LESLIE: Heading out to North Dakota to talk to Paula about a decorating woe. How can we help you?
PAULA: Hi, I’m calling because I have a bathroom that is covered in popcorn (Leslie chuckles); the little stucco that’s supposed to be on the ceiling is actually on the walls, too.
TOM: Wow. Well, it’s a good thing it’s a bathroom because it’s a small room.
TOM: Getting rid of it is a bit of a hassle but not impossible. What you want to do, Paula, is first of all you want to spray it down with some water and what works well for that is one of those pump-up garden sprayers. Get it sort of saturated and then you’re going to carefully scrape it off. And the best tool that I’ve found to use for this is a spackle knife. And after you get it all off and you get it as smooth as you possibly can, two things: first of all, make sure you prime the wall with a good-quality primer; and then, secondly, when you put your topcoat on, make sure you use flat paint – don’t use anything with a sheen. Even if you do a really super-good job at trying to get all that popcorn off, it’s still going to be somewhat uneven on the wall and if you use a paint with a sheen it’ll show up whenever the light hits it. So if you use a flat paint it’ll look really good.
PAULA: Right. But there again, my problem too is that being a bathroom it needs to be really scrubbable, too.
TOM: Then I would use a scrubbable flat. I would use a washable flat and I would use one with a mildicide.
PAULA: OK, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Paula. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.