith Says:
    July 8th, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I do appreciate all the help for removing texture from the ceiling which I don’t have any experience with this type of task. I would like to remove the ceiling texture and create my own personal design to my ceiling with the drywall mud. I do apprciate all the pointers that was given.

  30. john berninger Says:
    August 27th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    What about when it is applied over a concrete ceiling? Can you get the concrete in good enough shape to paint when considering expansion joints etc.?

  31. Rich Taylor Says:
    October 1st, 2011 at 7:06 am


    Rather than remove my popcorn ceiling which is 13 years old, i just want to clean it up of the typical light and airy cobb webs found mostly around the ceiling vents then possibly paint. What would suggest for the cleaning and the painting aspect.

    Respectfully submitted…Rich

  32. Don Watts Says:
    October 15th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Does no one have any ideas about painted textured ceilings, will wallpaper remover work?

  33. Hilary @ KatrinkaJane Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    The ceilings in our home aren’t popcorn, I think, — they’re the starburst-type paint stippling? Not even sure what to call it. What’s the best way to flatten those out? Thank you! (found your name in Better Homes & Gardens for October)

  34. Debbie Says:
    January 10th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I just removed my popcorn ceiling today and it was very easy I bought a sprayer but hot water and soap let it sit for about a minute then used a putty knife and it came right off. It is very messy but if u put plastic down it is so much easier. This is the second room in my house that I did and I did not get any of it tested. You are not really breathing in anything because it is wet do it drops right to the floor. If you want to save money I would do it yourself. I got prices for up to $600 per room. Im the type of person that if I can do it myself I will. Good luck if you are tring this but in the end I will say it is well worth it. Next I have to do all my bedroom too

  35. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    January 10th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Debbie,
    Thanks for the feedback! I’m glad to hear your popcorn ceiling project went well.

  36. Mike Palmisano Says:
    January 18th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I’d like to pass on my experience after getting a tip on removal from my 85 year old mom in Ct. Seems she either saw an article in the New Haven Register or a magazine about Danny covering the removal of popcorn ceiling. I’ve been doing remodeling since my 20’s(1st home was old ) out of necessity and still do. I have a 1996 home (Oak Wood manufactured) that I’ve been redoing each room. Popcorn removal and creating the flat wall look (removal of the strip). What really got me was the tip of using warm water, someone I was discussing it with also suggested adding some fabric softener, as suggested using a sprayer.

    I always thought huh sheet rock (paper and chalk) + water Bad news but I was pretty desperate. The rooms I had done took time , created a mess and broke my butt.
    So I thought using a paint roller in very hot water only. As suggested I kept the work area about 5×8 using an eleven inch knife after letting it set for 10 minutes.
    To my amazement the removal was to the paper which stayed intact. Getting 11 inches off at a time compared to doing it dry , mess, pain – little to none and time invested (took longer to lay paper and plastic) and all the rooms I still have to do (about 1200 square feet), I felt relieved and thankful I now had this method. I guess in my 30 + years of doing it all I now had a new trick.

    So (like I said to my mother after the first 5×8 area), Great tip, I now look at the other 1200 feet I still have to do as NO PROBLEM.

    Ironically too Danny being from Marianna, and I living in Grand Ridge.

    So I’d like to say Thanks for the knowledge and try the roller (I first started with one with a guard (works great , when the outer corn drop and the ceiling turned beige that was enough water) but broke it continuing with one without using a 5 gallon bucket, with a paint-cage for removal of the excess water and then just rolling. Like I said was great . removal of more area at a time, minimal effort, contained minimal mess , much more healthy. Use a mask and goggle at least as always.

    Thanks again and if you’re ever in this area, stop by ! Thanks again to Danny, (and mom) for this great tip.

    Mike Palmisano

  37. Ms.Janet Neal Says:
    May 18th, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I am a new homeowner. My contractor wants to put sheet metal over the popcorn ceiling. Have you heard of this being done? I thought you had to remove the popcorn from the ceiling first. I would appreciate your advice. Thank you.

