Popcorn Ceiling Removal StepsPerhaps it’s time for a change, after all, you’ve taken the first steps. You recently got rid of that old sectional and are eager to relax on the replacement furniture. Or, maybe you’ve just bought a home and this is one of the first projects on your list. Whatever the case, if you’re wondering why this type of ceiling material even exists, you are certainly not alone. You might also know this as a cottage cheese ceiling, textured ceiling, or an acoustic ceiling.
When considering a popcorn ceiling removal project, the first step should always be to test it for asbestos. Homes built prior to 1980 were often constructed using building materials that contained asbestos in paint texture, including textured ceilings and patching compounds, but its use was banned after it was found to cause lung disease and cancer. —Angie’s ListBut, why would any builder choose such a material finish? Well, popcorn ceilings first became an option in the 1950s and continued to grow in popularity. The interior finish was installed in many homes through the 1960s and remained a popular choice right through much of the 1980s. The reason for the texture is twofold: it cuts down on reflective noise and it also doubles as a concealer for seams. This is why it’s difficult to scrape the material away. But you can follow these popcorn ceiling removal steps:
- Test for asbestos. Because of the time period in which the texture came into use, there’s a chance it does contain asbestos. This is particularly true if the home construction dates back to the 1950s and 1960s. So, be sure to test for asbestos before you start scraping away.
- Protect the floor. Once you test and are sure it doesn’t contain any asbestos, it’s time to get to work. The first part of your popcorn ceiling removal process begins with being proactive. Move all furniture and decor out of the room. It’s also a good idea to ventilate as much as possible, so open windows and doors. You might consider removing French doors. Lay plastic and/or drop cloths across the floor for protection.
- Soften the ceiling texture. Now comes the tricky part. You’ll need to soften the material without soaking through to the ceiling itself. So, gently moisten the texture and wait about 10 to 15 minutes for it to soften. Test a small section by scraping and if more moisture is needed, then apply more water.
- Scrape away the ceiling texture. Next and lastly, you can scrape the texture material away from the actual ceiling, being cautious not to dig into the ceiling. This is a time-consuming project, because you’ll have to be careful so you don’t have to make a lot of repairs. Once the texture is gone, you can make any small repairs, then prime and paint to finish.