Removing Popcorn Ceilings - A Beginner’s Guide

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Removing Popcorn Ceilings - A Beginner’s Guide

While they were once all the rage in interior décor, popcorn ceilings now give off just one impression- that your home has just stepped out of the 1970s. Plenty of homeowners live with these ugly, dated ceilings because they assume that the only way to get rid of them is to bring in the experts. As Brisbane house painters, we would be more than happy to help tackle those popcorn ceilings in the course of a job. However, there’s really no need for you to fork over any extra cash- if you’ve got the time and patience (along with a steady hand), then it’s actually possible to remove popcorn ceilings yourself. It helps if you’re handy with your DIY, but even if you’re not, this article will talk you through how to do it. It’s time to bring your house into the twenty-first century!

Before we begin, there are a couple of precautions to bear in mind. Firstly, before you start stripping your ceiling, you’ll need to get it tested for asbestos. Some ceilings from before 1980 contain trace amounts of asbestos, and while they don’t pose any health risk while they sit there, the harmful particles can be stirred up into the air when you remove the ceiling. You certainly don’t want to put your family’s health at risk, so get it tested. If it contains even 1% asbestos, then you’ll need to call in the professionals to do the job for you. Secondly, if you’ve got a painted ceiling, this can make the job a bit trickier, since the paint will stop the texture from absorbing water. That makes it much harder to remove, so you’ll want to strip the paint off the ceiling before you begin.

Now we’ve got that out the way, it’s time to move on to the job itself. Before getting the tools out, you should prepare the room in much the same way you would if you were painting your home- take the furniture out, cover the adjoining walls in masking tape, and so on. One essential thing to remember is to turn off the electricity supply to the room- you don’t want to accidentally sever a wire in the ceiling and get an electric shock! You’ll also need to cover the floor in a tarp, because this job can get pretty messy.

The actually process of removing popcorn ceilings isn’t that hard, but it does take patience. First of all, take a water sprayer and fill it with warm water, adding two or three tablespoons of dishwashing soap for every gallon of water. Then, carefully soak your ceiling section by section- about six square feet at a time should do it. You want to get it wet enough that the textured material will come off, but not so much that it causes any water damage to the ceiling underneath. You should then leave it for around 20 minutes, so that all the water can be absorbed by the material. When it’s all soaked in, just take a floor scraper, or another tool with a nice wide blade, and gently scrape off the material. If it doesn’t want to come off, or you can’t get it all, simply repeat the process until it does. After you’ve done the whole ceiling, sand it down gently, and you may want to paint the ceiling to suit your interior décor. Now that wasn’t too hard, was it?