How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling

Are you sick of what you see when you look up and want to know how to remove a popcorn ceiling? Popcorn ceilings were popular from the 1950’s until they were banned 1977 because of dangerous asbestos content. The popcorn ceiling texture added a certain amount of insulation and noise reduction to the room. Popcorn can be easily removed by applying water to the surface of the ceiling and scraping the popcorn texture off.

To remove a popcorn ceiling, you will need:

  • Safety glasses and painter's mask
  • Painters tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Newspaper or rosin paper
  • Spray bottle or a hose mounted garden sprayer
  • Water
  • 4 to 6 inch putty knife
  1. Turn off the power to the room at the breaker box. Since you are using water, don't risk electrical shock.

  2. Put on your protective gear. This is a messy job, and you don't want to breathe debris in or get it in your eyes.

  3. Cover the floor with plastic sheeting. Cover all the electrical outlets with plastic secured with painters tape. Pull the plastic sheeting on the floor up the wall a foot and secure with painters tape to prevent water damage to the baseboards.

  4. Apply a strip of painters tape around the perimeter of the room a quarter of an inch below the ceiling. Cover the walls with plastic sheeting and secure it with painters tape.

  5. Cover the plastic sheeting on the floor with rosin paper on the roll or newspapers to absorb the water as it is sprayed and to catch falling popcorn debris.

  6. Saturate a 3 foot by 3 foot section of the popcorn ceiling by spraying it with water. Scrape the section immediately with a putty knife, letting the debris fall to the covered floor. Repeat until the ceiling is completely scraped clean.

  7. Remove the plastic sheeting from the walls, uncover the electrical outlets, and roll everything up in the plastic sheeting and paper on the floor and dispose of it.

If the popcorn ceiling was created in the 1970’s or earlier, it possibly contains asbestos. Before removing the popcorn, scrape a sample of the popcorn into a zip lock bag, using a utility knife, and get the sample to an EPA certified testing lab for testing and disposal instructions.

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