What Is Popcorn Ceiling Removal, and How Is It Done?

how to remove popcorn ceiling

Most popcorn ceilings are considered a thing of the past. They were a known technique in the 1960s and 1970s to hide imperfections on their ceilings and reduce noise pollution. But they have fallen out of favor with homeowners for health concerns and many other reasons.

Learn some tips on how to remove popcorn ceiling texture and best practices for popcorn ceiling removal so that you can get yours removed as soon as possible.

popcorn ceiling

What Is a Popcorn Ceiling?

Popcorn ceiling is a layer of drywall used to hide imperfections in the original plaster or lath ceilings. The popcorn texture was popular because it hid ugly paint and wallpaper jobs that homeowners wanted to cover up on their ceilings, as well as rough patches from repairs.

With the new technological advancement, the way of beautifying the ceiling also improved. So, this era of high-quality paintings made the popcorn ceiling outdated and less desirable. That is why, if you still have the old way of covering your ceiling, it is about time that you do the popcorn ceiling removal and adopt the new way of improving your ceiling.

Why Get Rid of Popcorn Ceilings?

Throughout the years, the popcorn ceiling has become a concern that is why homeowners seek to know the best way to remove popcorn ceiling.

It could affect your health. 

Popcorn ceilings are a health hazard because most of them contain asbestos. During the early decades, from the ‘50s to ’80s, most popcorn ceilings contain asbestos, a fatal material composed of fibrous crystals. When abrasion begins, the asbestos fibers released into the air pose a health risk for anyone exposed in the room.

That’s why industry professionals advise homeowners to have their popcorn ceilings checked first before proceeding with popcorn ceiling removal.

It peels off over time.

Popcorn texture tends to peel off over time, losing its ability to hide seams on ceilings; that’s why popcorn ceiling removal is highly recommended. Also, the popcorn texture is designed to hide imperfections in plaster or lath ceilings, leading to structural issues that can potentially break through your ceiling if not fixed properly.

It disrupts lighting in the room.

The formation of small craters on the popcorn ceiling creates small shadows that will make the room gloomy. So, if you like open floor plans with lots of natural light, removing the popcorn ceiling will improve the room’s lighting, making it a great place to add plants or furniture.

It stops or eliminates unappealing sight from the ceiling.

No one likes a gloomy room. That’s why homeowners do repainting. Popcorn ceilings that fade through time make your ceiling smeared and your room uninviting.

how to remove popcorn ceiling

How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

Removing a popcorn ceiling involves the use of a particular type of adhesive remover. This is the usual remover used for the popcorn ceiling. But if you want less expensive products, a popcorn removal kit from your local hardware store can also work.

Run a test to know if the popcorn ceiling does not contain asbestos. Otherwise, you will need someone who’s more knowledgeable in safely removing it.

Once everything is set, prepare the things you would typically use for drywall repair: popcorn texture, drywall compound, and joint tape. You also need appropriate tools.

Follow these easy steps on how to take off popcorn ceiling.

  1. Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your hands and skin.
  2. Use the adhesive remover and a trowel or scraper to remove the popcorn texture.
  3. Mix joint compound with water to create a slurry that is just thick enough not to drip.
  4. Apply the mixture to the popcorn ceiling diagonally, and then let it dry so you can easily pull them all together. This will make the work less messy and saves you time.
  5. Once the area is completely dried, use joint tape over the popcorn ceiling to cover up seams or any holes created during the process.

Common Mistakes on Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Removing the popcorn ceiling may not be as easy as it seems. And it may not succeed for some who have designed a DIY popcorn ceiling removal because of mistakes in its application.

Here are a few reasons that you need to bear in mind:

  1. Incorrect application of drywall compound in removing the popcorn texture, that could create seams in your ceiling.
  2. Not using joint tape over popcorn ceiling removals could make the peeling of popcorn texture easier.
  3. Unfamiliar with its chemical content can put your health at risk. So, make sure you have enough knowledge before starting to scrape them off your ceiling.
  4. Lacks knowledge of correctly peeling and scraping the popcorn ceiling that can make the job a messy process.

Pro tips to avoid mistakes on popcorn ceiling removal

  1. Watch videos online to get a better idea about popcorn ceiling removal.
  2. Do not remove the popcorn texture from popcorn ceilings if you have children or pets. The harmful substances in popcorn texture are health hazards.
  3. Popcorn ceilings are a fire hazard, too, so make sure to add smoke alarms to keep yourself and your family safe.
  4. Consider hiring professionals for popcorn ceiling removal, as it will save you time and money compared to doing it yourself.
  5. Do not forget to protect your skin from harsh chemicals of adhesive removers.

When to Call for Professional Help

If you are not certain about what to do or how to do it, it would be best to ask for a professional painter’s help.

Also, a painted popcorn ceiling needs special tools that only skilled painters can handle. El Gato painters would recommend having your popcorn ceilings checked before they proceed on removing them.

Ensure that it doesn’t contain asbestos before they start with the procedure. 

Reach out to us at and learn more about popcorn ceilings. Call now for other types of painting services.

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