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  • Writer's pictureMike Earley

Scraping Popcorn Ceiling Texture

Updated: Feb 22, 2019

Popcorn ceiling textures were all the rage from the late 50’s up to the early 90’s. They were replaced with a stomp ceiling texture that is the most common in today’s construction. One of the best ways to bring the look of your home up to date is to scrape that ugly popcorn off and replace it with a stomped, a smooth, or some other modern ceiling texture! Getting rid of the old ceiling texture isn’t hard but it sure is messy. The first thing you will want to do is get all the furniture out of the room or rooms you plan to remove the ceiling texture. Next cover the entire floor with plastic, taping it up to the walls to keep the dust and wet ceiling texture off of your flooring. Next bust out your handy dandy weed sprayer and fill it with water, now spray a 6’X6’ area of the ceiling with a nice thin coat of water. After the water has soaked for a few minutes the texture is ready to come down, using a 12” drywall knife begin scraping the popcorn. Take extra care to make sure the drywall knife is not digging into the drywalls paper face and that you aren’t taking any of the joint compound (mud) out of the joints or screw holes. Once you have scraped the ceiling you should be able to see the finished drywall joints like the picture below. When all the ceiling is scraped and dry it is time to apply two good coats of oil based paint. The oil based paint acts as a moisture barrier and stain blocker that helps the new texture stick on the ceiling and makes sure the new ceiling has a nice uniform color. After allowing the oil based paint to dry for 24 hours you are ready to apply the new ceiling texture. At this point I strongly recommend calling a professional drywall finisher to apply the ceiling finish you want. For just the ceiling texture you can expect to pay the pros around $.30-$.70/SQFT, depending on surface prep and ceiling finish. To hire a professional from start to finish you can expect to pay between $1.25-$1.65/ SQFT. Disclaimer a lot of ceiling textures that were installed before 1980 contain Asbestoses it is always a good idea to have the texture tested before starting a project like this. Also when using oil based paint, make sure the room is well ventilated and you wear a proper respirator.

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