How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling Paint? | Brief guide

Removal of painted popcorn is more challenging than removing an unpainted popcorn ceiling with a bit of additional effort.

The entire process involves asbestos testing, surface wetting, color breakdown, scraping, filling dings, and sanding if needed. Make sure you and your working space are prepared with the appropriate tools.

There are two options available with you to get rid of popcorn surfaces: adding texture/ paint over your ceiling or removing popcorn texture entirely. You can give your roof a new fresh look by covering it with new material such as drywall, another texture, paint, paneling, or tiles.

Go For The Test Of Hazardous Materials

Everyone is aware that acoustic texture material manufactured before 1980 may have used a harmful element called asbestos. That is why it is recommended to get a small sample testing of the material to check whether it has asbestos.

Although asbestos undisturbed does not result in any health risk. Disturbing such hazardous material can make their particles become airborne. Moreover, it may get into your lungs, leading to severe health issues and risks.

Ask experts for help on testing, or you can purchase a home test kit that needs you to scrape a small amount of ceiling in a sealable bag. Send that sample to the test lab to find the presence of asbestos percentage.

Note – For avoiding any health risk involved in taking a small sample, contact an authentic testing service that may visit your home to perform the test.

If you find more than 1% asbestos in sample results, you get three options: get it removed by an asbestos abatement firm, leave the surface undisturbed or cover the ceiling with another material.

What Preparations To Do Before Removing Popcorn Ceiling Paint?

Prior to kickstarting the removal procedure, there are some tips and preparations to do –

  • Remove all your furnitures from your work space.
  • Use the painter’s tape to tape plastic over the ceiling’s edge.
  • Fill your spray container with water.
  • Roll Plastic for covering your floor areas.
  • Use spray adhesive or tape for attaching the wall plastic to floorings.
  • Take some time to clean it and allow the ceiling to dry.
  • Get a scraping knife to scrape the existing texture.
  • Ensure to use sanding pole for smoothing rough spots.
  • Add spackle on damaged spots.

Removing those bumpy spots is not difficult, but it needs some time and muscle. Ensure that you wear an appropriate safety mask, goggles, and other protective clothing. You can remove it, but it will be slightly challenging because paint adheres to the ceiling, acting as a sealant.

Ensure to turn off heating and cooling systems and also close/ cover all vents by using plastic and painter’s tape. Also, remove or cover electric outlets, wall switches, and light fixtures.

Make a protective layer on your floor with resin or plastic paper of about 1 inch up the side of the walls and attach it with painter’s tape.

Steps To Remove Popcorn Ceiling Paint

Here are simple steps to remove the painted popcorn ceiling –

Step 1: Breakdown The Color

For breaking down the paint color, spray the ceiling area by mixing 1:10 proportion of vinegar and water. You can also use dishwashing liquid or soap water in place of vinegar.

Allow some time to get the popcorn paint surface wet. Also, ensure that you saturate the ceiling so that solution penetrates and let you scrape off the material quickly.

Step 2: Use A Putty Knife Or Blade Scraper

Remove the popcorn effect using a putty knife or thin blade scraper of any type. Be gentle with the procedure. You have to avoid putting gouges on the surface. Unfortunately, you will still have some gouges or dings, but it can be cured with metal scrapers having round-off corners.

Step 3: Use Large Pole Type Scraper

You can use an enormous pole-type scraper. Wet your ceiling again where it is still hard to remove; scrape it as much as possible. Again repeat the same process. The areas where liquid has penetrated through the paint will now easily scrape off.

Step 4: Fill Dings And Sand It

Once you scrape off the ceiling area correctly, you will have to fill dings (if any). Next, sand it to smooth it before painting. You will have to give an entire day to let it dry out before patching any holes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Sand Off Painted Popcorn Ceilings?

Yes, sanding may work well for you, and you will see that most of the popcorn texture is already hidden. However, it is not an effective option because it does not leave a perfectly smooth surface.

Is There A Tool To Remove Popcorn Ceiling?

There are a few conventional tools that you can use, such as a scraper, putty knife, sprayer, and paint roller.

Can You Remove Popcorn Ceiling Without Wetting It?

It is possible. You can try scraping it dry first. If it works, then go for it. Else, you can dampen the surface with water and try again.

How Much Does Painted Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost?

The average cost of removing painted textures is $2 to $6.50 for every square foot.