DIY Popcorn Ceiling Removal: How to Do It Without Making a Mess

If you’re an old house lover, then there is a recurring problem that you always encounter when hunting for your next house—popcorn ceiling. A wall design that’s popular around the 70s, the popcorn ceiling has long fallen from grace when it was found to contain asbestos. Not only that, this design is susceptible to dirt and dust. Most house owners would immediately opt for popcorn ceiling removal the first chance they have.


There’s just one problem, popcorn ceiling removal it can be messy.


If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t even attempt to remove popcorn ceiling because you will definitely make a mess. The dust which potentially contains asbestos can get to all parts of your home causing all sorts of potential health problems. It’s always a good idea to call the professionals.

Some Surefire Popcorn Ceiling Removal Tips


Before you get your hands dirty with this undertaking, make sure to read this tip to the end. How to remove popcorn ceiling without making a mess can be next to impossible if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Protect Your Environment

    1. Perform a scrape testBefore you start a full blown removal, make sure to do a scrape test first. This will give you an idea how you can effectively remove the popcorn ceiling. In some cases, the texture will easily go off without the need for wetting, but in most cases, dampening it is best.In some cases, the texture has been painted over many times. In this case, wetting won’t help and you may have to figure out how to remove popcorn ceiling without water or figure a different way to hide it.
    2. Have it tested for asbestosIt is important that you have your scrapings tested for asbestos. Popcorn ceilings installed before the 80s are likely to contain asbestos. They use this substance to make the ceiling heat resistant, but it’s been discovered to cause a host of respiratory problems.Before you get totally committed, you have to ask your local health department to get your samples tested. If the sample comes back positive, make sure to cover the ceiling with a new drywall, or hire a professional asbestos abatement contractor to remove the ceiling.
    3. Cover everything with plasticIf the sample comes back negative, then you can proceed with this huge undertaking. Cover the floors and walls with plastic before you start removing any portion. You should avoid using canvass drop cloth because water can soak through this. Besides, cleanup is easier with plastic because you can just easily ball things up and throw everything in the trash.

      Don’t remove the plastic until you’re done with everything like replacing the fixtures and sanding the ceiling.


    4. Get all the furniture out of the wayIf possible, get all the furniture out of the place where you will be working. This will not only give you ample space to move around, you won’t also need to clean the furniture when you’re done with the project.
    5. Remove ceiling fixtures tooCeiling fixtures like fans are surely in the way of this project. Make sure to remove them too. You will have enough time to put them back when your new ceiling is done.
    6. Cover “can” lights and electrical boxesIf you have “can” lights and electrical boxes on your ceiling, make sure to cover it. You’d also want to shut off all electrical power to any of these lights and boxes. You don’t want any of these to get wet when you start spraying with water.
    7. Wet the ceiling with a pump sprayer 

      When all these are done, start spraying the ceiling with water using a pump sprayer. This will ensure no dust when scraping the popcorn ceiling. You can use a simple garden pump to spray mist on the ceiling and you can allow it to soak for about 15 minutes.Make sure to do only light misting because too much water can damage the drywall as well as the joint tape.


If the texture hasn’t softened, give it another light misting and wait for another 15 minutes. If the texture hasn’t softened after the second misting, then it could be painted and another procedure would be needed like dry-scraping.

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After the texture has softened, you will find it easy to remove the popcorn ceiling. To avoid having too much to work on, spray and scrape a small area at a time. You can use a mud pan to catch the wet scrapings. This way, you won’t have too much mess clean afterward.


Does that sound too much for you? Don’t worry. All you need to do is give us a call and we will schedule a check on your place. We will also give you a quote for everything that needs to get done before starting anything.

Get a Free Quote and ask about your Guarantee of Quality Work  Call 727-239-2666