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Old 11-12-2009, 11:56 AM   #1
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


I've noticed some cracking and imperfections in my popcorn ceilings and would like to replace them ourselves. I'm wondering if it is possible to replace only the ceilings and not the walls. I work in a library so I have access to many books on the subject but they all give instructions from unfinished starting points.

How would I get the old ceiling down, and put up the new one, while leaving the walls untouched?

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Old 11-12-2009, 12:03 PM   #2
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


Just take a utility knife and score the seam between the walls and the ceiling. Make sure you cut deep enough to cut the tape. After the ceiling is down, take the knife and clean up the top edge of the wall and scrape off any of the loose joint compound. When you replace the ceiling try to get the drywall to slide into the void created.

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Old 11-12-2009, 12:30 PM   #3
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


Before you do anything, get the popcorn ceiling tested for asbestos
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:08 PM   #4
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


if the popcorn is neg for asbestos scrape it off and either refinish or laminate new drywall to old 1/4 to 3/8 is plenty thick
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


Quote:
if the popcorn is neg for asbestos scrape it off and either refinish or laminate new drywall to old 1/4 to 3/8 is plenty thick
Ayuh,.... I agree,.. Especially if the original ceiling is holding up the attic insulation....
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:58 PM   #6
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


Another layer is the best option, especially if there's blown in insulation above......
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:03 AM   #7
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


Thanks to everyone who replied. All good ideas!
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:48 AM   #8
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


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if the popcorn is neg for asbestos scrape it off and either refinish or laminate new drywall to old 1/4 to 3/8 is plenty thick
Another vote for laminating old onto new, but thicker is better; 1/2 or 5/8. Thinner GWB will inherit and telegraph any existing bows or waves. Thicker rock can (may) bridge and push imperfections away
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:45 PM   #9
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


But, to put another layer of drywall, do I really have to scrape off all the texture, or can I just put the drywall over top?
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:27 PM   #10
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


You can go right over the texture. 1/2" would do a better job also. As stated above, it will do a better job of hiding/spanning imperfections that don't show as readily with texture. 5/8" is better than 1/2", but overkill I think unless you have particularly wavy framing. A lot harder to deal with too. 1/4" or 3/8" are acceptable. I use 1/4" over plaster where I have to butt to the trim and still want a reveal. I normally use 1/2" for ceiling overlay even if the framing is pretty straight, just because it's cheaper....
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:15 PM   #11
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Replacing drywall ceiling only, not walls


My 2 cents: DIY drywall sanding is not fun and ceiling drywall sanding is even worse so make sure you get a good respirator/goggles. Great advice has been provided but consider ceiling tiles or wood strips options before tearing the original drywall down.

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