About Me

My photo
Welcome to Biddle Bits! My name is Sarah & I believe that *anyone* can create amazing things, if you just work on them one step at a time.
Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Scraping a popcorn ceiling - Part 1

Not quite complete...but getting there!
When the hubs and I moved into our house in August of 2011, most of the downstairs ceilings were popcorn-free and beautiful. However, each room upstairs was covered entirely in popcorn! We have dormers in 3 rooms upstairs, and even THOSE were covered in popcorn.

If ever I were to meet the guy who invented popcorn ceilings...*&$(#*&!!

I should have paid closer attention to the warnings from friends/other bloggers about scraping your own popcorn ceilings - it's MESSY, time consuming, a little painful, but ultimately pretty addictive and so rewarding! Thanks to Pretty Handy Girl for my inspiration!: http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/2012/03/scraping-your-own-popcorn-ceilings-its-a-messy-job-but-someones-gotta-do-it.html

Supplies needed for project:

  • plastic sheets/tarps (buy 'em cheap...you just throw them out after use)
  • scraper
  • spray bottle, filled with water
  • washcloths
  • spackle
  • sandpaper - 100 grit
  • masking tape or frog tape
  • goggles
  • mask (so you don't inhale the plaster)
  • primer (see Part 2)
  • ceiling paint (see Part 2)
  • paint roller (see Part 2)
Before you get started, test for asbestos: I scraped a tiny amount of popcorn ceiling and texture and sent it off to a lab in California to be tested for Asbestos. A few days later, I got notification that we have 0% asbestos in our ceiling, so I forged ahead.

I started in our guest bathroom:
*Note that we're only going to DIY these slanted dormer ceilings...we'll hire a professional to scrape our ceilings...as the rooms are just too big for me (or us) to conquer! 

Step #1: I removed all shelving & knick-knacks from the bathroom, and began taping plastic sheets to the walls. It's recommended that you cover your entire room in plastic, connecting the sheets with masking tape or frog tape. I only covered the area I was working in...and later wished I'd covered the whole room. It's amazing how plaster dust can travel :(

You can see where I started scraping (top right corner), and the remaining popcorn
 Step #2: Spray a small section of the popcorn ceiling with water - let sit a few minutes, then use your scraper to *scrape* the plaster from your walls, leaving a smooth surface underneath.. The plaster should come down *fairly* easily. Work in sections, spraying water as you go along. If it's difficult to remove, spray lightly with more water - You just don't want to douse the drywall under the plaster popcorn.

Step #3: once all popcorn is removed, sand lightly with sandpaper. Take a damp washcloth and wipe away plaster dust. Let dry completely.

Popcorn all gone! Ready for spackle...
Step #4: Use spackle to fill-in any dents or not-smooth areas. Once the spackle is dry, lightly sand with sandpaper. Take a damp washcloth and wipe away spackle-dust. (I feel certain there's a more technical term than "spackle-dust", but I'll go with it for now) Let dry completely.

Step #5: Remove the plastic from your walls (if it hasn't already fallen down...I used masking tape, which didn't hold up to the spray-water very well)

Next steps: coming soon! I'll go over the final steps (priming and painting) in Part 2!

In the meantime, I was feeling froggy, so started on our bedroom dormers also:

Have you tried scraping texture from ceilings or walls before? What worked/didn't work for you??


  1. This is one of those things I've been putting off! We had a problem with our shower head one day and it drenched the ceiling right over the master shower. All the popcorn came off and we need to do the rest of the room now. I will say that it came off pretty easy even though for us it was not planned.

  2. I agree - the easy part WAS removing the popcorn...Mike just had Lasik so I'm waiting to finish sanding the space until his eyes are move healed. (I'm sure you know how much dust is in the air while taking the popcorn down!!) sheesh! Let me know how yours turns out...