Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

removing a popcorn ceiling

Popcorn ceilings were very popular from the 50’s to the 80’s since this type of ceiling style is pleasing to the eyes and economical too. It’s a quick way of finishing ceilings; and the materials are quite inexpensive too.

Aside from the aesthetic aspect, this type of ceiling also serves the purpose of noise insulation. Ceiling imperfections can also be hidden by employing this design and style.

The ceiling treatment can either be sprayed on or painted on, it’s that simple. And yet the results are impressive. It got its name from the texture of the final results as these resemble the look of popcorns. Similarly, the terms “cottage cheese ceiling” and “Stucco ceiling” are also used to refer to the same thing.

If, for any reason, you want to get rid of the popcorn ceiling in your home, you’ll be glad to know that it’s really easy to do so. In fact, you can even do it yourself.

There’s one thing that you need to know, though. Although the procedure is easy, it’s really REALLY messy.

You therefore need to protect yourself, your furniture, and other things in your home from dust, popcorn ceiling particles, and other minute debris. We’ll tell you how to go about it properly.

Things you will need:

  1. Spray bottle with water in it
  2. 6 inch dry wall knife
  3. Ladder
  4. Plastic sheets
  5. Hand or pole sander
  6. Face mask
  7. Protective eye glasses


  1. Lay down plastic sheets on the floor, covering the whole area
  2. Put on face mask and eye protective glasses
  3. Position the ladder where you want to start
  4. Spray water on the area of the ceiling that you want to start on
  5. Wait a minute or two for the water to soak
  6. Scrap the ceiling with the dry wall knife on a 30 degree angle
  7. Repeat the process until the ceiling is done
  8. Fold up plastic drop sheets to dispose of the rubbish and mess

See how easy it is to remove popcorn ceilings? And we did say that you can do it yourself. However, before doing so, we recommend having a small portion of your popcorn ceiling tested for asbestos content first.

One of the reasons for the decline of popcorn ceilings’ popularity was due to the fact that asbestos materials were widely used for its production. This mineral is now banned in a lot of countries because of its carcinogenic effects. Exposure to asbestos has been found to cause lung cancer and other health problems.

As a result of the asbestos ban, popcorn ceiling materials are now made from Styrofoam or recycled paper. Exposure to these materials won’t present you with health hazards. However, you can’t really be sure of the type of materials used on your particular ceiling until you get some portions of it tested.

Should your popcorn ceiling prove to contain asbestos, you can consider hiring a professional worker to do it. But if you insist on still doing it yourself, you should at least wear proper protective gear to minimize your exposure to said element.

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