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Old 07-18-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
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I need to redo a popcorn ceiling....its very old, tried painting over it, some areas fell off....any ideas???

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Old 07-18-2012, 11:19 PM   #2
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Best advise anyone here can give you is to get rid of it.

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Old 07-19-2012, 03:28 AM   #3
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Take it all down
Put plastic down, spray it with a garden sprayer with hot water, let it soak in, scrape it all off.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:56 AM   #4
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Get rid of it. It will go faster than you think especially if you use a nice wide drywall knife. Then clean residue thoroughly and/or apply a coat of something like GARDZ. Skim coat if needed to fill in cracks. You may also have to tape joints as popcorn was often used so contractors could skip taping. Prime your drywall compound repairs and apply two coats of nice paint.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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Removing-Easier said then done. especially if you painted it already. You can hire a professional to try and match the existing popcorn best as possible. there are different types of popcorn all of which are becoming harder to find.
the can stuff is horrible. Ive done quite a few of these jobs. Matching is possible. They just has to know his stuff and where to get it. Most textures can be found at a drywall supply store or contractors yard. home depot or lowes may have some of them. but the professionals know how to spray it on properly. do your research first and dont take just the lowest price. ask for some references or pictures if possible.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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Valid points. When popcorn ceilings were done correctly and not just to skip mudding and taping ceilings, they held up pretty well. I have painted some that were put over taped seams and primer that will be there until the owners tire of the texture. Unfortunately, I guess I am biased and they all look the same to me. I can think of more inviting textures if I were doing a ceiling. Some of the acoustic popcorn would be an exception.

As the prior poster mentions, those repair cans are outrageously expensive, make a total mess, and only give you a few second burst and maybe 3-4 sf of coverage. Skip them by all means.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:04 AM   #7
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Put quarter inch drywall over semi scraped popcorn. Screw into joists. Tape, texture and be done with it. If too Much moisture is sprayed onto lid it may warp as I have learned this.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey James View Post
Put quarter inch drywall over semi scraped popcorn. Screw into joists. Tape, texture and be done with it. If too Much moisture is sprayed onto lid it may warp as I have learned this.
Then don't spray to much water on it...... it doesnt require a ton of water to come down. just enough to change the color of the popcorn.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:04 AM   #9
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OK, I feel like I can really chime in on this as I have just spent 2 weekends removing this horrible stuff from 4 rooms. I've actually removed painted ceiling and non painted ceiling and let me say for starters, painted ceiling is the worst!! Here's what I did:

NOTE: I wore a dust mask and glasses through everything. Including the brushing and cleaning up and putting into plastic bags. Also when I vacuumed at the last stage. Also wear clothes that you don't care much for!!!

Prep work: Put plastic covering over the floor first (I used 6mil so that it wouldn't puncture with ladders since it's going to get wet). Remove doors, light fixtures (I undid them and let them hang by the wires and then put plastic bags around them). Put plastic bags around thermostats etc. Use an elastic band to seal. TURN OFF ELECTRICITY.

Remove curtain rails/blinds etc. Remove shelves from cupboards that have popcorn ceilings in too. Put plastic sheeting outside the rooms in the doorways co'z this stuff gets everywhere. Also get some shoes or sandals that are easy to remove at the end (and leave them on the plastic sheeting). Tip: For joining plastic sheeting pieces together, use regular tape used for sealing shipping boxes (the clear packing tape that's about 2" wide). It's way cheaper and works a treat. Also make sure that the plastic sheeting has the correct edge (open end) facing the edge of the wall. This stuff unfolds like a carpet BTW.