  38. penny Says:
    June 1st, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    As we remodeled each room we have taken down our popcorn ceileings and just painted them.

    we have 3 rooms that still have popcorn – i found the easiest way to get that off a ceiling is wet with hot water and scrap with a putty knife.

  39. Brian Says:
    June 1st, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks to all of the great comments here,I was able to remove over 2500 sf of popcorn ceiling over the course of 2 weekends with a helping hand from my father. The idea of bending the edges to prevent gouging was genius! Prep was a nightmare, especially because my walls had satin paint rather than flat. The shiny surface did not hold the tape very well. I used a 4 mil plastic on the floors and a 1 mil on the walls. It was amazing how easily the texture came off! We contracted a drywall company to install a knock-down texture and found out that I saved about $2,500 removing the texture on my own!

  40. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 2nd, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Hi Brian,
    Glad to hear your popcorn ceiling removal project went well. Thanks for the feedback!

  41. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 18th, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Hi Hilary,
    Your question about how to smooth out a starburst-type paint stippling ceiling was answered on the second hour of our June 16, 2012, Homefront radio show. You can listen to the answer at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/homefront/2012/06/16/homefront-radio-show-for-june-16-2012/

  42. Angela Senisi Says:
    April 1st, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Hello, I wish I had found this site before this morning when I needed to remove the popcorn in the skylight boxes. Some idiot a few years back damaged the skylights when installing new shingles, I saw him use a crowbar to lift them so he could put the shingles underneath. I pointed it out to hubby who has done nothing until I recently saw black mould around the frames. Since his retirement,hubby does not believe in doing anything around the house because he’s retired. So I’m left to do anything needing done and since cleaning was not enough, before they’re replaced, this is what I did this morning.
    I am 65yrs. old, I got a newspaper, made a cone, taped it into the central vac hose, went on the ladder, scrapers in hand, turned on the vac and scraped holding the cone under the work area. After the paper got tired of staying erect, I got a funnel and put it in another paper cone. Job done and little cleaning on the floor!! Next I need to check for water damage by removing some of the drywall and deal with that. Then this granny is going to buy new skylights and somehow will try to remove and install the new ones myself, just so I know it’s done right.
    Somebody is really lucky his wife actually enjoys doing things!! Just so you know, I’m shaking my head too!!

  43. Carmelo Says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I have a concrete ceiling with popcorn finish but I got tire of it so my Wife and I tuked down.Know she want a flat finish ceiling.What is your sucgection.How can We do that.

  44. Lucy Says:
    June 19th, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Thanks for the article. I removed popcorn from one ceiling and used a wet rag to smooth some rough spots — it had been painted. The ceiling is now painted and looks great. Now onto the next popcorn ceiling — BUT — has anyone just scraped a painted popcorn ceiling and painted the resulting texture? I’m concern that the remaining texture may peel off with the weight and wetness of the paint. Any suggestions?

  45. Leany B. Says:
    August 3rd, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I just scraped my 10×12 foot room popcorn ceiling using a wallpaper steamer, a wide dustpan and a 6″wide wallpaper scraper. I steamed a small area( within reach ) 4′ or so, slid the scraper along the ceiling with the dust pan under it to catch the debris. I had a wide bucket nearby to put the steamer in while I was scraping and a plastic lined trash can nearby to dump the old ceiling debris in. It took about 4 hours. I’m a 59 year young granny DIYer. Happy scraping!

  46. Ginny Pehrson Says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I just got done scraping my popcorn ceilings. I used a garden sprayer to dampen in some areas the texture was thinner than most and the dry wall underneath got wet. I have put fans in to air it out. Is it going to be ok?

  47. Louise Bachman Says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    It might be okay, depending on how much water actually penetrated the drywall.

    I just scraped the popcorn ceiling from a large room 28 x 14. The popcorn ceiling had been painted at least once so rather than trying to remove it right down to the drywall, I just scraped the popcorn off and left the texture on the ceiling. A coat of primer and then a coat of satin paint makes the ceiling look really nice and modern. A lot easier than trying to make it smooth.

