Your Local Gainesville Painters Show You Three Ways to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling
Popcorn is delicious, but not on your ceilings. There are few projects that cause as much mess as a popcorn ceiling removal. Getting back to the pristine, flat ceiling is no easy task. There are three ways to remove a popcorn ceiling and get back to flat. Your local Gainesville painters from CertaPro Painters® are here to show you how.
Do I Really Have Options When It Comes To My Popcorn Ceiling?
Besides being an old trend, popcorn ceilings are hard to maintain, difficult to repair and tend to hold dust. They were popular in days past because it was an easy way to cover imperfections in the ceiling. If you are over the popcorn and want to get rid of it, you have three options: scrape and cover it with drywall, skim coat with plaster, or create a new textured ceiling.
No one answer is right for every homeowner, it depends on the situation. If your ceiling is in good condition, and newer, you will have more options than the older, more brittle popcorn finishes. Make sure you read through the details of each option before you pick your plan of attack.
Scrape And Cover The Old Popcorn Ceiling
With a 4-inch drywall knife, start hacking away at the popcorn finish. Aim to create a newly smooth(er) surface. This method can be tedious with a lot of looking up. Most likely, you’ll need to add a thin skim coat of joint compound to hide nicks and damage before you sand and paint the ceiling. Before you start scraping, check that the popcorn was placed after 1979. Products used before that year can contain lead and asbestos. If you are unsure or your home is older than this, have your home tested. This method gives you a finished ceiling without texture, but is by far the messiest and most difficult. What you put in for man hours, you’ll save in costs. Plan for some time to scrape, but you can easily do this project on your own. Some popcorn ceilings have been painted, repeatedly. The layers of material are porous and soak up paint with each additional layer. If you begin to scrape and find the popcorn extremely tough to remove, you’re likely dealing with layers and years of paint. In this instance, it’s much easier to drywall over the popcorn.
Here Is Your ProTip
Some of our pros have suggested spraying down the ceiling with water to loosen the popcorn finish. Others insist this just makes a big mess.
Cover It Up With Drywall
With gypsum board, just cover the popcorn up. By using gypsum, the board weighs less than standard drywall. Use screws to attach it to the existing ceiling and mud in the cracks for a seamless ceiling. This method does present challenges when it comes to vents and electrical items. You’ll need to work around ceiling fans and lights as well as HVAC outlets. If these are stopping blocks for you, consider professional help.
Here Is Another ProTip
When taking on a project like this yourself, it might be smart to rent a drywall lift. The fees are more than worth it. You’ll be able to handle and work more easily and safely.
Skim Coat On A New Design
This method is replacing a texture with a texture, but this is a reasonably inexpensive and easy method to get rid of your popcorn ceiling. Before they were the trend, skim coats were in. A quick-set drywall mud is applied with a joint compound and finished with a texture made with a knife or trowel. This method is seen a lot in historic homes where popcorn and flat ceilings are uncharacteristic. If you attempt this style of popcorn replacement, make sure your substrate is secure. Skim coats add additional weight and you’ll want to make sure your ceiling can handle it before you start..
Here Is Your Last ProTip
To skim coat your ceiling, use quick-set drywall mud. Afterward, touch it up with ready-mixed joint compound. This will avoid shrinkage you can get from high moisture content mud.