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.
- Remove all furniture from the room.
- Turn off the heating or cooling system and close any vents. Ceiling vents should be removed and covered with plastic.
- Turn off the power to the room and remove any ceiling lights or paddle fans.
- Cover wall outlets and switches with plastic, sealing them with painter’s tape.
- Cover the floor with plastic, extending it a foot up the wall and attaching it with painter’s tape.
- 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.
- To assist in clean up, cover the floor with rosin paper, overlapping the sheets and taping them together.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wait 15-20 minutes for the solution to be absorbed by the texture material.
- 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.
- If the texture proves difficult to remove, spray it again, wait a few minutes, and try again.
- Use a putty knife to remove any residual material as well as to get into the corners.
Repairs and Finishing Touches
You’ll probably need to do some drywall finishing to the ceiling after the texture has been removed, including:
- Hammer any visible nails or screws below the surface and cover them with joint compound.
- Replace any damaged drywall tape and smooth out the joints with joint compound.
- 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.
- 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.