Home & Garden

Popcorn Ceiling Removal

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 27th, 2017 5:34 pm
Sr. Member
May 6, 2013
532 posts
96 upvotes
Toronto
carter500500 wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 12:24 pm
Did you do it with the house furnished? That must be hard moving stuff out of the room completely.
Heck no! Our tenants just moved out so the place was empty. Its almost impossible to do it with furniture.
Newbie
Aug 8, 2017
4 posts
7 upvotes
Coldstream
We have just finished the popcorn removal on our upper floor.

We were lucky to only have one painted room, man it was a pain - it really does make the difference. If the whole floor were painted I think we would have second guessed the decision to do it.

Our method was a clothes steamer and a scraper, came of in giant strips, very satisfying. We are pulling up the floors too so weren't worried about protection etc. Vacuumed with a shop vac when done, Bobs your uncle.

At the end of the day, the finished product was so worth it.
Newbie
Feb 3, 2012
68 posts
14 upvotes
T.O.
It is definitely worth it to remove the popcorn. I removed the popcorn in all the rooms and hallway on the second floor. My wife appreciates the smooth ceiling and the noticeably brighter rooms.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Dec 18, 2004
992 posts
66 upvotes
GTA
carter500500 wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 12:28 pm
The issue is it will cost $6k :(.
Yes , don't do it , don't believe dust free , I have enough experience .
Deal Addict
Apr 2, 2007
1552 posts
280 upvotes
had about 400 sq ft done for $700.

if you want to drywall over you'll lose about an inch, and putting in new drywall to replace the popcorn isn't cheap. neither is the labour.
Member
Jan 11, 2007
345 posts
22 upvotes
GTA
I hired a company to remove the popcorn ceilings and finish them smooth on my second floor (first floor was done by builder). When they say it is a messy job they are not kidding. They said they would drape plastic around the staircase to contain the dust from getting to the downstairs living areas. Let me tell you that this only contains the popcorn they scrape off. The dust from sanding after mudding will get all over your house. There was fine particulate dust over kitchen counters and everywhere. I would not plan on cooking until The job is finished and you can clean everywhere. There was dust on my clothes hanging in the closet. If you have good suits etc I would put them in garment bags. The dust travels through your ductwork and gets all over the house even with the registers closed. The furnace/Air con/fan should be turned off while they are working. It is not practical to have furniture in the rooms that need to be done. Fortunately my rooms on the second floor are not fully furnished so whatever furniture pieces I had to move fit in the walk in closet or bathrooms. I did have a big wall unit which remained in one room but I was told to cover and wrap it air tight with plastic. All they did was drape thin plastic sheet over top. If you are not going to be painting your walls after, i would either ask them to cover it with plastic or do so yourself. Also cover your windows if you dont want to be cleaning the dust off. After the scraping, your house is going to look like a disaster zone if they dont clean up right after. The ceiling will have gouges and pop corn will be everywhere and you will be wondering if you did the right thing hiring these guys. In the end I can say it was worth it but I will never do it again. If I buy another new house, i will have the builder do it.
Last edited by slinger99 on Oct 9th, 2017 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
3550 posts
1406 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Solsearchin1 wrote:
Oct 5th, 2017 6:24 am
Why do people hate popcorn ceilings? I like how they hide all the imperfections lol
They are hideous looking.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2017
153 posts
78 upvotes
slinger99 wrote:
Oct 9th, 2017 11:15 am
I hired a company to remove the popcorn ceilings and finish them smooth on my second floor (first floor was done by builder). When they say it is a messy job they are not kidding. They said they would drape plastic around the staircase to contain the dust from getting to the downstairs living areas. Let me tell you that this only contains the popcorn they scrape off. The dust from sanding after mudding will get all over your house. There was fine particulate dust over kitchen counters and everywhere. I would not plan on cooking until The job is finished and you can clean everywhere. There was dust on my clothes hanging in the closet. If you have good suits etc I would put them in garment bags. The dust travels through your ductwork and gets all over the house even with the registers closed. The furnace/Air con/fan should be turned off while they are working. It is not practical to have furniture in the rooms that need to be done. Fortunately my rooms on the second floor are not fully furnished so whatever furniture pieces I had to move fit in the walk in closet or bathrooms. I did have a big wall unit which remained in one room but I was told to cover and wrap it air tight with plastic. All they did was drape thin plastic sheet over top. If you are not going to be painting your walls after, i would either ask them to cover it with plastic or do so yourself. Also cover your windows if you dont want to be cleaning the dust off. After the scraping, your house is going to look like a disaster zone if they dont clean up right after. The ceiling will have gouges and pop corn will be everywhere and you will be wondering if you did the right thing hiring these guys. In the end I can say it was worth it but I will never do it again. If I buy another new house, i will have the builder do it.
Thanks. This has convinced me not to remove the popcorn ceiling. I was concerned about the dust. It's definitely not practical with a furnished place.
Newbie
Feb 24, 2009
75 posts
62 upvotes
Toronto
mathewvc wrote:
Oct 7th, 2017 6:37 pm
had about 400 sq ft done for $700.

