"Popcorn" ceiling

My daughter just bought an old small condo which was built in 1950s.
The condo has tons of "popcorns" on the ceiling and she wants to get as much of that stuff out as she can, and then re-paint it.
She works and goes to school so she doesn't have much money to hire a professional contrator, so her and I will try to do it on our own time.
Someone told us that we can spray it wet and try to scrape it off. I would like know is there a safe way to remove it. We just don't want the ceiling to come off.
Your advice is greatly appreciated.
April
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It will also depend on how many times it was repainted over the years. My house was built in 1978 and had no extra paint in most rooms, one coat in a couple of others. It was a tedious job, but it is all off.
We sprayed it lightly, let it soak, then scraped off what came off easily. Then a wet sponge tool off the rest. In my case, the ceiling under the popcorn we in very good shape so it was just a coat of primer, then ceiling paint. In a few areas, it came off dry, but th at was the exception. Ed
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ya its gonna suck, but its doable. like ed said, wet it lightly, let it soak. i also suggest that for scraping it you come up with something on a pole. your arms will fall off trying to just reach up no matter what you stand on.
randy
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I used an 10 inch drywall knife and no water on my house. Lots of plastic on everything when you do it. It fly's everywhere. The contractors wanted a buck a square foot. I took a week 1 hour a night and got every thing done before the weekend. Sadly when they sprayed the popcorn they only rough taped the joints. I ended up hiring a contractor to re-float the joints because I really suck at doing it. Plan on a primer coat and at least two coats of good paint. I would use better than ceiling paint. It took 4 coats to get mine to look decent. It is not hard work. the comment on a pole is good I used a 6 foot ladder and just stood high enough to be able to scrape the ceiling.
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SQLit wrote:

which to hang bags from to catch the "shavings." It has an attachment handle to put a pole on so you can do it from the floor. Put plastic on everything, lightly misting the popcorn (if it hasn't been painted) will keep it together and keep the dust down. There is a danger that a house that old may have used asbestos containing material, in which case, you definitely want to keep it wet to keep the dust down. Wear a mask.
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a buck a foot? hell, I'd pay that in a heartbeat!
SQLit wrote:

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Wow, my wife did it for free. Ed
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I'd pay a buck for you wife too!!! LOL
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Do you have a wet dry vac?
Try spraying the ceiling damp... get the widest mouth for the wet dry vac...turn the mouth over so that you are pulling it instead of pushing.. the front edge will scrap and the back should not touch the ceiling.... be carful of taped joints maybe do those with a scrapper.
Terry
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Terry Cano wrote:

I agree with Terry on this... My brother-in-law and I converted my grandparents garage into a room about 2 years ago, and since I had no experience with construction at all, I was given the ceiling to de-popcorn. Using a powerful wet dry vac and a long extension I did suck all the popcord stuff off the ceiling in about 2 afternoons. As someone else commented where the ceiling was taped and floated the popcord stuff stuck badly.. and we did have to retape and float part of it, but all and all much cleaner and easier then spraying and scraping... and the ceiling came out nice.
FWIW,
Alex.
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That really isn't necessary. In fact, a single coat of a GOOD paint should work (assuming the ceiling was smooth to begin with.)
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mt2665 wrote:

First, get a good respirator and use it whenever working on the ceiling. Second, if you want to just get off as much as possible and leave a slightly textured ceiling, use a bucket of water and a wash cloth and scrub it with a wet but not dripping wash cloth. If it has been painted and well sealed, that won't work and neither will spraying it with water. Good luck.
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I suggest you put down a lot of plastic and try to do it all at one time.
It can be a bigger mess to clean up afterwards than cleaning off the ceiling was...
Andy

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I have found that if the ceiling has been paint a wall paper steamer and scraper dose a great job. Can pick one up for around $60 and will find tons for differents uses for it latter on.
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We just did this throughout our 1968 ranch style house. What I learned:
1) check for asbestos. our popcorn was made from it. I bought a dust mask rated for asbestos when I scraped the office (first room) ceiling.
2) the scraper with a collection bag looks good, but save your money. you will want to soak the popcorn, especially if you find asbestos and the bag will get so heavy so fast it will impair your scraping. use plastic and keep the ceiling repairs to a minimum.
3) hire a crew! after the office, I had to hire a guy to float seams, repair tears and apply a knockdown texture. he offered to do the rest of the house (we went to the beach for 2 days) and I said "hell yeah". They also shot screws all over the place since our old ceilings had sagged in places.
Although I hate soending $ for something I can do there are (more and more) things that rate looking for a hire. This is one of them.
Good luck,
Phil
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If it is drywall, it's safe to just scrape it off.
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Trick is to get it just damp. The more water you put on it, the softer it becomes, and the more marks and gouges you leave when scraping. Spray it LIGHTLY, let it set a minute, then scrape it LIGHTLY with a 3" - 4" scraper. Don't press hard on the scraper. You will feel when it is right. Don't try to do a big area at a time. It goes quickly, as it doesn't take the water much time to soak in. It is a messy job, but not rocket science, and surely not difficult.
Just do it EASY so you don't have a lot of patching of tracks. And take it EASY on the water, too.
good luck
Steve
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