hired a contractor to remove old popcorn ceiling (tested no asbestos)
for some reason, the ceiling has drywall then a layer of plaster then a
layer of compound then the popcorn ceiling. The contractor is now
telling us that it's too difficult to remove the popcorn ceiling and
that if removed the plaster would be damaged to a point that it would
be difficult to make a flat smooth surface. Instead he has just put
compound over the plaster.
1. putting joint compound/plaster over popcorn ceiling kosher?
2. what's the longevity of this process, prob bad if ceiling gets wet.
3. will removing popcorn placed over plaster really that bad to remove
or is contractor full of it?
4. he already covered about 1/4 of ceiling, any recommendations on what
we should do?
Popcorn is very soft, air intrained, softer than compound and likely
will have future cracking and adhesion problems.
Was he to lazy to scrape it off with a scraper before skimcoat, Scrape
off and skimcoat or drywall is the norm. he sounds like a hack.
It seems like popcorn ceiling usually went over drywall, but in our
case it went over plaster. Is this truely more difficult to remove as
our contractor claims? can't find any reference on the internet
regarding removing popcorn from plaster.
Thanks to all for the much needed advice.
correction: The joint compound is going over the popcorn ceiling
That may be, but if it's a sprayed accoustic or vermiculite as most is
and it was sprayed over painted plaster, I think it would scrape off as
easily or easier than over raw drywall. Your next statement makes me a
bit leery of the guy you hired.
Are you/he sure it's sprayed accoustic or vermiculite and not some other
harder finish you have? Even when it's been painted over, I've seen the
vermiculite stuff scraped off fairly easily with the water treatment
I did my own home removal, $0.50 a foot seemed to much to me.
Yes there will be gouges. I had to completely re-float the ceiling. Because
it was coming out so bad I paid a contractor to do it. They spent 3 days,
not counting drying time. Getting it flat. I painted with 2 coats of paint.
Certain light conditions I could still see the joint lines. When I was
getting ready to move and had my back surgery, I paid a painter to do the
inside of the home. He had to put 2 more coats of paint on the ceiling. It
did come out nice finally.
Sounds to me like the contractor has figured out that he under bid the job.
It is time to get your negotiating hat on and make damn sure you do not pay
him any more until you get the issue ironed out.
Best of luck
Take a wide 3-5" exterior paint scraper the ones with the long 12-14"
handle, replaceable razor sharp blade, and knob to hold onto at the
blade, put on glasses and a mask and scrape away, Keep a file handy and
keep it sharp. Ive had my guys do a few houses that way. Then we
skimcoated. What did he bid for what sq ft. Scraping with the right
razor sharp tool is quick but dirty work. What he already did, skim
over popcorn will fail. You only plaster over hard sound surfaces.
Popcorn is soft it can pull off eventualy from drywall compounds added
weight. And skimming over compound will take 4x more compound 4x more
I'be be concerned about how well it adheres as the popcorn is easily flaked
Yes, but why would it get wet? If it does, you have more serious problems.
Over plaster as opposed to over sheetrock? Mine came down easily by wetting
it with a spray bottle with a few drops of detergent in it. Then scrape,
sponge, done. By the first half you have found a good techinque and no
gouging. Some older homes could have has some asbeston in the popcorn, but
not after 1978.
Again, Thanks everyone for all the great information and support.
Met with the contractor on Monday and he was pleasantly surprised at
what he saw and found. so happens that the acoustic ceiling is not
really the acoustic ceiling that's everyone usually has, but it's
actually joint compound sprayed.
So my ceiling has drywall, then a coat of plaster with chickenwire,
then a coat of compound, then a coat of sprayed compound that looks
like acoustic ceiling.
Contractor said that putting a skim coat over this would be fine but we
insisted he remove everything to the plaster and use 1/4 drywall to
now everything looks great!
p.s. found or made some cracks in the plaster so the drywall will
definately cover these up!!
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