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What You Should Know About Removing Popcorn Ceilings in 2022

removed popcorn
Knowing the best way to upgrade your popcorn ceilings means knowing what you should and should not do to support the process. Any time that you take on a project like this alone, you will need to get up to date on the best practices to use. 

Removing popcorn ceilings is a process that can jump your home’s appearance forward by decades. With the right tools and a good amount of work, your home’s popcorn ceilings can be replaced with smooth and freshly painted ceilings that look and feel great. Let’s explore the top tips and tricks to know when taking on this project.

Removing popcorn ceilings


What is a Popcorn Ceiling?

A popcorn ceiling is a type of ceiling that is finished with a spray-on treatment that gives it a unique and uneven texture. It was a prominent feature in homes from the mid-to-late-1900s and is still present in many older homes today. Throughout the years, it has gone out of style and been replaced with a smoother finish.


Do’s of Upgrading Popcorn Ceilings

Knowing the best way to upgrade your popcorn ceilings means knowing what you should and should not do to support the process. Any time that you take on a project like this alone, you will need to get up to date on the best practices to use. 

Removing popcorn ceilings

Know the Potential Asbestos Risks

One major consideration when working on a popcorn ceiling is to determine whether or not the popcorn ceiling was made using asbestos. This might surprise you, but it was actually a very common practice and can make changing the ceiling an extremely dangerous process. Before you get to work, send a small sample from various parts of the ceiling to a lab for testing. If the ceiling tests positive, you will absolutely need to call in professional popcorn ceiling contractors. 

Remove The Room’s Furniture

Removing your popcorn ceiling is a very messy process that can have a negative impact on the items in the room. Unless you want to spend time cleaning every single piece of furniture or decoration, be sure to remove them from the room before you get to work.

Cover the Walls and Floor

Taking the furniture out of the room is one way to keep the room from getting too messy, but covering the walls and floor is an important second step. You can do this by using plastic to create a protective barrier and support cleanup efforts.

Consider Whether You Should Remove it Wet or Dry

The removal process for a popcorn ceiling can differ depending on the materials used. Some popcorn ceilings can be scraped off rather easily dry, while others can offer a much cleaner finish when you wet them. Try wetting a small portion of the popcorn ceiling and scraping it off, then compare it to the same process dry. For best results, thoroughly dampen the popcorn ceiling using a sprayer. 

Prep the Ceiling Before You Paint

Since removing a popcorn ceiling is a fairly messy process, it is important to make sure that the ceiling is cleaned up before you start painting. Take care to wipe away any remaining debris and get the ceiling smoothed out up before you start with the painting process.

Protect the Tops of the Walls

When painting, it is important to ensure an even finish—and this means using tape to protect the tops of the walls. Carefully apply the tape along the edge to ensure adequate coverage.

Don’ts of Upgrading Popcorn Ceilings

When you are upgrading your popcorn ceilings, there are some things that you should never do. Avoid these common mistakes while you work.

Leave Ceiling Features or Lighting in Place

Many people are tempted to save time by leaving prominent ceiling features, like fans and lights, exactly where they are. In most cases, you want to remove anything that is hanging below the level of the ceiling or it will just get covered in debris.

Think One Full Soak is Good Enough

In the event that you have a popcorn ceiling that needs to be removed while wet, be sure to work in small sections and continuously wet the sections as needed. It can be tempting to wet the entire ceiling and get to work, but this is ineffective.

Leave it Bumpy

Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that removing a popcorn ceiling all comes down to simply scraping away the main texture. This is not the case. Removing the texture is important, but you will also need to sand the ceiling and fix any potential gouges before you move on to painting. 

Skip on the Second Coat to Save Paint

Fully upgrading and repainting your popcorn ceiling can be a fairly long and tiresome process, but don’t let that be an excuse to stop before the job is through. After removing the popcorn ceiling and adding that fresh coat of paint, it can be tempting to skip on the second coat—but don’t do it. The second coat of paint will keep it looking better for longer.

Best Practices

Your ceiling can benefit from a great new look, but you want to be sure that you go about it the right way. Use these best practices to get a great finish on your room’s ceiling.

  • Map Out the Entire Process in Advance—taking the time to outline the steps can help you to decide if you are up to the challenge of upgrading the ceiling and help you to set realistic expectations.
  • Use a Catching Device—Using a pan or container to catch the popcorn as it falls can make for a quick and easy cleanup.
  • Never Work with Asbestos—Asbestos is a dangerous agent that has been linked to several health concerns. If your popcorn ceiling has asbestos, call in the professionals.
  • Work with Popcorn Ceiling Contractors—You can absolutely upgrade your own ceilings if you are up to the challenge, but working with professionals can lead to an easier process with a better final appearance.

The Takeaway

There are many home upgrades that can modernize your home and upgrading popcorn ceilings is one of the best ways to get started. If you are looking to better understand what this process entails or you would like to receive a quote for this kind of project, contact our team at Gables & Grove today. We specialize in helping Miami residents to bring their homes into the future with innovative changes based on years of industry experience!

Removing popcorn ceilings
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