Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guestroom Makeover: Popcorn Removal

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Who invented popcorn ceiling?  I would love to find out so I can give them a piece of my mind (hehe).  I mean what were they thinking?!?!  Sorry if you like popcorn ceilings but personally I'm not a fan.  They look fine when they're knew but once you get water damage and need to repair them it is almost impossible to patch them to match the rest of the ceiling.  

The guestroom Elizabeth and I are currently making over for a client has a popcorn ceiling and one of his requests was for us to remove it.  So the first thing we did was go to Pinterest and see if we should even attempt to tackle this project ourselves or if we needed to hire it out.  After reading some pretty informative blogs and talking to John from Color o Coat Painting  we decided to do this project ourselves.  I know, I know - you're probably thinking we're crazy.  And you're right we are a little crazy!  But we figured we wanted to at least try this once.  That said I don't think we'll ever do this again.  Our backs and arms are killing us!

Here's what the ceiling looked like when we started.  Flash back to the 80s...right?  Removing popcorn ceiling is messy!  So cover the floors with tarps and cover the light fixtures.  A lot of blogs suggest covering the walls too but since we are going to paint those we decided not to cover them.   Also the homeowner is going to install hardwood floors in this room so we weren't worried if some of the ceiling got on the carpet.  
Once everything is covered spray the ceiling with hot water.  You don't want to soak it but be  generous.  The main thing is you don't want  water to seep through the popcorn ceiling onto the drywall and damage it.  I suggest testing out a small piece of the ceiling first.  That way you'll get a feel for how much water to spray on it.  Let the water sit for a couple of minutes and then start scrapping the popcorn off with a putty knife.   

We were shocked by how easily the popcorn came off the ceiling.  It only took us 3 hours to remove all of the popcorn from the ceiling.  Also we got really luck with the condition of the drywall.  It had been patched and sanded before the popcorn was sprayed on it.  I've heard horror stories of drywall not being patched or sanded which means you'll have to do a lot more work.  We were so lucky!  A couple of spots still need to be mudded but not much.  

This weekend we are planning to finish the ceiling.  We are going to sand the mudded areas and prime the ceiling.  Then it will be ready for crown molding and paint!

Have you ever attempted to remove popcorn ceiling?  

The Fun In Functional @ Practically Functional
Somewhat Simple


Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for linking up and thanks for tweeting about it too! :) Have a happy Thursday! :)

Juju said...

My husband removed a popcorn ceiling in the dining room of our last house, and your instructions seem "spot on" to easily removing the popcorn texture. One thing he did, since he was working alone, he only sprayed about a 3 to 4-foot square area so that it would stay moist while he scraped. It only took him about 2 hours.
He took a shallow cardboard box (it was packing from a case of bottled water), and held it beneath where he was scraping, to minimize the messy clean up later.
Like your client's ceiling, our drywall was unpainted and looked pretty good, so he sanded only a bit before rolling on primer and then paint.
We are convinced that it helped to have that popcorn gone when we sold our house several months later.

Elizabeth @ Southern Color said...

Thanks for stopping by Juju! It's nice to hear from someone who has done this. I really like your tip about using a box to catch the popcorn - that would make clean up so easy! The room already looks so much more updated and we still have to painted!

Jessi @ Practically Functional said...

Wow, awesome! I hate popcorn ceilings too, nice to know it's reasonably easy to take it down. :-)

Elizabeth @ Southern Color said...

This project was much easier than we expected! And it completely updates a room. Check back in a few weeks for updated pics!!

Sass - aka - Kathy said...

I've removed popcorn a couple of times - awful, messy work! I used a plastic kitty litter pan to catch the popcorn as I worked. My new home has had the popcorn painted, so I'm not sure I'm going to be able to remove it. Sigh.

Elizabeth @ Southern Color said...

Very messy work, the kitty litter pan is a great idea!! I've heard it's really tough to remove the popcorn if it's been painted. We totally lucked out with easy removal and ceilings that were in fairly good shape. Thanks for stopping by!

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