How to Remove Stucco Ceilings

Between 40 and 60 years ago, stucco ceilings were quite popular. They were often chosen for increased sound insulation as well as adding a preferred type of style. However, these days they are not as popular as they used to be and many people are interested in removing them. Removing this type of ceiling is an extremely time-consuming, labor-intensive and messy job. Fortunately, there is nothing particularly scientific about it and anyone comfortable with DIY should be able to manage the job themselves, saving a lot of money in the process. Be aware, however, that if the ceiling plaster contains asbestos, only registered professionals should do the job.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Protective clothing
  • Eye protection
  • Plastic tarpaulin
  • Scraper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Ladder
  • Spackling paste

Step 1 – Prepare Area

Before you begin, there are important preparations to make. Remember, that removing any ceiling is a messy job. Anything still in the room will get destroyed. Get rid of any furniture and cover every surface with a plastic tarpaulin. In spite of this, it is still a good idea to do this in a room where the floor is going to be replaced anyway. It is also important to remove any lighting fixtures and cover up any other fixtures which cannot be removed with some form of protective material. To provide light to the room for you to work by, use special builders’ lights.

Step 2 – Damp the Ceiling

To make it easier to remove, you will need to spray the ceiling with water. Work with one section of the ceiling at a time. Before you begin, make sure you have appropriate protective clothing, especially eye protection.

Step 3 – Remove Section to Stucco

Work with no more than a couple of square yards at a time. When you have wet the area, climb up the ladder and scrape of a small section of the ceiling. You can do this with the scraper or a putty knife. Hold the scraper to 30 degree angle, placing enough pressure on it to be able to push it forward and remove the stucco from the drywall ceiling itself.

Step 4 – Repair Damage to the Ceiling

Once you have removed the whole ceiling, there will undoubtedly be areas which need repairs. It is extremely difficult, and virtually impossible in most cases, to completely prevent inadvertently damaging sections of the under ceiling when you are peeling away the stucco. Fortunately, carrying out repairs is pretty easy.

Use spackling paste to fix any gaps or holes left behind. Mix this as according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply it to the holes and gaps with a trowel or a scraper and leave it to dry for an adequate amount of time.

Step 5 – Apply Primer

The drywall beneath the old stucco will then need to be sealed. Apply an oil-based primer to the entire surface. When the primer has dried, you can then paint the ceiling with regular emulsion of the color of your choice.