OK, I have had three conversations about popcorn ceilings in the last week. It is a SIGN that I should post about Pop Corn Ceilings.
Here in Hoover, Alabama, Pop Corn ceilings were really popular in the 70's and 80's. The texture hid a LOT of sins. If the ceilings get wet - from a roof leak, overflowing bathroom on the floor above, or excessive moisture on the bathroom ceiling from a really hot shower, the popcorn will start to bubble. Then when you touch or try to paint over it to cover the stain, it falls off in clumps. When you try to fix it, it is next to impossible to match the same texture. It can be a real mess.
Many people have chosen to REMOVE the popcorn ceiling and paint it back smooth. This gets rid of the blotchy look and updates the home. No new homes have popcorn ceilings.
I have a home for sale in Hoover, Alabama that was shown the other day and the buyer crossed it off their list because they didn't like the popcorn ceiling. The house had been updated with granite countertop, hardwood floors, neutral colors, but got booted off the list because of popcorn!
Now you CAN remove the popcorn ceiling. Getting it off is not very HARD - especially if you have the basic 8 foot ceiling. It is not HARD, but it is MESSY. To remove the popcorn, you wet it by spraying a mist of water on it, then scrape it off with a scraper. WARNING cover EVERYTHING including the carpet because the ceiling mess will fall everywhere.
Once the popcorn is off, you will see the bare sheetrock. If you gouged the sheetrock with the scraper, or if the person who installed the ceiling did a poor tape job, or you have additional water damage to the sheetrock, you need to fix those things - that is the hard part. If you are not good with sheetrock mud on walls, then you will definitely NOT want to tackle the ceiling. Every imperfection that was covered up with the popcorn will now be obvious.
The sheetrock repair is something a good painter should be able to do. So you can save a little money by removing the old popcorn ceiling and THEN have the painter come in and prep and paint the ceiling. If you have a vaulted ceiling, it will definitely take you a lot more time. I would have a couple of painters come in and give you an estimate BEFORE you start the project. Get the bid with and without the popcorn removal, just in case you decide after the first room that you've had enough. I have a friend who got an estimate to have all the popcorn in her house removed. It was $2500 to remove, fix and paint. Now her house is not your house so get your own estimate.
Have a DIY spirit? Try a small room, like the bathroom first. If that works you can move on to something bigger. The removal is easy - you'll have it down in ½ an hour and if yours was a mess to start with you will be SO happy when it's gone.
The removal of the popcorn plus the freshly painted ceiling WILL make your house look better and is a good thing to consider if you are going to sell your home.
If you want additional tips on selling your house in Hoover Alabama, I'll be happy to help. Give me a call.