Sunday, October 20, 2013

Removing popcorn ceilings

I am not a fan of popcorn ceilings. Ours had to go because I felt like they really dated the house. A person can do all the updates they want, but popcorn ceilings are a dead giveaway to the true age of a home since this was a huge trend in the 70's and 80's.

Removing them was one of the first projects we did when we got the keys to the house. It made an absolutely awful mess. I was about in tears halfway through, but I am so glad they're gone. Since we were ripping out the floor and repainting everything anyways, it wasn't a big deal that the gross popcorn goop got everywhere. If I had been in a nice finished home, I don't think I would have tackled this project for fear of ruining everything else.

I forgot to take a picture of ours, but here's an example:

For some odd reason our house had popcorn ceilings in the main bathroom, living room, and three bedrooms. The kitchen, dining, laundry area, and second bath had normal ceilings that you'd see in today's homes. Weird. I'm so thankful the popcorn wasn't throughout the whole house. I might have lost it.

The process to remove them is quite simple:

1. Fill a sprayer with hot water. You can add dish soap or vinegar. We tried both and I'm not sure it made a huge difference.

2. Spray the water directly on the ceiling. You want to work in small sections so that the water doesn't dry before you're able to scrape the popcorn. Once the water has soaked into the ceiling, use 4 or 6" scrapers/putty knives. It should come off easily if wet enough.

3. You will definitely need a ladder, protective eye wear, and a mask.

Guest room. I bribed my little brother to help. What do you think of that carpet? Pretty nice, eh?
Master bedroom. It looks like it snowed.
4. Once the ceilings are dry and you have everything cleaned up, you can sand the ceilings. We didn't hire anyone to come in and texturize them. We simply painted them and I think they turned out fine. They look so much cleaner. We used regular paint in the living room and had to do 4 coats. I used actual ceiling paint in the three bedrooms and bath and only had to do two coats so I definitely learned my lesson there.
After = smooth, clean ceilings
 5. If you haven't painted ceilings before, it's not fun. Your ceilings will look so nice and clean when you're done, but be prepared for a tough job. My neck hurts just thinking about it!

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