How to Get Rid of Popcorn Ceilings: The Effective Methods

How to Get Rid of Popcorn Ceilings
How to Get Rid of Popcorn Ceilings, Images /

How to get rid of popcorn ceilings: the effective methods

Ever felt like scraping off popcorn ceilings was too much of a hassle? Do you wish there was a simpler way of removing popcorn ceilings?

Well, worry no more because we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll be covering the 5 most effective methods to remove popcorn ceilings without scraping. Let’s get started!

Why Are Ceilings Popcorn Ceilings?

Popcorn ceilings are seen in both residential and commercial buildings as a result of poor design or installation of home theaters and entertainment systems.

Generally, popcorn ceilings are not high enough for natural light and air circulation. This can occur due to inadequate insulation or water damage in the ceiling membrane.

A popcorn ceiling is often a sign of a poorly designed or installed home theater or entertainment system.

It can happen when popcorn is used to cover the entire ceiling rather than just the area above the speakers.

To get rid of popcorn ceilings, first determine the cause and take appropriate action.

For instance, if popcorn is covering the ceiling because of excess moisture, dry the area properly using fans and dehumidifiers. Also, replace any damaged ceiling tiles with new ones of similar size and thickness.

How Do You Remove Popcorn Ceilings?

How Do You Remove Popcorn Ceilings?
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Popcorn ceilings are a common feature in many homes, but they can be a headache to remove.

It’s important to assess the situation before removing popcorn ceilings. This will help you determine which approach is best for you and your home.

Start by removing any popcorn or insulation that is visible above and below the ceiling joists.

Use a vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment to remove popcorn and insulation from above the ceiling.

After that, use a brush or cloth to clean grime from the area, so it’s free of dust and debris.

Apply a sealant to the exposed wood, and then screw in metal flashing or battenboard for protection.

Wait two weeks for the sealant to dry, and then paint over it with a high-quality paint. That should do the job and make your popcorn ceiling disappear!

The 5 Most Effective Methods to Remove Popcorn Ceilings

how to get rid of popcorn ceilings without scraping
How to get rid of popcorn ceilings without scraping, Images /

1. Test for Asbestos Before You Begin Popcorn Ceiling Removal

It is vital to test for asbestos before you begin removing the popcorn ceiling. If asbestos is detected, then it is best to avoid exposure to the dust and fibers.

The best way to remove popcorn ceilings is via dry methods, such as scrubbing or vacuuming.

Wet scrubbing using water and soap is effective at removing popcorn from ceiling. It is important to avoid contact with the water droplets, which could contain asbestos. Besides, be sure to use protective gear, such as gloves and a mask when wet scrubbing.

2. Gather Your Tools

Before you begin the popcorn ceiling removal process, make sure you have the necessary tools.

Common tools include a drill and saw, but other tools may be required depending on the type of popcorn ceiling you are removing.

You may also need a vacuum cleaner to clean up debris from the ceiling after the removal process is complete.

It is always a good idea to start a project by gathering all your necessary tools before you begin. This will help ensure that you don’t run out of any essential supplies halfway through.

If you are planning to replace the popcorn ceiling in your home, it’s also wise to prepare in advance by gathering all of your necessary supplies and equipment.

This will ensure that you don’t run out of any essential items during the popcorn ceiling removal process.

3. Protect Walls, Floors, and Yourself

If you plan to remove popcorn ceilings, it’s important to protect yourself and your property.

Walls, floors, and furniture should be covered with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to prevent them from becoming dirty or damaged.

It’s also a good idea to wear gloves and eye protection when cleaning the surface of the popcorn ceiling.

The best way to clean up residual popcorn is with a vacuum cleaner. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection when doing so.

Finally, be aware that popcorn ceilings can cause problems down the line, so it’s vital to take precautions while dealing with them.

4. Spray the Ceiling with Water Before Carefully Scraping Away the Popcorn Texture

The most effective way to remove popcorn ceilings is by identifying the source of popcorn texture.

If the popcorn texture is located on the ceiling or walls, it will be necessary to spray water onto the ceiling to help loosen and remove the popcorn.

Alternatively, if the popcorn texture is located on a ceiling fan or light fixture, scraping it away with a blunt object will be necessary. If the popcorn texture is located on painted surfaces, using a damp cloth to clean it will work as well.

All in all, identifying and targeting the source of popcorn texture is vital to effectively removing this decorating trend from your home.

5. Sand, Prime, and Paint the Ceiling

Effective Methods to Remove Popcorn Ceilings
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Popcorn ceiling removal can be a challenging task. There are many effective methods for removing popcorn ceilings, with sanding being the most common method.

Sanding works by removing the popcorn and the oily residue that has been deposited on the ceiling from the popcorn machine.

This process works by removing the popcorn and leaving behind a smooth surface ready for painting.

Prime is a treatment that is applied to the surface before painting. It works by treating the surface to provide protection against paint damage or to change the ceiling color.

Another effective method for removing popcorn ceilings is to use paint. You can use paint to cover any existing damage or to change the color of your ceiling.

All three of these methods are effective, but they may require some trial and error to find the best way to remove your popcorn ceilings.

How Much Does Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost with Asbestos?

Certain popcorn ceilings are known to include hazardous asbestos. The cost of removing a popcorn ceiling ranges from $898 to $2,847, with the average homeowner spending $1,853 for professional removal.

  • Typical Range: $898 to $2,847
  • National Average: $1,853

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, popcorn ceilings were popular among young people.

