Our New Hampshire Home: How to Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Originally, when we were looking at a house, Ryan said absolutely no popcorn ceilings. However, when we found our house, it had popcorn ceilings, plus everything on Ryan’s “needs” list. We looked at each other and said two things. First, can we live with popcorn ceilings? Second, how hard can it be to get rid of popcorn ceilings?

Let me be clear- getting rid of popcorn ceilings is the move. We had no idea how much light died in the texture of the ceiling until we had them smoothed over. Also, it wasn’t as bad as we thought. The first room had a totally different process than the second but both were pretty darn successful if I do say so myself. 

Overall, things went well! We will continue getting rid of our popcorn ceilings, slowly, as we renovate the rest of our rooms. Luckily, we’ve picked up some tips to help along the way. Today, I’m sharing those with you.

Prep Your Room

Scraping popcorn ceilings makes a huge mess! Unless you are totally redoing your room, like we were, I highly suggest taping plastic over all your walls and floors. If you are redoing your whole room, it isn’t too hard to vacuum popcorn debris when it’s dry. It also wipes from the walls pretty easily.

ABS (Always Be Spraying)

Ryan was calling this out the whole time. Always be spraying. Warm water is the key ingredient to removing popcorn ceilings. You really need to soak them in order for the material to scrape loose. We purchased a pesticide/chemical sprayer to use rather than a spray bottle and it was a great tool to have.

Slow and Steady

Scraping popcorn ceilings is not a fast process. In fact, the slower you go, the better your ceilings will turn out. I suggest working in two stages: one initial scrape and then one to get the remaining debris off the ceiling. From there, it should be smooth sailing- literally!

Patch Away

You’ll need to patch at least a few spots on your ceiling which will eventually need to be sanded. However, if you follow the steps above, the spots should be minimal! Patching spots is far easier than mudding over seams from hanging new drywall, so patch away!

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