Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s popcorn ceilings were all the rage! Not only was it an inexpensive way to finish a sheetrock ceiling, but it was also quick. Today, popcorn ceilings are no longer all the rage. In fact, most homeowners are electing to remove popcorn ceilings in favor of a textured ceiling. Removing a popcorn ceiling is one of the easier projects that can be completed around your home, although it does prove to be a good workout for your shoulders! Due to the nature of the material that is used for a popcorn ceiling, many homeowners elect to search for remodeling contractors near me that they can hire to do the work. But, if you are interested in doing the work yourself and saving some money, here is how to successfully remove a popcorn ceiling.

Part 1: Getting Started


  1. Remove Everything from the Room. Before you begin, you are going to want to completely remove everything from the room. Imagine your floor looking like your ceiling, along with all your furniture. It’s not a pretty sight, nor is it a fun one to clean up. In order to save yourself more time and work later on, remove any and all furniture in the room before you begin to work on the ceiling. If some furniture is either too large or too heavy to remove, be sure to completely cover it with plastic to protect it.
  2. Cover Your Floor with Plastic Covering or a Drop Cloth. While most professionals will tell you that a canvas drop cloth is the gold standard, a few pieces of plastic that overlap and are taped together will do the trick. Just be careful, plastic can be slippery when underfoot. Be sure that you tape all seams of the plastic together to prevent any debris from finding its way through, and onto your flooring.
  3. Use a Fan for Added Ventilation. Be careful not to point the fan up toward the ceiling, instead have it on low in an inconspicuous area near the floor. The purpose of the fan is to create added ventilation, so try to avoid blowing debris around the room.
  4. Get Tested for Asbestos if pre-1979. If your home or ceiling is pre-1979, you’ll need to seek professional help to test your ceiling for asbestos. If your ceiling tests positive for asbestos, you’ll need to have it removed by professionals who are trained in dealing with and disposing of asbestos. 

Part 2: Removing the Popcorn Ceiling


  1. Spray Down Sections of Your Ceiling. Using a gardener’s portable hand sprayer, you’ll want to spray a three-foot by three-foot section of your ceiling. Let the water soak into the material for a minute, and then spray again. Because the popcorn material is dry and porous it will easily soak in the water. Don’t be afraid to soak it well, as this will make it easier to remove.
  2. Start to Scrape Off the Popcorn Ceiling. For this step you’ll want to use either a ceiling texture scraper or a large (four or six-inch) putty or drywall knife. Start to scrape off the popcorn ceiling. The texture should come off easily, but if not, soak the ceiling some more. Be careful not to soak the ceiling too much, as you don’t want to damage the drywall tape and drywall that is underneath the popcorn stubble.
  3. Work in Three-Foot by Three-Foot Sections. Repeat steps one and two while working in three-feet by three-feet sections until you have removed all the popcorn from the entire ceiling.
  4. Sand Ceiling to Ensure All Popcorn is Removed. After you have successfully scraped off all the popcorn ceiling, use a sanding pole to sand the entire ceiling. Carefully gather any of the scraped-off popcorn debris that collected on the drop cloth and place in heavy duty garbage bags. Use a vacuum to clean up any remaining dirt or debris that is left behind. 

Now that you have successfully removed all the popcorn material from your ceiling you are ready to repair and texture. Once the popcorn is removed, it is easy to see how updated your space looks without the outdated construction material. As you can see, this one of the easier projects for homeowners to tackle, but for those who prefer to find some remodeling contractors near me, such as Quality Design Inc., who can confidently and quickly tackle the project for you. Don’t wait any longer to update your home by removing your old popcorn ceiling!