  48. Sandra Lepack Says:
    August 16th, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Louise did you use the wet method or did you just scrape off the popcorn dry. I have several rooms to do next weekend.

  49. Marie Says:
    August 24th, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Good info, thanks. My town house was built in 1977. I am having the acoustic (popcorn) removed. My neighbor had a flood had to have dry wall removed and replaced. It was tested for asbestos and it was positive. I am sure I have asbestos. My contractor said he takes the necessary precautions to remove. However; how long will the fibers be airborne for? I was thinking I would stay away from home and come back when complete. How long should I wait to come back in home, that’s if I really have to. Thanks!

  50. Richard Says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Can anyone tell me why when painting new ceiling textured ceilings the new sprayed texture would fall off. I had to fire my contractor because of shoddy work and only showing up when he wanted. I started to paint my ceiling with a roller and the textured started falling off.

  51. Art Says:
    September 3rd, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I’ve removed the popcorn from just about every room in our house. It’s not fun. I got the scraper that the bag attaches too. Good idea but very time consuming. I just let it all fall after the first bag change. Plus it’s very hard to get close to the walls. Be very careful of the seams. The tape will peel very easily. Little dogs and scratches can be repaired easily. Larger repairs are a little more tricky. My issue was the cleaning of the residue left my the popcorn. I cleaned the ceiling down and sanded but my texture and paint still peeled.

  52. LaDonna Says:
    September 6th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Your paint peeled because it was to thick and heavy. Put a thin/watery paint coat up first after scraping the popcorn because you can not get all the dust off the ceiling.

  53. Samantha Says:
    September 15th, 2014 at 11:03 am

    This may be a silly question but after removing the popcorn off the ceiling do you need to go through and remove the excess dust that’s left before starting to paint? If so, what has been the easiest method that you’ve come up with?

  54. Samantha Says:
    September 15th, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Just read the last comment. So it’s ok to leave a little? I’m going through each room and wiping it down but it just seemed impossible! So you would water down the first coat (primer) and then the second would just be applied normally?

  55. Harry Says:
    September 15th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Just my two cents worth. I have been removing the popcorn ceilings from my house. Two of the best tools I have found are first, a 4ft scraper, peels the popcorn right off, painted popcorn that is. Second, get a drywall sander that connects to a shop vac. It uses screen sanding sheets that allows drywall dust to be collected and almost none escapes. After peeling the popcorn off, sand, fill all divits, gouges, screw/nail holes, etc, than sand again. Apply a coat of drywall primer. If you are going for a flat cig you will be able to see areas needing more attention after the primer dries. Simply fill, sand, prime and check again. Once it’s all smooth and flat, apply whatever cover you want, knock down, paint, whatever. Granted, if you are applying knockdown you don’t have to be as concerned over small irregularities so less work. If painting knockdown make sure to get a thick roller, 1/2 min to be able to get into the texture. If spraying, sooooo much easier. Again, just my two cents worth.

  56. Harry Says:
    September 15th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Once more option; if your popcorn hasn’t been painted and is not leaded there is a great scraper that attaches to a shop vac that allows you to scrape the texture while it is sucked into the vac. Nice thing is, no water mess and no waiting to see how much damage was done to the sheetrock from too much water. No mater what, you need to prime before coating with texture or paint.

  57. Cathy Says Says:
    September 23rd, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    I had popcorn ceilings in entire house. I removed popcorn from 3 bedrooms, hall, kitchen and 2 bathrooms. Popcorn was splattered everywhere, on moldings and windows. I’m a female senior but got the job done. Living room is still beautiful so decided to paint and it’s coming along nicely. Biggest suggestion, you can’t hurry the job.

  58. Christine Says:
    October 13th, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Just wondering what happens after the popcorn comes down. I have done the popcorn removal and am trying to figure out if the entire ceiling gets a skim coat or if you just putty places? My ceiling is in pretty good shape. Can someone answer this question?

    Thank you.

