Do it yourself ceiling popcorn is about as difficult as making a bowl of popcorn to eat during a movie – albeit, not quite as tasty. However, as easy as it may be to put up the popcorn ceiling, you may find yourself wishing it was gone only a few years down the road.
The benefit of ceiling popcorn is that it’s easy, quick, and relatively painless to apply. The downside? It can start to look worn as the years go by. But no matter, removal is really just as simple! So if you’re ready to start working on your ceiling, here’s where to begin.
Ceiling Popcorn Creation: Steps to Prep
1) Fix any cracks or dents in your ceiling by using a spackling compound, and apply a coat of primer overtop with your roller. Let the primer dry at least four hours before continuing in this area.
2) As the primer dries, use some masking tape and tarps to cover up your walls, the floor… and anything else in the room that you don’t want to get damaged. Plastic sheets and drop cloths work just as well – anything that will hide the rest of your room from the texture sprayer, which tends to get messy regardless!
3) Presumably, you’ve rented a paint suit with head sock and safety glasses. This will keep the texture off of you and keep it on the ceiling.
Ceiling Popcorn Creation: Start Popping
4) In a large bucket, pour your texture mix and use a paint mixer attachment to blend according to package directions. When the mixture has the consistency of thick porridge, it’s ready to apply.
5) Fill the hopper gun with your mixture and get the compressor going. Try a few shots at a piece of cardboard or extra wood before starting on the ceiling, since each gun will have a bit of a different feel to it, even if you’ve used one before.
6) When you start on the ceiling, keep your spray light and move around the ceiling area continually, avoiding over-saturation in any one area. Don’t feel that you need to get it all done in one coat – multiple light coats, giving each layer time to dry in between, will create the best look. Spraying too thickly will cause the texture to drip off the ceiling, and you’ll have to start the job from scratch.
Ceiling Popcorn Removal: Goodbye, Stale Popcorn
Removing the ceiling popcorn is really quite simple. The key is to wet a small area of the ceiling at a time using a spray bottle filled with water, let it sit for about 30 seconds, and then take a putty knife to the texture.
The popcorn should come off easily with little pressure from the knife, but you can use a little more water if necessary. However, be sure not to get the popcorn too wet – this can cause sagging and potential tearing in your drywall paper. The last thing you want to do is replace a section of drywall as well!
Another few things to keep in mind when removing a popcorn ceiling is that you should be wearing safety glasses to protect your eyes, as well as a mask so that you can avoid breathing in dust and fumes.
You covered yourself when applying the texture, so why not do so when taking it off? Also, it might be useful to use a bucket on the top of your ladder to catch the popcorn, or use some large plastic sheeting to cover the floor. Using both together would probably be your best bet.