Nightmare on the Ceiling

C’mon, let’s face it. Popcorn ceilings suck!

And gold sparkles don’t make it any better. There is absolutely nothing worse, except being chased by Freddie Krueger in the middle of the night with a machete. Fear not! You can deal with this eyesore head on! Scrape it off! I repeat, scrape it off! Knife in hand, embrace your inner maniac and smooth out that bad boy.

But first a word of caution. If your home was built before 1975, this lovely texture may be made of asbestos. If this is the case you will need to either hire a professional to remove it or wear protective clothing and a respirator. It will need to be disposed of properly as well. And one more caveat. If the ceiling has been painted along the way, it is going to be a lot more difficult to remove. There are many websites and videos that offer advice to deal with this nasty, but necessary task.

So here’s what you do. First test for asbestos.

Here is’s recommendation. “Using a spray bottle with water, moisten (don't soak) about four small areas in different parts of your ceiling. Scrape about a 1 sq. inch patch from each area into individual plastic bags with a small putty knife. Take these samples to a lab that can determine if there is any asbestos in the samples - check your Yellow Pages for labs that will do this work”

Um...Did he just say Yellow pages? Obviously, this was written last century.

If there is no asbestos in your ceiling he goes on to say…

“Once the lab has assured you the popcorn ceiling doesn't have any asbestos, removing it becomes essentially a larger-scale version of the sample-taking process.
Remove all the furniture the room if possible, or cover it with waterproof plastic sheets. Spread plastic sheets or tarpaulins on the floor to protect it.
Put on a long sleeved shirt, wear a hat and make sure your eyes are covered. Safety goggles with sides are best.
Use that spray bottle and water to moisten an area of 2 to 3 square feet. Alternatively, you could us a long nap ceiling paint roller dipped in water. The objective is to wet the popcorn enough to soften it and make it "easy" to scrape off without soaking the ceiling above.
Once a section has softened, use an 8 or 10 inch taping knife to scrape the popcorn off the ceiling. Move across the ceiling, section by section, moistening and scraping until all the popcorn is gone.
Once the popcorn has been removed, sand the ceiling and paint it. You will probably have to Spackle some sections of the ceiling, some maybe more than once, to get it as smooth as you would like.

Indeed, it is a lot of work, but well worth the effort. Before you know it, your ceilings will once again have a beautiful complexion and be soft as a baby's behind. There won’t be dark shadows lurking overhead created by a greedy Neanderthal, a wannabe cave dweller trying to reenact a limestone cave for the suburban masses. Such a travesty.


Original post at Colorific.

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