How to Remove a Popcorn Textured Ceiling

Reblogger
Real Estate Agent with Integrity First Financial Group, Inc.

Karen Bernetti has written a fantastic article here. Popcorn ceilings really are a thing of the past. Many buyers see them as a deterrent. When we purchased our home many years ago, removing the popcorn ceiling was one of the first things on our "MUST DO IMMEDIATELY" list. We did have to shop around due to our ceilings potentially having asbestos. Many companies will not take on this task if asbestos is questionable. We found a great company, it was a little inconvenient, but worth every penny!

Original content by Karen Bernetti

In a recent post, What to Do With a Popcorn Textured Ceiling  I took a survey on ....how buyers and real estate professionals really feel about the dreaded popcorn-texutred ceiling?  I received a lot of thoughtful comments and have concluded that while most people DESPISE this particular feature, it's not necessarily a deal breaker (that is, according to those who responded).

Personally, I haven't had any success convincing a seller to remove a popcorn ceiling - usually there are more pressing concerns.  (Of couse ANY ceiling that is damaged popcorn ceilingpeeling, dirty, stained, etc. definitely should be addressed.) That said, SMART home sellers realize they need to go above and beyond to get their home sold in today's challenging real estate market. 

If they have features in their home that they know buyers will hate, they realize that doing something about it will help them acheive their goal. 

photo courtesy of Rynosoft

My friend Lanre"The Real Estate Farmer" Folayan has a brother who is selling his home and wants to know how to go about removing his popcorn-textured ceilings.    Lanre the good news is: this project is NOT difficult or expensive.  The bad news is:  it IS very messy and can be somewhat timeconsuming. 

Lanre here's what you need to do....

First of all some blown-on acoustic “popcorn” ceilings applied before 1980 could contain asbestos (the use of asbestos was banned in 1978). To find out if your ceiling contains asbestos, send a sample to a certified testing lab of the Environmental Protection Agency. Be sure to wait for the results before beginning any ceiling removal project!   If asbestos is found, you’ll need to hire a certified asbestos removal contractor.  

  • Once you have determined that it is safe to remove the textured ceiling, move all furniture out of the room.
  • Remove any light fixtures from the ceiling - turn off electricity first! 
  • Cover walls and floor with drop cloths. 
  • Use a spray bottle or garden sprayer to wet down the ceiling with water.  Give it time to soak up.   Use enough water to thoroughly wet the ceiling, but not so much that the wallboard underneath becomes damaged. 
  • Using a plastic scraper or a joint knife GENTLY scrape the ceiling (much of it should fall off easily on its own).  Be careful not to gouge the ceiling when you scrape.  Spray stubborn areas with more water. 
  • Apply a thin layer of joint compound to areas that you damaged.  Let dry. Apply as many thin coats as needed. 

  • Sand with a sanding pad and pole. Sand until smooth, then paint. 
  • Call a professional if you find yourself getting into trouble with this project.

Stay tuned .... tomorrow I will share tips for painting a popcorn ceiling - I learned the hard way how NOT to do it and I want to make sure you don't make the same mistake I made! 

 



 

 

 

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Karen Bernetti is a Real Estate Stager, Author, Speaker,  and the Co-Creator of Ready2Sellin30Days® an innovative, interactive, multi-media educational system designed to teach do-it-yourself homeowners EVERYTHING they need to know about preparing a home for sale during tough economic times! Visit www.Ready2Sellin30Days.com to learn more. 

Stay up to date on all the latest real estate staging and home decor trends with The Home Sale Success with Karen & Ann BlogSign up here to receive The Home Sale Success with Karen & Ann Newsletter!

Karen Bernetti is also the "Resident Stager" and Realtor® at North Star Real Estate, in Southington Connecticut, where every listing comes with a complimentary Home Staging consultation.  Call 860-302-0333 for more information.

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Comments (13)

Nevin Williams
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation - Cary, NC
Senior Mortgage Advisor

Hi Stephanie - Great choice for a re blog!

