How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling
LESLIE: Betsy in Georgia needs some help tackling a ceiling project. What’s going on?
BETSY: My question is how to remove popcorn ceiling. We have a bonus room above our garage that the popcorn ceiling was falling down in spots.
BETSY: And we scraped and scraped and we weren’t getting very far with it and we damaged the drywall with gouges from being scraped. So my husband put stippling on the ceiling to cover up the gouges and I don’t think it looks good at all.
BETSY: It looks dumb.
TOM: So he kind of put more texture back on where he had the old texture?
TOM: Yeah. So now do you have to remove the stippling, which was probably done with the spackle, correct?
TOM: Ugh. Boy, I tell you what, you made it – it went from bad to worse. You know what I would do if I wanted a really clean ceiling and that was the situation? I would knock down as much of that as was physically possible, so it’s nice and flat, make sure as much of the popcorn is gone as possible and then I would put a second layer of drywall over the whole thing. Tape it, prime it, paint it and be done with it. You’ll have a brand-new ceiling.
LESLIE: Bury it. Hide it.
TOM: I’m like, “Bury it.” Because that drywall is probably so damaged now from the scraping off of the old popcorn to the adding of the stipple. And then you’re going to have to sand and get rid of that. I just don’t think that – all the work that’s going to be worth you putting into that is just not worth it. You’re just not going to get a really clean look. So why don’t you just put a second layer of drywall over it? It’s really clean, easy to do and it will look much, much better in the long run.
BETSY: Right. And then we – our other ceilings have popcorn but we haven’t tackled that. So is there an easier way to get it off?
TOM: Well, here’s the right way to do it – is that you would dampen it and then you would scrape it.
LESLIE: So you use a paint sprayer or a garden pump sprayer and then you just lightly spray that on the ceiling. You know, get it wet. You’re going to have to cover everything; it is a messy job. And then you just scrape it away with a spackle knife.
TOM: And by the way, though, if you want to buy yourself some time and maybe – what happens with the popcorn, it gets dirty and grungy-looking. You can actually paint that. There’s a special type of roller that’s a very thick roller that’s got sort of slits in it and presses the paint up inside the sort of the pieces of popcorn. And you can get a nice bright, clean look to it. So, it is possible to paint that and have it look a lot nicer and a lot cleaner.
BETSY: Alright. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Betsy. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.