How to Scrape a Popcorn Ceiling

popcorn ceiling
  • 10-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-1,000
What You'll Need
Plastic sheets
Rosin paper
Garden hose
Putty knife

Although removing your popcorn ceiling is tedious work, the finished product is well worth the time. Popcorn ceilings are outdated and undesirable to most home buyers; smooth ceilings are timeless and beautiful. Textured ceilings are not versatile. They collect dust and cigarette smoke much faster than a smooth ceiling. This article will teach you how to remove your popcorn ceiling quickly, effectively, and painlessly.

Prepare Your Ceiling

Removing a popcorn ceiling is an incredibly messy endeavor that requires quite a bit of preparation. Since we will be employing a method that uses water to soften the textured ceiling before removal, you must turn off all the electricity in the room. Next, remove all of the furniture. This is essential to maintaining a clean work area and protecting your furniture from water and debris.

Step 2 - Cover Walls and Floor

After you have emptied the room, cover the vertical walls and floor of the room with several layers of thick plastic. Use a 3-inch layer of masking tape around the area where the popcorn ceiling meets the vertical walls to ensure total protection. For an added safety measure, tape over all of the outlets in the room with masking tape.

Next, cover the entire area of the plastic-covered floor with rosin paper. The paper will help the cleanup and absorb a lot of the water. Tape the edges of the paper together in order to make a seamless covering. You may decide to lay two or three layers of paper to guarantee that the excess water will be soaked up.

Step 3 - Remove Old Ceiling Texture

Before beginning, wear a mask that covers both your nose and mouth because the removal process will loosen dust and cause particles to fall on your face. You may also decide to wear goggles or eye-protective glasses to shield your eyes from falling debris.

Now, working in an area that is approximately 3x4-feet, thoroughly wet the ceiling with an ordinary garden hose. Use a joint knife to gently scrape off the popcorn texture on the ceiling. Make sure that you have dulled the joint knife so that it does not gouge your ceiling and cause you more problems in the future.

The water should soften the texture enough that the popcorn pops off easily when you scrape it. If this is not the case, simply wet it more and allow it to soak for one minute before scraping it again.

If the floor becomes too soggy and disgusting, feel free to unroll another layer of rosin paper over the mess. After you have successfully scraped all of the popcorn texture off of the ceiling you may clean up the mess. When cleaning up, work from top to bottom. Remove the plastic and tape from the walls before rolling up the mess on the floor.