Removing Your Popcorn Ceilings

Oct 19, 2012

Popcorn ceilings, also known as acoustic ceilings, have a sort of popcorn or cottage cheese style rippled texture. This style became popular a few decades ago because it was good at covering up less-than-appealing workmanship in connecting and taping of drywall. Also, it lessened echoes and reflected sounds and was easy and quick to apply in new construction.

When considering removal your popcorn ceilings, it’s important to keep in mind that a popcorn ceiling might contain asbestos. Not all of them do, but before taking on the task of removing them, you should get a sample of the ceiling texture tested by a professional in a lab. (If the popcorn ceiling in your home was painted before the mid-1980’s, chances are high that it contains asbestos.) Popcorn ceiling with bright walls

Hiring a Professional

The best way to remove your popcorn ceiling is to hire a professional. When hiring Three Brothers Painting, here’s what to expect when we come to your home:

  • First, we remove light fittings since we use a lot of water during this process. We also cover all furniture.
  • Next, we cover electrical outlets and the floors with heavy plastic sheeting, extending the plastic about a foot up the walls. After that, we cover the walls with the same plastic and tape the edges down.
  • Using a garden sprayer, we wet the ceiling, working in smaller sections of 5 square feet at a time, wetting the ceiling thoroughly.
  • We round off the corners of a joint knife (to prevent gouges) and use it to gently scrape off the popcorn ceiling. Sometimes, this can take two or three tries if we run into stubborn areas.
  • We mix joint compound in a tray and apply along the joint lines, smoothing off the excess as we go.
  • Afterwards, we fill any eroded nail holes, and use a sanding pad on the end of a long pole to sand down any high ridges.
  • We finish it off with another coat of joint compound, sanding in between coats to keep it smooth, and finish off with a primer made specifically for ceilings.
If you love the look of smooth ceilings in your Roswell, GA home but don’t want to attempt removing your popcorn ceilings yourself, don’t hesitate to contact the Three Brothers Painting team. We’re happy to come out and give you a free estimate!
Photo courtesy of Flickr.



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