We get a lot of questions about removing the “Popcorn” ceiling! So we put together a quick tutorial to help you understand the process and answer some common questions like how much it costs and whether it’s worth it.

What I can tell you for certain about popcorn ceilings is that they can be expensive, and each project is different. The majority of the cost is in the labour hours spent removing the popcorn. If the popcorn is already crumbling off the ceiling, it will be easier and less expensive to remove; however, if the popcorn has been painted or is much more difficult to remove, scraping it away will significantly increase labour costs.

Is it worthwhile? If you intend to stay in your home for another 5 years or more and were considering painting your ceilings anyway, I would say YES! It is worthwhile. Do not spend the money to paint it because popcorn ceilings will never be fashionable again. And if you intend to stay for an extended period of time, you can always do so in more cost-effective stages.

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Popcorn Ceiling Removal Process:

Step 1: We will first prepare the room

We cover the floor, walls, vents, and light fixtures with plastic drop sheets after the room has been cleared of furniture. Water will soak through canvas covers and damage your floors, so plastic sheets are preferable.

Step 2: Spray the ceiling

Following that, we will evenly “mist” the ceiling with water and dishwasher liquid across the entire area. We will then allow the mixture to dry for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that the popcorn ceiling removal has softened the ceiling substance enough to be easily scraped off. If the ceiling is painted, we may need to “dry scrape” it, which is a more difficult and time-consuming process.

Step 3: Start scraping

To cover more ground, we use a wide blade scraping tool to carefully scrape the popcorn substance off the ceiling. We try to scrape it softly enough not to damage the drywall, but firmly enough to remove the substance. If the popcorn substance does not come off easily, the process is repeated.

Step 4: Hammer nail pops, spackle and sand

Once all of the texture has been removed, we hammer in any protruding nails and smooth out any rough spots with spackle and sand them smooth as needed.

Step 5: Paint it smooth or apply Knock Down texture

If you prefer a smooth ceiling, simply prime and paint as you would for vertical walls. If a knockdown texture is desired, we prime it, shoot texture back up there, smooth out the texture with a wide trowel, and finally paint it.

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