How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling
Two months ago we had to scrape off our popcorn ceiling in our condo because of a fire. I did some research on the internet to see how this can be done, and I've also talked to our neighbor who recently scraped his popcorn ceiling.
*WARNING* Before you being your project, please make sure that your popcorn ceiling does not contain asbestos - a cancer causing substance. Scraping a pop corn ceiling that contains asbestos can be deadly, environmentally harmful and you can get sued! Not all spray-on popcorn ceilings contain asbestos. To know for sure, submit a popcorn ceiling sample for laboratory analysis. Cost for such testing is minimal, typically $25 per sample. Laboratories are listed in the yellow pages of your phone book under "Asbestos - Consulting and Testing." For a more thorough step-by-step guide on how to safely remove a sample, see http://www.pscleanair.org/forms/asb-popcorn.pdf
Now, if you are absolutely sure that there is not asbestos in your pop corn ceiling, to actually scrape off the pop corn is quite easy.
Here are the tools you need:
1. Spray bottle
2. A 6" putty knife (metal blade works better than plastic)
3. A ladder or something you can step up to reach the ceiling
4. A bucket to catch the pop corn, or use a large plastic wrap to place on the floor
5. An eye goggle to protect from dust getting into your eyes
6. A mask so you don't breathe this stuff
The key is to wet it! Get a hand-held spray bottle and use just water should do it. Spray in a small area to test it out. If you wet the popcorn just right (let it sit for just about 30 seconds), it should come right off when you push the putty knife into it.
A couple of pointers:
1. Do not overwet your popcorn ceiling, it can cause your ceiling to sag, and you can easily put a dent/tear in the drywall paper. We learnd this the hard way =)
2. Wet just the section of the ceiling at a time. If you wet an area and let it sit too long, it becomes hard again and you will need to re-spray.
3. Invest in a good water sprayer, don't use the cheap hand-held bottle sprayer if you are scraping a large area of popcorn ceiling. Get one like the one in the picture. This way your hand won't get tired from squeezing the trigger so many times!
About the Author: For more tips and advices please visit Steven Chang's blog at http://www.stevenchang.us