Jan 26, 2011 04:10 AM
Brian Doubleday
Brian Doubleday - IML RealEstate - Orange County, CA Broker - Ladera Ranch, CA
Ladera Ranch, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo

Interesting & relevant relevant post.  In my last house, my father & I personally removed the popcorn ceiling and it was amazing how once the water was applied that a ceiling of popcorn turned into 100lbs of cottage cheese...not fun

Jan 26, 2011 06:26 AM
Tracy Leddo

Great blog stephanie! Thank you for posting!

Yes- a majority of popcorn ceilings do contain asbestos- I like that you emphasize the fact that an asbestos assessment of your popcorn ceiling is extremely essential before removing excess "popcorn" texture.

Asbestos exposure is a health concern when high concentrations of asbestos fibers are inhaled over a long period of time.

Partner ESI conducts a limited, visual evaluation of accessible areas for the presence of suspect ACMs and LBP during every Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

Partner ESI Asbestos and Lead Surveys

Feb 02, 2011 04:33 PM
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

Thanks for stopping by guys! Removing the "popcorn" from any home is not a pretty job, but someone has got to do it! It really makes all the difference in a home. So many times I have shown buyers a home and popcorn ceilings really are a turn off; especially if they are full of stains from years of cigarette smoke or cobwebs.

Tracy, thank you for providing some additional information on the health risks when it comes to removing the popcorn ceilings. It is best to have a professional come and give advice before taking on a task like this!

Feb 03, 2011 02:14 AM
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

Thanks for stopping by guys! Removing the "popcorn" from any home is not a pretty job, but someone has got to do it! It really makes all the difference in a home. So many times I have shown buyers a home and popcorn ceilings really are a turn off; especially if they are full of stains from years of cigarette smoke or cobwebs.

Tracy, thank you for providing some additional information on the health risks when it comes to removing the popcorn ceilings. It is best to have a professional come and give advice before taking on a task like this!

Feb 03, 2011 02:14 AM
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Stephanie, great reblog.  Now, where the heck have you been?  I hope everything's well. 

Feb 22, 2011 01:17 PM
Bill Burchard
3B Realty: 951-347-3818, CA - Murrieta, CA
Broker, Realtor, Representing Buyers and Sellers

Good evening, Stephanie. I agree… popcorn ceilings are a thing of the past. They came into vogue when I was a kid back in the late sixties. The father of my next door friend would take me and his son out on weekends to help him apply these textured ceilings for his side jobs. That was over 40 years ago!

Mar 04, 2011 12:28 PM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Oh, Stephanie? Where are you? We miss you! Hope you’re really busy listing and selling properties, but we would sure like to see you back Playing in the Rain with us!

Apr 24, 2011 01:00 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Now that I know where you are, hope you’re enjoying the new professional life!

Jun 26, 2011 06:30 AM
Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com - Dallas, TX

Stephanie a friend of mine is a professinal painter HE HATES this job when requested NOT EASY ... great blog post

dallas homes for rent by owner dallas houses for rent by owner lynn911.com

Aug 02, 2011 07:29 AM
Christina Sanchez Hood
Palo Alto, CA
#SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living

Hi Stephanie!  I am catching up on a little blog reading from those closest to me on the AR scorebaord and I am so happy to see this great post about a topic I discuss every few months with buyers and sellers.  I appreciate the fact you re-blogged Karen Bernetti's popcorn ceiling post.  

Mar 28, 2015 02:04 PM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Popcorn ceilings should be left only in hotel rooms where no one really cares about the ceiling texture.

Jul 08, 2017 05:13 PM
Anonymous
GeraldineMann

Oh! It is a good and useful post. How to remove popcorn textured ceiling. My office of assignmentgeek dissertation has this type of ceiling which is annoying at times. Thank you for sharing how we can remove this and give a new look to our ceiling.

Mar 20, 2018 05:14 AM
#15