My daughter just bought an old small condo which was built
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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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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.
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
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
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.
We just did this throughout our 1968 ranch style house. What I
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)
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.
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
Just do it EASY so you don't have a lot of patching of tracks. And take it
EASY on the water, too.
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