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Old 06-21-2015, 09:33 PM   #1
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Popcorn Ceiling Removal: Drywall Joint Tape Peeling, Etc.


Howdy all! First time poster here.

I'm removing popcorn ceilings from a new condo, and while I've started with my den, I'm a little concerned about a few things and want some expert input! I'm using a Homax ceiling texture scraper for most of it and a putty knife for the edges.

1) My plan is to scrape the popcorn down myself and then hire a drywall expert to skim coat and sand the rest since I'm way out of my league there (and the drywall dust is the really messy part). Does that seem reasonable? Or is it a dumb division of labor that's going to cost me more in the long run?

2) In the course of getting everything wet and scraping, the drywall joint tape is definitely peeling/breaking in a lot of places on the edges. Is this normal? I've tried being gentle with it, but that ends up leaving some of the popcorn there.

3) Underneath, the texture seems awful. There are lots of seams and what I'm guessing are metal studs sticking out? (Correct me if I'm wrong and that's something else.) Any thoughts on how much time that should take a professional to skim coat? I've got 3 rooms and about 750 square feet.

Thanks so much!

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Last edited by BrianinDC; 06-21-2015 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:18 PM   #2
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I think you should stop and see if your drywall guy will charge more to take care of the rooms you worked on vs the rooms you haven't worked on. It sounds like you are doing a lot of work but making it harder for the drywall guy rather than easier.

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Old 06-22-2015, 05:34 AM   #3
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Something isn't right there should be no metal studs sticking out. That Homax knife should work but it's kind of small. The tape coming loose is no big deal. when skim just re-tape. A couple pics would really help.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:29 AM   #4
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Here are a couple photos. In the first, you can see the tape. Sounds like that's not anything to worry about, so that's good.

In the second, you can see those "seam" lines I mentioned. I asked the building manager today, and he said it's probably from the plywood where they poured the concrete.

In many of the pictures and videos I've seen online, the ceiling still looks good after having the popcorn scraped. Obviously this doesn't. I'm guessing that's just a function of quick and dirty construction?

And, perhaps most important--if I'm having someone skim coat it, how much should I worry about some of that residual popcorn stuff that's stuck on there that you see? I'm trying to strike the delicate balance between doing a good job, and ripping the heck out of what's up there.

Thank you all!
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianinDC View Post
In the second, you can see those "seam" lines I mentioned. I asked the building manager today, and he said it's probably from the plywood where they poured the concrete.
Are you saying that the ceiling is poured concrete with a popcorn texture applied over it?
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:17 PM   #6
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That's what he implied. I think they just added plaster on top of it and then sprayed the popcorn. (That would certainly explain why the texture looks awful now that the popcorn is off too.)
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:19 PM   #7
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I would think that if you are up there scraping you could tell if it was concrete or not. That was an important bit of information.

So can you post a picture of what you are calling a popcorn texture?
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:32 PM   #8
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@BrianinDC ,
That isn't metal studs that's sticking out of your ceiling. It's the rebar that is in the concrete.

What you're going to need to do is get a good ceiling guy from your area to fix this. He will need to remove most of the drywall tape. The seams are covering the expansion joints in the concrete. After removing the tape and any leftover popcorn kernels a sealer/primer should be applied before any mud work is started. Because the mud, tape and skim coat won't adhere to the dusty surface.

After the ceiling is primed, tape and mud the expansion joints. Then skim coat the entire ceiling. If you're doing a texture one skim should do it. If you're going for a smooth finish two or maybe eevn three skim coats will be needed.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:30 PM   #9
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jogr: I was attempting to be very gentle so as not to gouge the surface. As such, I thought I was probably leaving some residual popcorn junk on what I thought was drywall sheeting, even though it didn't feel like it. Seems like that's just plaster. Two pictures are attached as you asked.

Sir MixAlot: THANK YOU! That actually makes perfect sense here and is super helpful. Any guesses on how much time it should take a skilled drywall person to do about 750 square feet of that (and I am going for smooth, not textured)? Or, for that matter, how to determine who's a good ceiling person and who isn't? I've gotten a few quotes that are all over the map. A couple just referred to "sanding and patching," which it sounds like is definitely not what I want.
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Last edited by BrianinDC; 06-22-2015 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:03 AM   #10
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It’s better to show the room and place to the drywall person and take the quote from him; if it’s reasonable then let the professional hands take care of it.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:31 AM   #11
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If it's rebar the means it's a concrete ceiling, my question is if it's concrete why would there be taped joints?
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
If it's rebar the means it's a concrete ceiling, my question is if it's concrete why would there be taped joints?
It's the expansion joints that are taped. Pretty much ever highrise condo has this type of ceiling here in my area.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:48 PM   #13
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"In the second, you can see those "seam" lines I mentioned. I asked the building manager today, and he said it's probably from the plywood where they poured the concrete."--------------- Brian, dig into a seam line to see if concrete or drywall compound material. Give us a pic.

Gary
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in WA View Post
"In the second, you can see those "seam" lines I mentioned. I asked the building manager today, and he said it's probably from the plywood where they poured the concrete."--------------- Brian, dig into a seam line to see if concrete or drywall compound material. Give us a pic.

Gary
Yeah it's concrete. I can barely scratch it with a knife or screwdriver once I get the residual debris off. Here's a close up.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:49 PM   #15
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Hey. First there are fee things to consider.
1. Do you have Osha livence to remove popcorn?
2. Did you do the lead test for the popcorn?
3. To remove the lines use a grinder and a carbide diamond blade, the one for smooth the lines in comcrete.
4. If you ate going to recoat with plaster you have to put a primer or make it the surface a little rough in order to hold the coat.
5. Why you dont use the Plaster of paris to have one smooth coat in one coat.
6. You can use. California coat material as well to patch the bad areas, is a fast drying plaster.

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