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So the new house has popcorn ceilings throughout. Mrs. Goofy and I don't care one way or another, we spend so little time looking at the ceilings ;)

However in the laundry room I took down some cabinets and a built in desktop to make way for a storage area and had to move a ceiling light to accommodate the new wall. Filling the toggle bolt holes was trivial but I needed to patch where the connector box was, so I did. Then had to paint the whole area.

The paint roller began pulling off the popcorn in sheets with the very first roll, and after consulting various youtube videos and internet suggestions, thinned the paint and did exactly what the various magazines, diy-ers, et. al told me to do. The popcorn still came off in splotches, although not as badly. I left it overnight intending to deal with it in the morning.

The next day I walked in and the popcorn was hanging in strings from the ceiling; it looked like the inside of a microwave when the pasta explodes. What a mess.

Speaking of mess, I elected to cut a line and scrap off the popcorn, it will only be in a closet after all, so anyone offended that the room and the closet ceiling don't match can go sit on a frog for all I care. But scraping it off? Whew! And this was for a smallish 8x4 area, I can imagine what it looks like when people decide to do a whole room or worse, their whole house.

Who thought popcorn on the ceiling was a good idea, anyway?

PS: They sell spray cans of popcorn ceiling stuff at the home stores, point and spray. It fizzes and spritzes and goes everywhere except where you want it. Double mess, which I apparently deserved due to some sort of popcorn karma somewhere in a previous life.
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Who thought popcorn on the ceiling was a good idea, anyway?

Cheap builders. It's cheaper to do a rough-in job hanging drywall on the ceiling and cover the defects with texture, rather than properly shim the drywall and tape/mud for a smooth ceiling.

But scraping it off? Whew! And this was for a smallish 8x4 area, I can imagine what it looks like when people decide to do a whole room or worse, their whole house.

Believe it or not, it's not as bad as you think. You basically screen off the entire room with plastic sheeting taped to the walls, and covering EVERYTHING. A pump sprayer is used to soak the popcorn and soften it for easy scraping/removal. If it's hard to get off, it's not wet enough. Once finished, you pull down the plastic sheeting from the walls, fold it all inward, and carry it out in one piece. The mess is completely contained if you do it right.
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Popcorn ceilings were a pain..

Our place was built in the late '60s, early '70s, so a suspect as far as asbestos. So I sent off a sample to a Lab, it came back with a real low percentage, so i started looking for someone to deal with it.. Local painting company was a fair bidder, for taking it all down, in 3 bedrooms, dining, living, hallways, even the closets.. It was real easy for them, just a ton of plastic sheeting, blue tape, and bring in the hose, spray and scrape.. We had to clear all the rooms, but we worked it out., then they did some patches, textures, sprayed it all. Then on to painting several rooms.. He admitted he'd underbid a bit, but it all came out well...

I just had him back in to texture & paint two rooms, redo some of the trim...

Money well spent...
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The ceilings in our Hawaii condo (built in the '70s) are concrete. They were covered with popcorn, which over the years collected soot from the outdoors and would shed particles. One of the first things we did when we bought it was pay a contractor to remove all the popcorn, do some smoothing where needed, and paint it all a nice eggshell. It made of world of difference, not only in appearance but also in cleanliness.
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you could have ripped the ceiling out and dry walled itand made it anyway you wanted too...

sounds that in the long run it might have been the easiest...
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Ah, but then all the insulation falls, a total mess, as well... They do sell 1/4" drywall, but it's too breakable without a sheet handler, lift...
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I scraped the popcorn ceiling in one room. That was probably one of the toughest things I ever did. I would have needed a fire hose to get it wet enough to easily scrape.

I then got bids to have the rest of the house done. Many of the people who bid said it would be cheaper to just replace all the ceiling sheetrock
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They do sell 1/4" drywall, but it's too breakable without a sheet handler, lift...

Drywall for ceilings is supposed to be heavier than that used for walls to avoid sagging. I imagine the 1/4" stuff would have to use adhesive over the entire area, giving overall support not possible with screws. No screw heads to hide though.
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I suspect 1/4" drywall was invented for covering up wallpaper. ;)
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We had popcorn ceilings in a previous house that we had to patch after taking out a couple of walls. At the time we could mix the popcorn into the paint and apply. It wasn't great, but it was a lot easier than taking it all off two rooms.

We also had "textured" walls and wanted to hang a Danish-style tree-print wallpaper on one wall. I spent a weekend grinding enough of the texture off with sanding blocks before giving it a light coat of drywall compound for the final smoothing. It was really hard to move for a couple of days<sigh>. It did look a lot better, in the end.
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Just a thought, probably too late now, but didn't popcorn ceilings contain asbestos? If so, you would need some sort of remediation to make the space safe.
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ust a thought, probably too late now, but didn't popcorn ceilings contain asbestos

No. And you can still buy it at the home stores in either a can, spray can, or “patch fix” configurations. The contractors doing the bedroom at the other end of the house scraped the first 6 inches where they had to join with the new walls, then came in and “shot” the ceiling back and now you can’t tell where the old ceiling ends and the new one begins.
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