What to Do with Popcorn Ceilings

by Debra

in Painting

What to Do with Popcorn CeilingsPopcorn, a coating sprayed onto the ceilings of homes built between 1935 and 1979, is often one of the first items a new homeowner wants to change. They often feel these types of ceilings are dated or have heard about hazards associated with them. Learning what to do with popcorn ceilings is one way to save a good amount of money when remodeling.

photo credit: BarelyFitz

If you’re thinking of removing the popcorn ceiling from your home, here are some things to consider before starting the project and some items you’ll need if you choose to tackle the project on your own.

Before removing an entire room’s worth of ceiling texture, it would be best to carefully remove a small portion of the texture to have it tested for asbestos. Check with your local Health Department to find a testing facility or for suggestions about where to purchase an at-home asbestos test.

Asbestos isn’t hazardous unless it is disturbed, so if you find it in your home, it’s best to leave it alone. However, if the asbestos has been damaged and could be getting into the air, your options are to remove it or to contain it in some manner. Don’t attempt to remove the asbestos on your own without knowing having the proper respiratory protection. You may choose to have a professional remove the popcorn ceiling in order to protect your family.

If asbestos isn’t a problem you’ll need the following materials to remove the popcorn ceiling from your rooms.

  • Respirator masks

  • Safety goggles

safety goggles

  • Joint compound
  • Putty knife
  • Pole sander and sanding screen
  • Wall scraper or trowel
  • Pump sprayer
  • Ladder

Empty the room out that you’re working in and then cover the floor with a drop cloth. Everyone working on the ceiling should wear goggles and respiratory masks. Spray a small portion of the ceiling with warm soapy water, starting in one corner, and then scrape the popcorn covering from the ceiling. Work toward the center of the room and then remove the garbage.

Let the ceiling dry completely before trying to patch any nail holes, replacing any seams, or starting to paint. Prime the ceiling and then use flat paint to give your room a completely updated look.

If you’re unhappy with the ceilings in your home and you’ve wondered what to do with popcorn ceilings, you can replace them. Be sure to test the ceiling texture for asbestos, and if all is well, take on the project by yourself or hire a contractor to do the job for you.

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