How To Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

In my previous post I provided directions on how to add a popcorn ceiling also known as an acoustic ceiling now I’m going to tell you how to remove a popcorn ceiling from a room. The first thing you have to do is find out if your popcorn ceiling texture contains asbestos. If the popcorn ceiling texture was added before 1980 odds are it contains asbestos, while asbestos is harmless if left alone, removing a ceiling containing asbestos can stir up the fibers and cause them to become trapped in your lungs. To obtain the sample you will need to grab a small putty knife, a small zip lock bag, dust mask and eye protection. Scrape a small area of the popcorn ceiling into the zip lock bag and send the small sample to an approved testing service. If the sample tests positive for asbestos contact and they will safely remove any and all asbestos from the room and test for more asbestos throughout the house. If the room is asbestos free then you may continue. First you must prep the room. Remove all furniture from the room and all  light fixtures from the ceiling. Next turn off the heating or cooling system and close any vents and any ceiling vents should be removed and covered with plastic. Next cover the floor with plastic, extending it a foot up the wall and attaching it with painter’s tape. The final step of preparation is to run painter’s tape on the wall around the ceiling along the walls and attach plastic sheeting to it. Now you must fill a pump up sprayer with warm water and add 2-3 tablespoons of dish washing soap per gallon of water. Apply a generous amount of the sop water to a 4 ft by 4 ft section of the wall and wait 15-20 minutes for the water to soak into the textured ceiling. Next take a floor scraper or other wide bladed tool and scrape away the textured ceiling in the area you sprayed. It is important to remember to scrape gently so you don’t gouge the drywall and create more work for yourself. Continue working in 4 ft by 4 ft areas soaking and scraping until the textured ceiling is removed. Use a putty knife to remove any remaining texture that you might have missed. Next repair and patch any gouges you may have made and finally sand the ceiling smooth and you are finished.

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