Animal print rugs, rattan furniture, and hanging macramé tables were among the items in the room, which added to the boho theme of the period.

Yet, the popcorn ceiling trend proved to be relatively short-lived, with problems with the ceiling texture bringing it out of favor by the 1990s.

Popcorn ceilings are now considered dull, dated, and unappealing.

When a professional Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost is computed, it varies from around $898 to $2,847, depending on the quantity of rooms and square footage. The project will cost around $1,853 for the majority of homeowners.

Can You Remove Popcorn Ceiling without Making a Mess?

Scraping popcorn/acoustic ceiling texture off using a putty knife is the most popular technique for removal.

Stucco removal is the name given to this technique. Scraping the texture off while it’s dry, on the other hand, is a major chore-and takes a long time. That’s why only complete emptying of the space should be attempted with regular scraping.

You’ll need to come up with a method that produces significantly less trash than normal scraping/dry scraping if the area is already occupied.

Thankfully, there are several ways to disguise or eliminate acoustic ceiling texture without creating a big mess on the floor and walls, as long as you do it correctly.

How to Get Rid of Popcorn Ceiling without Scraping

Scraping off the drywall ceiling’s dry popcorn texture isn’t necessary. There are less messy substitutes available, and we’ve gone over them below:

1). Removing Popcorn Ceiling Using a Popcorn Ceiling Removal Bucket

  1. Using painter’s plastic and masking tape, cover the walls and everything in the room, including furniture and appliances. Because water can so easily seep through canvas drop cloths, avoid them.
  2. Spray the entire ceiling with warm water using a regular garden sprayer. The popcorn texture will be wet and ready to scrape once this is done. After spraying for the popcorn texturing to be fully absorbed, you should wait for 10-15 minutes.

The acoustic texture and the drywall boards lose their adhesion when the water breaks it down.

It’s important to remember, however, that excessively wet drywall boards may cause structural damage.

Only the texture should be misted. As a result, it is suggested that you spray lightly.

  1. Once you’ve gotten a ladder, scrape your popcorn ceiling from the corner farthest away in the room. A 12-inch putty knife and a popcorn ceiling removal bucket are required for quick and clean scraping. Make sure the debris falls into the bucket, not onto the walls or floor, by placing it directly below the putty knife.
  2. Let the ceiling drywall boards dry up for at least 24 hours before sanding and painting it after removing all of the old popcorn finish. The ceiling is sanded and a smooth finish is achieved that will allow for painting.

2). Removing Popcorn Ceiling using a Vacuum Cleaner

While creating less waste using a popcorn ceiling removal bucket, it isn’t completely waste-free.

The dust might go airborne and coat your walls, floors, or carpets with a mess.

Attach a six-inch spackle knife to the hose of a shop vac using duct tape for completely mess-free popcorn ceiling removal.

The shop vac collects all the dust and rubbish as the spackle knife scrapes off the popcorn texture.

Since you may eliminate all acoustic texture in a typical-size space in just ten minutes, this technique is not only clean but also time-saving.

The noise from the shop vac is the only negative aspect of it.

3). Covering Popcorn Ceiling without Removing It

Hiding the popcorn/stucco ceiling with ceiling tiles or wooden ceiling planks is another mess-free option.

Ceiling tiles may be affixed to the ceiling or glued down by some brands.

Wood planks, on the other hand, give a lovely natural aesthetic and may be customized to suit the homeowner’s preferences.

Yet, since you must attach the planks directly to the ceiling joints, it requires some skill to do it correctly.

We recommend hiring a professional, licensed contractor if you’re unsure of how to go about this.

Best Tool for Removing Popcorn Ceiling?

1). POP EEZE Popcorn Ceiling Scraper

The POP EEZE popcorn ceiling scraper is a device that allows for mess-free scraping of popcorn ceilings using the hose of a shop vac.

This technique is more powerful and efficient than using a putty knife to scrape, and it creates significantly less debris.

However, it isn’t advised to apply on acoustic ceilings that have been painted over.

2). 24-inch MAXXGRIP PRO Knockdown Knife

This tool should be used in conjunction with a conventional putty knife and scraping knife.

Since you don’t have to constantly hold the removal bucket, it makes the whole process less labor-intensive.

With your MAXXGRIP PRO knockdown knife, simply set the bucket on the floor, scrapping the popcorn ceiling with a putty knife.

Drop the trash from your knockdown knife into your bucket or trash can as you go.

3). Homax 12-inch Ceiling Scraper

By reducing the number of passes needed to scrape the entire ceiling, this wide-blade tool allows for easier popcorn ceiling removal tasks.

Covering Up Old Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings are easy to conceal with a variety of options. Painting the ceilings a light color will help to cover up the popcorn texture and create a look that is similar to standard ceiling tiles.

If you don’t have time or resources to paint the entire ceiling, consider using fabric sheets instead.

These can be used to cover popcorn ceilings in a variety of ways, from creating privacy draping over the ceiling, to creating a canopy for an outdoor party.

Another option is window coverings. You can choose window treatments that are similar in color to the walls, such as curtains or shutters, and hang them from the ceiling using clips or magnets.

Finally, customizable ceiling fans can be used to cover popcorn ceilings easily. These fans are designed to fit any size room and can be adjusted to gently blow air on the ceiling without covering it entirely.


Asbestos is likely to be found in the popcorn ceiling of homes constructed before 1980. As a result, before scraping asbestos-containing materials, it’s recommended to send a sample for testing. Asbestos poses a variety of health threats, so you should keep an eye on it.

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