How to Remove Texture from an Acoustic Ceiling

An acoustic ceiling often has texture on it which many people want to remove. This textured ceiling design, often of the popcorn type, used to be popular in the 1980s. If you are remodeling your home, and you want to get rid of the texture, you can do this yourself. There is nothing particularly complicated about the job, but it does require a great deal of physical labor. To get it done professionally, it can be very costly. If you are confident that you have the physical ability to do the job, then do it yourself. If not, it is best to leave it in the hands of a professional tradesman.

Tools and Materials

  • Ladder
  • Water
  • Scraper
  • Sandpaper
  • Tarpaulins

Step 1 – Make Preparations

This is a very messy job, so everything needs to be cleaned out of the room. Firstly, remove all of the furniture and put it somewhere safe. If you want to salvage the existing floor, you will need tarpaulins to cover it entirely. You will also need to remove any lighting or other electrical fixtures. Before you do this, turn off the electricity supply the main circuit breaker box. Remember, doing this job will also require that you at least repaint the wall as well, since it will likely get damaged during the process. However, if you want to salvage the wall as well, you can also cover this with plastic sheeting.

Step 2 – Apply Water

You will need to spray water over the entire surface, working in one part at a time. You do not want to let the ceiling get two wet, just enough for the water to soak into the acoustic material. This will make the process far easier. Work with one four foot square section at a time. Do not wet the entire ceiling in one instance.

Step 3 – Remove Acoustic Material

Using the scraper, scrape of the material on the ceiling. Work in the area which you applied water to in the previous step. Be careful not to damage the plasterboard beneath. The material should come off quite easily, but if it does not, apply more water. Always have the water sprayer handy. Work with one section at a time, and continue to remove the acoustic ceiling material. If you get two much debris on the floor after a while, which is likely, remove it periodically by putting it in large plastic sacks.

Step 4 – Finishing Up

Do not clean the room just yet. You will now need to sand down the surface. Before you do this, make sure that it is thoroughly dry. Sand away any rough edges and make sure that the ceiling is smooth and ready for painting again. You can then paint the ceiling with normal emulsion paint or even apply a new layer of acoustic material if you prefer. Finally, reattach any lighting and electrical features and clear up the room.