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Old 02-03-2010, 12:00 AM   #1
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


Hi,

I am trying to remove popcorn ceilings. I tried spraying water on it, but does not work. Any suggestion?

Also, after removal of the popcorns, can i just paint over the drywalls, or is there something else that i'll need to prep first?

Thank you.

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:23 AM   #2
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


If water isn't helping, it's possible that the ceiling's been painted at some point (normally popcorn's not painted immediately after install). With my ceilings, I could scrape the popcorn off without water -- but with much more dust and risk of damaging the underlaying drywall! If painted, water probably won't help the scraping process. You'll have to try harder -- while trying not to damage the drywall! Hopefully someone else can offer better advice on removing painted popcorn.

After removal, what you do depends on what surface texture you want. In my case, I go for flat, untextured ceilings. This means I have to do more finish mudding/sanding on all the joints and screws/nails, since the original installers usually do only one coat before popcorn covers up all the flaws. If you're planning on adding a different texture, you usually can skip re-mudding -- if your new texture covers up the same imperfections.

Re-reading your post, it looks like you want paint immediately after scraping. Trust me, if you don't do additional mudding/sanding before painting, it's likely that you'll be very unhappy with the result. Adding paint will easily show all the imperfections you could barely see before the paint. It pays to be meticulous.

A few more points: 1) You need to prime before painting. 2) If going for a flat surface, make sure to remove all the popcorn's residual material. 3) Be careful when scraping, as it's easy to nick the drywall (particularly when wet/moist), requiring additional mudding to fix. 4) I find the joints where the walls and ceiling intersect are hard to scrape to a good finished look without scraping up the original joint tape or otherwaise making a mess -- and I HATE mudding at those joints. To compensate, I've become good at crown molding.

Good luck.

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:51 AM   #3
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


be careful as some of the popcorn ceilings contain asbestos.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


Go buy a "floor scraper", it looks much like a garden hoe that has not been bent. Ooops! You'll need a source of high heat for this--heat the scraper approximately 1/3 rd. from the edge and bend at approximately 45 degrees. When using the scraper--PULL, don't push it. We have used this on non-painted and painted ceilings with success. I highly recommend skim coating the bad areas and the use of a goog primer.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:05 PM   #5
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


Itsdanf

gave you some very good advice... If they primed (best practice) the drywall before popcorn (accustical texture) application then it will be even harder to scrape off.

Know that contractor ceiling prep for Accoustical texture is minimal at best, so
plan on skim coat type activity before you can prime & paint.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:49 PM   #6
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


Thank you Everyone for your advise! I have read some blogs that suggested to use part vingnar and part water mix to spray on before scrapping. Going to work on it next weekend. Will let you guys know how it turns out.

Brons, i'll have the popcorns tested for abestos. Thanks!

Last edited by joesmithf1; 02-03-2010 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:07 AM   #7
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


Good idea, my popcorn does
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:18 AM   #8
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


As I mentioned in another post, the fastest way to get a popcorn ceiling off is to trick it into thinking you are trying to paint it. Huge chunks will suddenly be stuck to your brush or roller cover.

Seriously, If I can get a wide drywall knife under a piece of ceiling I can usually scrape along to get the rest. It sounds like you may have encountered the 1 in a 1,000 popcorn ceiling that was applied properly over a primer.

I find that my Fein multi-tool comes in real handy for removing popcorn ceilings. There are alternative brands of such tools out there you might look into. I think someone on this site posted that Harbour Freight had a cheap Chinese thing for $40 or so? Dremel, Rockwell and Craftsman make such tools. Mine was like $300-400 but is one of the best tool investments I ever made.

I would be tempted to prime with a good bonding primer before and after the skim coat especially if there is any chance of any adhesive residue remaining on the ceiling after popcorn removal.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:15 AM   #9
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Removing Popcorn Ceiling


Maybe mine is one of the 1 in 1000 you mention but I have painted it with a 1 1/4 nap Purdy and very very little came loose, hardly any to mention. If it had been coming loose like crazy I would have just scraped it off I think. Oh well.

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