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Wondering How to Remove Popcorn Ceilings?
Popcorn ceilings were initially introduced to help dampen sound between rooms. Though it can help a little bit, many homeowners today simply don’t like the look of these ceilings. Instead, learning how to do a popcorn ceiling removal can enable them to get rid of the ceiling and create a nice, flat surface that can then be painted easily.
Tools and Materials Needed
Before beginning the popcorn removal, purchase any supplies that might be needed. For tools, have on hand a large drywall scraper, paint roller and extension handle, a paintbrush, a ladder, and safety glasses. Also have on hand a spray bottle with water, a drop cloth, plastic sheeting, painter’s tape, drywall compound, a sanding block, rags, dust masks, and the primer and paint needed. Many of these tools are inexpensive if they’re not already on hand, but all are needed to remove the popcorn from the ceiling.
Test for Asbestos
Before doing anything with the popcorn ceiling, have it tested for asbestos. This is crucial for homes built before 1982, as asbestos was the main ingredient for the ceiling textures like popcorn before it was banned. If the ceiling tests positive for asbestos, the popcorn ceiling removal cost may be a bit higher, but it’s a good idea to have a professional handle it. They can ensure this hazardous material is completely removed from the home, so there’s no chance of contamination.
Prepping for the Removal
Popcorn removal is messy. There’s no way to really avoid the mess, but proper prep can contain it. First, remove all furniture and belongings from the room. Use the drop cloth to cover the floor and the bottom foot or so of the walls. Use painter’s tape to secure the drop cloth in place. Then, use the plastic sheeting and painter’s tape to cover everything else in the wall, including the ceiling fan or light fixtures. It is best to turn off the electric in the room since water will be sprayed across the entire ceiling to loosen the popcorn and allow it to be removed.
Spray the Ceiling
Once the room is properly prepared, go ahead and spray the ceiling. It may be best to work in smaller sections at a time, depending on how large the room is. Make sure the ceiling is thoroughly moistened and allow the water to soak for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Do not wait until it has dried again, however, as this will mean having to start over. Once the popcorn is moistened properly, the removal can begin.
Scrape the Ceiling
When the ceiling is ready, put on a dust mask and protective goggles. Climb the ladder and use the putty knife to start scraping the popcorn off the ceiling. It’s best to hold the putty knife at an approximately 30-degree angle as this can help knock all the popcorn off while minimizing damage to the ceiling. Work around the entire ceiling, spraying more water as needed and allowing it to soak in before beginning the next section.
Fix Any Damage
Even with the proper angle for the putty knife, the ceiling will likely have some damage. Use the drywall compound and the putty knife to repair any damage. Spread the drywall compound over the damaged area, then use the putty knife to feather it out, so it matches the height of the drywall around it. This needs to be allowed to dry completely before moving onto the painting.
Paint the Ceiling
After the drywall compound is thoroughly dry, sand everything to make sure it’s flat. Then, prime and paint the ceiling. A basic primer is used to cover up any discolorations and to prep the drywall for the paint so it adheres properly. Once this is done, the ceiling can be painted in just about any color. Most people will use a flat white for the ceiling, but using other colors as a focal point is trending as well.
Clean Up the Debris
When a popcorn ceiling is removed, it creates a ton of debris. If the room was properly prepped, however, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Carefully remove the plastic sheeting and the drop cloth, making sure it is folded and removed, so the debris doesn’t fall out on the way out of the room. Clean up any debris that does fall out or that wasn’t caught by the drop cloth.
Potential Issues When Removing
Though popcorn removal isn’t necessarily difficult, there are some potential issues that could occur. The biggest is that the popcorn will turn out to be asbestos. A professional should handle the removal in that case. Another big issue that many homeowners will run into is a ceiling that has been painted. The paint will make it far more difficult to remove the popcorn since it will not allow the water to soak in and aid the removal.
Call a Pro Instead?
While many homeowners may be worried about the cost of popcorn ceiling removal, it’s not as expensive as they might expect if they have an expert handle the job. When there is asbestos present, a professional is always recommended. Even if there isn’t the added worry of asbestos, there is the difficulty of removing it and patching, so the flat ceiling looks great. It’s also a time-consuming job and there are safety issues because of working on a ladder for a long period of time. Instead, to save time and prevent injuries, having Atlanta drywall contractors handle the job might be a better idea.
If you’re tired of the popcorn ceiling in your home, let Atlanta drywall experts handle the removal for you. We can get the job done fast, saving you quite a bit of time, and will ensure there is no debris left for you to clean up. We can remove the drywall from any room in your home, so you don’t have to worry about the hassle of doing it all yourself. Call us today to get a quote or schedule a time for the removal.
Atlanta Drywall Experts made my house look brand new by removing the ugly popcorn ceilings that came with the house.
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