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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have to get rid of a textured ceiling in an older home. What should I be aware of and how can I do this quickly and get a decent flat finish. Any tips/ advice are welcome.
 

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If it has not been painted, spray with warm water and a 3-4" drywall knife to scrape.
If it has been painted, may need to use a paint scraper and it is hard work. And won't all come off so if yuou want a flat ceiling you may need to re-skim it after scraping.

If it is low round sort of bumps I have seen it just drywalled over.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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The cited methods will work with spray on texture. If it is veneer plaster (or drywall mud), it ani't gonna happen!
 

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I have had good luck using plain water applied with a paint roller and patience. I work a 6X6ft. area at a time. Keep it moist until it gets soft then push off with a knife.
 
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the fastest cleanest method i use is to simply knock down the high spots with a scraper then go right over it with a fresh layer of drywall. yes you will have to fill the joints but its much easier to do a bond coat then two coats of mud to feather the joints than it is to spend hours scraping a ceiling then cleaning the mess. from there multiple passes skimming and sanding
 

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I've done this twice in the last couple years.


Easiest way in my opinion?


Drag the garden hose into the house. Set it on the finest mist setting that you can. Spray an area (heavily). Scrape it off.

Best to lay some plastic down, and use a "catch box", which is a simple cardboard box that you've fixed up with a handle. That way you catch most of the popcorn as it comes off, and the plastic catches what the box misses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@woodworkbykirk... This was my first instinct when I looked at the job but then I saw all of the advice on scraping and thought this might be excessive. I think that I'm with you on this one. Thanks!
 

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use a pole-sander.. your arms get tired, but it makes for a smooth finish when done.. no need for wetting it down..

i would recommend drop sheets to catch the dust..

good luck

rod
 

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How old is the home? It might be worth having an asbestos test done as some drywall mud did contain asbestos years and years ago.

By wetting it you are significantly reducing the chances of it being harmful, but it's still possible that the drops with dry and stir up dust.

By just sanding the texture off you are going to create a hell of a lot of dust, so you'd definitely want to know for sure.

Just my two cents from my experience working in construction.
 

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Drywall contractor
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Asbestos was removed from gypsum products in the mid 70's ('75 I believe). Another concern if the house is pre-1978 is lead paint if the ceiling was painted. As stated above, if it HAS been painted, the best method is another layer of drywall....
 
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Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
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Asbestos was removed from gypsum products in the mid 70's ('75 I believe). Another concern if the house is pre-1978 is lead paint if the ceiling was painted. As stated above, if it HAS been painted, the best method is another layer of drywall....
Federal law officially ended it from being manufactured on 12/31/78. However, it did not outlaw the "sale" of warehoused materials after that date.
 

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True the official "outlaw date was '78. Speaking from experience, some companies (USG for one) were trying to get away from it sooner (that's the brand we used). I remember around 1975 we had issues with "popcorn", which we used a lot of in Fla. It didn't cover as well as it used to (left spots where you could still see the grayish paper on the drywall). The answer we got from our supplier was the asbestos was removed from the spray and some type of vinyl base was replacing it. For several months, we "flash coated" ceilings with a quick coat of white primer to take care of the situation before the new "formula" was "perfected". (Asbestos was also used in the mud.) And true again, supplies on hand were not required to be pulled from the shelves. It could be our area was a test area for the new product and the asbestos formula carried on in other areas longer....
 
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Drywall Texture Pro in Fl
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Lots of decent advice.

As an ex-professional of the business. Its faster to remove the old popcorn if it isn't painted. Slick finishes are absolutely horrible. I used to live in a state where all we did is drywall texture. I sprayed it professionaly. I have since moved to a state to were only slick is acceptable. Let me tell you something, I have yet to see a slick home that looks great. I can find every single flaw in them. texture is the way to go. If you plan to rehang everything, you will be in for some work. because you have huge expenses in buying materials, not to mention finding help or renting machines.

here is my website for removing popcorn.

http://howtoremovepopcorn.com
 

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As a CURRENT professional in the trade (35+ yrs.) I have to disagree with stoner529 (everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course). I lived in FL for 5 years before moving to GA and everything was texture. When I moved here, pretty much everything I worked on was texture. Started changing in the '80s and slick has become the norm. Texture is for those who can't do slick (in my opinion) and is a big pain in the butt compared to slick (especially if you need to patch it). I haven't had any complaints on slick finish ceilings/walls I've done. Sure, any pro can go in a house and find flaws because we're way more observant and critical of the workmanship. I bet I can find some joints showing or imperfections on a textured ceiling (or wall). I stand behind my work, and if there are issues with joints "showing" after prime coat, they get fixed. It does happen at times due to various reasons, but the issue gets resolved. Proper paint technique is a big factor also.....
 

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Drywall Texture Pro in Fl
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As a CURRENT professional in the trade (35+ yrs.) I have to disagree with stoner529 (everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course). I lived in FL for 5 years before moving to GA and everything was texture. When I moved here, pretty much everything I worked on was texture. Started changing in the '80s and slick has become the norm. Texture is for those who can't do slick (in my opinion) and is a big pain in the butt compared to slick (especially if you need to patch it). I haven't had any complaints on slick finish ceilings/walls I've done. Sure, any pro can go in a house and find flaws because we're way more observant and critical of the workmanship. I bet I can find some joints showing or imperfections on a textured ceiling (or wall). I stand behind my work, and if there are issues with joints "showing" after prime coat, they get fixed. It does happen at times due to various reasons, but the issue gets resolved. Proper paint technique is a big factor also.....

You won't get complaints because people up north don't know any better. thats my hole point. They have no idea the wall is flawed as opposed to you or I walking in and spotting the flaws. If the finish job is decent, texture will do the rest. It's easier, and its not hard to match for a professional. If i wanted to, i could go back home to florida right now and still be in business as i still get calls all the time. It just became to big a hassle to deal with. Yes i have seen flawed texture only because it starts with the hanging and finishing. and the texture guy not speaking up about it.


But as i have stated, ive been in a bunch of places here already and i laugh at the so called "slick" finishes regardless of "professional knows what they are doing" saying. I hear that all the time. I havent seen a professional then that knows what they are doing yet. Im done on my two cents because this could be debated forever and Id still say you are wrong.
 

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Drywall contractor
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First off, I'm not up north, just one state away. And again, I've lived and worked in Florida. Bottom line, "decent" finishing doesn't make a slick finish. I have also seen a lot of "slick" finishes that were "laughable". I agree a good texture man can do repairs that are "nearly" perfect (I'll bet I can find many of them) I do them all the time without complaint. Like you stated, the texture can be "flawed" due to hanging (not so much) and finishing issues. My point exactly was that texture covers poor quality finishing (most of the time) especially in "production" type setting. I work more on custom (higher end) type homes where quality is preferred over speed. If required for the particular scenario (any kind of gloss paint) a level 5 finish is done. In other words, the entire surface is glaze coated which pretty much eliminates any imperfections. All I'm saying is that a true professional finisher can produce a "slick" finish. Not trying to offend you, and I agree to your right to your opinion.....
 

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Drywall Texture Pro in Fl
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I just use water and my airless to remove a popcorn texture.:thumbup:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH04m1sglgs

how about a pressure washer?

as well. the down side of slick finish. any repair done can always be seen because it leaves a flat spot and the paint never quiet matches right. i cant stand seeing a flat spot on a flat wall. talk about weird looking.
 
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