Non painted ceiling: I started out using a hand spray bottle and it took me ages to get the ceiling wet enough. So what I did was use the hand held sprayer for the first half and then I thought, the ceiling is absorbing way too much water to get it to the 'wet' texture where it will scrape off. So I decided to get the garden hose out and put it on 'mist' setting. Basically I soaked the ceiling and hardly any water actually went on the floor. The ceiling is VERY hydroscopic. After spraying and letting it soak up the water I started scraping. The stuff was a bit muddy in places (ie too wet) however it came of so easily. Very satisfying. It took about an 1/6th of the time it took with the hand sprayer so well worth the mess. I then left the doors and windows open so that the stuff on the plastic floor covering would dry. It actually dried very well and I was able to brush most of the clumpy stuff up. I threw the plastic sheeting out at the end (in a sealed plastic bag or 2).

Painted ceiling: This is a lot harder as you aren't able to soak the ceiling as the paint will have sealed the surface from water. What I did was to get a garden sprayer (those big plastic pump sprayers) and used that so that I could control the water better. A garden hose is not as control-able. So as it happens, removing this type of ceiling is a 2 stage process. 1) I sprayed the ceiling in 1ft wide by 6ft lengths and let it soak a bit. I then scraped the surface with a wallpaper scraper to remove most of the paint surface (it has a sharper edge than a regular scraper) . 2) Use the garden sprayer and spray the surface again (now soaking the ceiling). Scrape down with the wide scraper and repeat. When room is finished, sit down and enjoy a beer or whatever your preferred refreshment is!!

So what I found is to not be too shy with the water. If the sheet rock gets wet on the surface it's not a big deal. It drys out very well and almost (or at least in my case) looks like it has just been put up (it looks like new!). The popcorn ceiling actually comes off easily once it can be exposed to water. Another tip, use a large scraper when it's wet. You cover more surface areas more quickly. Also don't waste money on the 'clever scraper' with a bag attachment. Completely useless. You can't get the angle or see what your doing. Just accept it's going to be incredibly messy and be grateful the stuff is on the floor when you're finished!!

Please feel free to message me if you want photos or advice. I'm more than happy to guide someone through this if you're still unsure from my description. If you're in an apartment and a garden hose is not available, think about using a garden sprayer filled with water (bug sprayer ?). It's so much easier than using a piddly hand sprayer that can only hold about 16oz of water!!

Last edited by HobbyMan; 09-04-2012 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:09 AM   #10
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Good account of your success and the approach you took is basically the way it works. I am not sure I would have dared use a garden hose on a client property but it makes some sense.

The reason your drywall underneath looked brand new is it was probably never primed. Most popcorn ceilings were a mix of cheap ceiling paint and the texture sprayed over non-taped and non-mudded ceiling drywall.

It sounds like somebody got a coat of decent paint on one of your ceilings so it would have been harder to saturate.

And your advice to use a nice wide blade is dead on.

I wish I could say the task of removing them gets to be more fun as you do more and more of them butThey really are the work of the devil.

Oh well, you will be so glad you got rid of them. Nice job!
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Good account of your success and the approach you took is basically the way it works. I am not sure I would have dared use a garden hose on a client property but it makes some sense.

The reason your drywall underneath looked brand new is it was probably never primed. Most popcorn ceilings were a mix of cheap ceiling paint and the texture sprayed over non-taped and non-mudded ceiling drywall.

It sounds like somebody got a coat of decent paint on one of your ceilings so it would have been harder to saturate.

And your advice to use a nice wide blade is dead on.

I wish I could say the task of removing them gets to be more fun as you do more and more of them butThey really are the work of the devil.

Oh well, you will be so glad you got rid of them. Nice job!
Thanks. Yep, I'm kinda glad that they weren't primed or anything as it probably made it easier for me. I also had to fill in all the minor blemishes with spackle and then sand when dry to get a nice finish.

So here's another question. Do I need to mud and prime or can I just prime and paint ? The sheetrock actually looks really level. It looks like it was taped and there are lines of spackle over the nails etc but not the whole sheetrock.

On the plus side: My biceps are looking really good!

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Last edited by HobbyMan; 09-04-2012 at 11:12 AM.
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