TIPS & TRICKS FOR HOW TO REMOVE POPCORN CEILING
Popcorn is great, right? It’s the perfect movie theater snack, and you can add all sorts of flavors to it to make it your own. But popcorn is decidedly not great when it comes to ceilings. Popcorn ceilings are a bygone design trend that is still prevalent in many Jacksonville area homes. When you want to get your home up to date, you need to know how to remove popcorn ceiling properly. If you don’t, you could end up with a real mess on your hands. We’re here to help with some tips and tricks for safely and effectively removing popcorn ceilings.
Test before you start
Before you start removing your popcorn ceilings, you need to test an area first. Not all popcorn ceilings are created equal, so you need to know what you’re dealing with before you jump in. You can test your popcorn ceiling by scraping a small area. You’ll want to try it dry first and see how it goes. Some popcorn ceiling texture will come off easily without water. If yours doesn’t, go ahead and dampen the texture and reattempt the process. The water should soak in and soften the popcorn ceiling texture mix. If the water does not soak in, that means that the popcorn ceiling texture likely had paint added to it - or the ceiling itself has been painted over. If that’s the case, you’re looking at a more complicated job as far as removing your popcorn ceiling is concerned.
It’s best to test for asbestos
While it is obviously not used in popcorn ceilings today, popcorn ceiling that was installed before 1980 may contain asbestos. This is something that you’ll want to avoid, as asbestos is a known cause of lung cancer. Before you begin popcorn ceiling removal, it is wise to have your local health department test a sample of your ceiling. If the test comes back positive, your options include covering the popcorn ceiling with new drywall or hiring an asbestos abatement contractor to safely do the job.
It’s going to be messy
If you’re reading this thinking that we’ll have some tips or tricks to remove popcorn ceiling without creating a mess, we’re sorry. Popcorn ceiling removal is an inherently messy process - but there are things that you can do to keep the mess to a minimum! You should start by covering your floors and walls with plastic drop cloths. Why plastic? Because if you use canvas drop cloths, water can easily soak through. With plastic drop cloths, you can also easily leave the plastic in place to catch any mess that you make when you repair and sand the ceiling, as well. It’s a win-win!
Get your stuff out of the way
It should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. Before you begin your DIY popcorn ceiling removal project, you need to get everything out of the way. That means move your furniture to a different room, remove any ceiling or wall fixtures, and just make sure that you have a clear space for your popcorn ceiling removal project. If you can’t get all of your furniture out of the space, at the very least, cluster it together and cover it with one of your trusty plastic drop cloths.
Time to use the water!
The easiest way to wet the ceiling for popcorn removal is to use a garden sprayer. This allows for easy scraping and virtually no dust during your project. Simply use the garden sprayer to mist the ceiling and allow it to soak for about 15 minutes before you begin scraping. Remember, you only want to give the ceiling a light misting - if you use too much water, you run the risk of damaging the drywall or loosening the joint tape. If the popcorn ceiling texture hasn’t sufficiently softened after 15 minutes, you can spray it again and wait another 15 minutes or so.
Watch your electrical system
During a DIY popcorn ceiling removal project, one of the most important tips is to be aware of the electrical systems in your home. You need to remember to shut off the power to any of the electrical junction boxes in the ceiling. Once you do that, be sure to cover them with painter’s tape so that the wiring stays dry when you’re spraying water on the popcorn ceiling. This is best done by overlapping the sides of the junction box with the tape and trimming around the perimeter. You can use a utility knife to do this - just be careful not to nick any of the wires!
A little at a time
When you remove popcorn ceiling, it can seem like a daunting project. After all, you’re talking about at least an entire room! That’s no small feat. But if you want to tackle the job properly, it’s a good idea to take it a little at a time. Ideally, you’ll be working in one small area - about 4x4 feet. Simply spray and scrape small areas until you have finished the entire project. Doing it this way, you ensure the proper amount of moisture in the ceiling as you work. This is a great tip for popcorn ceiling removal that prevents the ceiling from becoming too dry before you have time to scrape it off. If you do find yourself dealing with portions of the ceiling that have dried too quickly, you will need to respray the area and wait another 15 minutes before you can begin scraping again.
With these tricks and a little bit of time, you should be able to remove the popcorn ceiling in your Jacksonville area home. Once the popcorn is removed, you will need to sand the area and finish it to your liking. Once the popcorn ceiling is removed, your options are truly endless! There are a variety of paint colors that can really make the ceiling in your home pop. With effective popcorn ceiling removal, you will be well on your way to the home that you have always envisioned. If you need help with popcorn removal, contact A New Leaf Painting today!