if you want to drywall over you'll lose about an inch, and putting in new drywall to replace the popcorn isn't cheap. neither is the labour.
Was this in GTA ? I have 300 Sq Feet.. I would appreciate the contractors contact info :)
Member
Jul 31, 2017
311 posts
48 upvotes
carter500500 wrote:
Oct 6th, 2017 12:28 pm
The issue is it will cost $6k :(.
Buy the device yourself and do it. ;) Festool Planex Drywall Sander on Amazon

Or better yet, buy the device, learn how to use it well and start marketing your new air-popped popcorn business and show people how nasty popcorn ceilings are, and make a boatload of money doing it. Don't thank me for the inspiration, just clean my ceiling complimentarily. ;)
Newbie
Dec 14, 2015
56 posts
9 upvotes
Unionville, ON
This is about the simplest job to do and to be quoted $6000 and consider it is nuts, Ive done all the ceilings which is just over 3000 sqft.

(I)Go to walmart and get a garden spray bottle ($14) get the widest drywall scrapper and an extension pole
(i) Go to dollarama and get plenty of the plastic painter's sheets and some masking tape
(iii) Remove all furniture or cover furniture with plastic sheets and tape to walls
(iv) With only socks on your feet spray all the ceiling with a mix of hot tap water and washing liquid, once all the ceiling is heavily sprayed, spray it again and then leave for 5 mins
(v) Scrap off in slow long strokes.
(iv) Once the popcorns off and on the plastic sheet, roll it all up and throw away
Doing as ive outlined will take approximately 30mins per room. Im not sure why people think this is difficult or hard to do
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2017
153 posts
78 upvotes
jonnyexpat wrote:
Oct 14th, 2017 8:45 pm
This is about the simplest job to do and to be quoted $6000 and consider it is nuts, Ive done all the ceilings which is just over 3000 sqft.

(I)Go to walmart and get a garden spray bottle ($14) get the widest drywall scrapper and an extension pole
(i) Go to dollarama and get plenty of the plastic painter's sheets and some masking tape
(iii) Remove all furniture or cover furniture with plastic sheets and tape to walls
(iv) With only socks on your feet spray all the ceiling with a mix of hot tap water and washing liquid, once all the ceiling is heavily sprayed, spray it again and then leave for 5 mins
(v) Scrap off in slow long strokes.
(iv) Once the popcorns off and on the plastic sheet, roll it all up and throw away
Doing as ive outlined will take approximately 30mins per room. Im not sure why people think this is difficult or hard to do
I think it's the part after sanding and making the ceiling flat that people worry about. Correct me if I'm wrong but is that part easy too?
Newbie
Dec 14, 2015
56 posts
9 upvotes
Unionville, ON
Im not sure what sanding there is to do? The popcorn itself fills in any voids and imperfections and if you go slow and steady you shouldnt gouge any holes (I filled down the corners on the scrapper).
If you over think anything you can make the simplest things difficult
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2007
1160 posts
96 upvotes
Brampton
I don't think it is impossible for people to diy this but anyone saying it is as simple as scraping the stucco off and it is ready for priming and painting has low standards for the final outcome. Any reputable professional has to leave the ceiling to a certain standard and shouldn't be relying on bad lighting to make the job look good. If it is your own house and you are removing it yourself, you can be satisfied with whatever result you choose.

There needs to be major dust control and I would imagine if pricing is on the low side, cleanliness is the first thing to go. That said, there will be a wide range in pricing for work like this and pricing itself isn't a guarantee of good or bad workmanship.

Also, drywall sanding tools like the Festool are hardly dust free and because a shop vac is blowing in conjunction with this tool, these can circulate more dust than removing the bulk of it using water and scraping. Because the ceiling hasn't been sanded prior to stucco and things like screws likely only have one coat, it is usually best to skim the ceiling a couple of times with drywall compound and then sand.

As others have said, removing the stucco tends to be impressive. If you are having a house built, I would recommend paying the extra to not have it in the first place, rather than planning to remove it to save money. If you get this job done professionally, make sure cleanliness is a high priority in addition to the finished result of the ceiling. Once the stucco is scraped off, get the stucco out of the house in heavy garbage bags and put down fresh plastic on the floor.
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2013
758 posts
99 upvotes
Mississauga
jonnyexpat wrote:
Oct 15th, 2017 12:39 pm
Im not sure what sanding there is to do? The popcorn itself fills in any voids and imperfections and if you go slow and steady you shouldnt gouge any holes (I filled down the corners on the scrapper).
If you over think anything you can make the simplest things difficult
I also think trying to keep the surface even is the the hardest part. At the very least don't you have to mud then sand the uneven areas? I really cant see on how I'll have a mostly even surface area.

The only thing I got going on this project is that the "popcorn" itself is very easy to remove. I can literally use my nail - now does this mean they directly just sprayed onto the ceiling without priming or anything? I dont know how popcorn ceilings are prepped and done

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