Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How To Remove Your Popcorn Ceiling (and a Zoolander plug)

Can we all agree on something?

Good popcorn:

Bad popcorn:

Good. Very good:

Bad. Very bad:

We recently bought a fixer-upper and those suckers had to go before we moved in--which was yesterday, by the way.

Let me tell you that going from a popcorn to a nice orange peel ceiling made our 1983 house look at least 20 years newer--without doing anything else!

Don't get me wrong, there's PLENTY left to do.

Retexturing is not easy. I won't lie.

It IS worth it.

1. Cover everything! When that junk comes down, it's a nasty mess. For reals.

2. Wear goggles and a mask. You don't want the black lung, Pop.

3. Using a spray bottle of water, spray the ceiling in a workable area--for my husband, it was a few feet at a time. If your ceilings are painted, you will need to let the water soak in for a few minutes.

Can we pretend that's a water bottle and not a Spray N Wash bottle he found in the garage and filled with water? 
'kay, thanks.

While we're pretending, can we just say that that chainy light fixture is gone forever? 
'kay, thanks.


4. Scrape the texture off. My husband used a 6" putty knife and it worked like a champ.


I told you it was a mess. Those countertops are going, too, my friend.
Oh. Yes. They. Are.


**You could stop here, brushing off any residue, then paint.**

We're crazy. We believe hard work is its own virtue, so we went ahead and retextured, too, using a friend's hopper gun connected to an air compressor and boxed joint compound.

Next time (there will never be a next time), we'll skip that last part.

All done:


If you want to keep your chainy light fixtures, feel free to remove them first.


  1. Wow what a lot of work! Our first house had those popcorn ceilings and I was never brave enough to attempt removing them, but I am sure you will love having those popcorn free ceilings. You'll probably never eat popcorn without thinking of your ceiling again ;-)

  2. What a J.O.B.! It's worth every ounce of effort, though. I'd love for you to add this to my link party, "Sweets This Week" @

  3. That is a job, my friend! I don't know if I'm brave enought to tackle it myself. Good job!

  4. Hi. This is what we are dealing with in our first home too. But, i have done a lot of research online about removing it... did you test for asbestos first?

  5. Amazing! Thanks for the DYI info! I have lots of ceilings that need to go too!

  6. Right on time...we're beginning this task this weekend. Not only does it look nasty, it's IMPOSSIBLE to clean, and sucks light from the room because of all the little shadows being cast. ICK. You give me hope girl. We'll just be sanding the surface smooth and painting.

    Glad you could Mi4M!

  7. I sooooo need to do this...just not looking forward to it!


  8. I had to do this before. It is a mess but it sure makes a huge difference.


  9. Thanks for this. We live with popcorn right now and not the good kind. We have definitely given this soooooo much thought but we are renting and not really feeling like it's that worth it. If we buy this place yes, but until then we just don't look up. ;)

    I love your style btw and really appreciate you stopping by LBT and leaving some love. I am now following and would be stoked if you would follow back! Thx so much!!!!!



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