  59. Nicole Lake Says:
    October 18th, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Use half water and half white vinegar in your spray bottle popcorn will fall right off. It’s a little stinky but it works great! Cant believe no one has suggested this, it works great for wallpaper removal as well.

  60. Emma Says:
    November 17th, 2014 at 4:38 am

    My ceiling is not a very old one. But lately I’ve spotted popcorns on them. I’m very worried about these asbestos. Do they pose a major health hazard? We just moved in a couple of months ago and the house was totally in good condition when we got it. I doubt whether the recent harsh climate has taken its toll over our ceiling! I tried removing them myself but it didn’t help much. So, I’ve got men from Healthy Environmental (Asbestos removal service) volunteer me. They’ll take up our job next week.

  61. Larry Miller Says:
    November 29th, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I’m dealing with a popcorn ceiling that was painted. What type and brand of chemical stripping product can be used to help remove it now?

  62. gia frank Says:
    December 10th, 2014 at 6:34 am

    I used water and fabric softener in a spray bottle and tried it out in the spare room…the ceiling had been painted! But like the nature of the nasty material, the paint didn’t sink all the way to the surface so there were little pockets with no paint. That only mattered on where the builder had mudded seams and nail holes though! Once I was able to scrape to the drywall and get my 4 inch blade under it, the stuff came off in sheets. I used a cookie sheet to catch it and limit how much hit the floor. A 10×12 bedroom ceiling came off in about 2 hours. I alternated between a metal blade (which gouged a bit if I wasn’t careful and a plastic one)…and I liked the way the fabric softener scented the room while I worked…yes, I’m a 50 something female. Thanks so much!!

  63. Kim Says:
    January 1st, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I removed the popcorn with a spray bottle and 10 inch plastic blade from Lowes. After removal I had to putty imperfections and sand. This is your only opportunity to get the ceiling right before priming. I used a large dust cloth and shop vac to remove the dust. You MUST prime the drywall before painting. The rollers you should use are called primer rollers. Lowes has a 5 gallon drum called Valspar Drywall Primer/Sealer for $60. It is latex interior. No one mentioned that. I am a perpetual diy, and I learn as I go, but I always research and ask for advice from HD or Lowes before I tackle something new. I am glad I did, because I did it right. Removal of dust after sanding is very important before sealing. This is a 4 step procedure to remove popcorn. I recommend taping plastic on your walls and floor, then just fold it in on itself and dispose of it. It will get on your walls. Step 2 is patch using a latex patching compound. You can sand it with a sanding block which is less than 3 bucks. Make certain to remove dust after this step. I used a shop vac on the ceiling followed by a damp dust cloth. There are other methods, but don’t skip this. Step 3 is to seal the drywall. When I removed my popcorn, I was looking at the sheetrock. I sealed it. Step 4 is to paint it, and your done! It is a lot of work (and cost me a good penny in drop plastics, floor protection, shop vac, and sealer, not to mention paint) but was it worth it. It looks great and best of all, No more ugly popcorn.

  64. pennygary2004@yahoo.com Says:
    February 18th, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I am on room 3 and just thought I would browse the comments. I had also been told to spray the ceiling with water and it would become “oatmeal”… unfortunately, my ceiling were all painted so it didn’t work quite that easy. But wetting it did help. That left me with the dust on the ceiling. I went back with the spray bottle and lightly sprayed again. Used my scraper again and turned the “dust” to a paste, much easier to remove. Did my spackling, sanding, painting… ONLY to realize that I am going to have to redo some spots that are definately not smooth. Oh well, doing a better job in room one. Removing popcorn is taking about 4 hours per bedroom. On 2nd room, I did removal and spackling at the same time so I didn’t have to move ladder (got smarter)…I have 3 bedrooms and a kitchen. Then I get to install new laminate flooring… AND I am a 57 year old woman.. with a disabled husband.. who says women can’t do repairs….

  65. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    February 18th, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for your experiences with removing a popcorn ceiling and your feedback on the time it’s taking per room.

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