Sunday, March 18, 2012

Popcorn belongs in mouths NOT ceilings!

Bad Popcorn
Previous popcorn removal in the kitchen.
I hate popcorn ceilings. Whoever sold the idea that this was a good way to finish a ceiling, needs to have their head examined. Since this type of drywall treatment is an epidemic, I have found myself moving into homes with this blight. Thanks to a small leak in the kitchen ceiling that caused the popcorn to fall in areas, I have already tackled the removal. Because the leak had been fixed, (Not Exactly) the prior owners had orchestrated a patch job that made it's removal a real pain. That experience made me nervous about attempting the living room, but after a year of admiring the Kitchen ceiling, I was ready to try it again. I was very fortunate that this time around the scraping went smoothly. Because if you attempt this project you will learn that clean up, not scraping, is the hard part.

You will see that I didn't cover my walls...
Start by covering everything. Unless you intend on wiping down your walls when finished and repainting, I would go so far as to cover the floors and the walls with plastic. If you do not cover your walls do remove clocks, art work, mirrors etc. Also remove all the furniture from the room. This is going to get messy.

I think this is the fun part. I LOVE seeing it go!
After your room is prepped. You will want to wet down your ceiling. This softens the popcorn so it comes off easily. (If you suspect that your ceiling has been painted over, do a small test spot. If it has, the popcorn will not absorb the water and you are out of luck.) Do not use a spray bottle for this, your fingers will go numb and you will not be able to saturate the plaster well enough. I like to use a weed sprayer that I fill with water, pump to create pressure then just squeeze the trigger. You want enough water that it is lightly falling like mist, not rain! Then use a wide drywall scraper and it should just fall.
Me and my sprayer. I sprayed and scraped
1/3 of my ceiling at a time.

Popcorn on my shoes
Then comes the hard part. You will need to wipe down or sand your ceiling. I lucked out and it was primed underneath so I was able to wipe it down with a wet towel, rinsing my bucket often. If you have to sand, be sure to wear a mask and tape of the room. The fine dust you will create will go everywhere and make cleanup even worse. Be thorough at this step, or you will be finding white particles all over your house for a long time. My kids tracked it all over the first floor during this project...

Good Popcorn
Paint with ceiling paint and your finished. I find that ceiling paint is very thin, so it may need 2 coats. Also if you are planning on painting the walls be sure to bring your ceiling color down onto the walls a 1/2 inch or so. This will give you a crisper paint line between the ceiling and wall paint, and not allow the previous color to show. I have a small telescoping roller that I like to use on my ceilings. I find that a longer handle makes it easier on the arms.

I couldn't leave the walls since I had painted ceiling color around the top. Luckily I have been going to Ace Hardware every Saturday this month so I had several free quarts of  Clark+Kensington Paint+Primer in One, tinted Mystical 1038. I combined the quarts into a bucket prior to painting, in case there were any color variations.

Since I had ceiling paint left over from a previous project and I even got my paint brushes free using Menards Rebates. This project was completely free!

My room isn't finished yet. But here is my progress..

Ceiling After

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  1. You're lucky it's just your ceiling.
    Some bright person sprayed and painted every wall, trim, and ceiling in it in our house before we bought it. I HATE it but it would be so much work to get rid of it all.

    I mean who paints over real wood trim with popcorn paint?

    Sorry rant over lol

    Cute blog!!!

    1. !! Hand over my mouth shocked!!... waited a moment so that I could type with both hands. I have no words for you.

      I have seen a lot of crazy house things, but that... Still no words.

      You really have no choice but to "Embrace the Ugly". A friend had an all white exterior house, shutters, siding, door etc. Except the builder "spiced" it up with a light blue roof edge. It looks so odd and so bad, but to expensive to change. So she picked up some paint and matched the shutters, and door to the trim, then added a few flowers. It looks awesome!
      I would love to see some photos to give you some inexpensive ideas to help out.

  2. Builders got away with doing less than half of the work required to achieve a leveled smooth ceiling. popcorn ceiling removal


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