My husband and I are getting ready to move into a new house. It was built in 1979 and has popcorn ceilings. I want to remove all of the popcorn texture and start over, but my husband wanted to leave it and paint over it. Which would be easier? I have read the DIY about painting over it and the one about removing it, so I know basically how to do each of them. Beyond that, I'm lost. Please help!
Get rid of it. It's outdated. Painting over it is a crapshoot - odds are that some of the existing will come off as the new paint softens the old popcorn texture - making for a real mess and an ugly(er) ceiling. The only safe way to paint this is to spray it.
Rent a powered pole sander with a shopvac and remove the popcorn. Then paint with a thicker nap roller to give the ceiling a slight texture to hide the old popcorn marks.
Whatever you do, obviously it's a project to do before moving anything in.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jaybee,
I would mist the popcorn ceiling with water from a spray bottle a few times to see if it softens up as a result of absorbing moisture. Do this in an inconspicuous spot. Otherwise you won't be able to tell how hard it would be to remove, especially if you paint over it again.
If that ceiling has been painted a few times, then the popcorn texture won't absorb any moisture and it'll be much harder to remove. In that case, the easiest thing to do would be to learn to love that popcorn texture, or replace the drywall it's sticking to.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,
Thank you so much for your advice! Because it was an older man who lived in the house, chances are high that he never painted the ceiling. We may end up removing it just because I don't want to chance having patches of texture missing due to moisture from the paint.
If it turns out that misting the popcorn texture does soften it up and make it easier to scrape off, then invest in a paint scraper of metal construction that uses tungsten carbide blades. Any place that sells either Sandvik or Bahco tools will sell these kinds of paint scrapers. The advantage of a metal construction paint scraper is that if you're starting to get into DIY work, you'll be able to use it in future to scrape paint off of painted surfaces with a heat gun without melting the paint scraper. Also, tungsten carbide blades are sharp enough to scrape texture off of drywall, but not sharp enough to cut into the drywall paper inadvertently.
If the texture comes off REALLY easily, then buy a "burn off scraper" at any place that sells flooring installation supplies in your area. You can find those places by phoning any carpet retail store and asking to speak to the Installations Manager. He'll know who sells flooring installation tools in your area. Here's what a burn off scraper looks like:
It has a blade that won't flex and the edge of the blade is like the tungsten carbide scraper blades; sharp enough to scrape with, but not sharp enough to cut into drywall inadvertently. Also the blade is bent a bit to allow room for your hands.
My sister scraped the texture off all of the ceilings on the main floor of her house with my burn off scraper. I have two, one sharpened and one unsharpened. She used the one I sharpened on my belt sander to scrape the texture off, and she found that holding it upside down with the bevel of the blade edge against the ceiling drywall worked better than holding the blade bottom flat against the drywall. She did well over 1000 square feet with that burn off scraper, but her texture came off easily.
You should also know that the reason why contractors like to put texture on ceilings is NOT because it's fashionable or that most people prefer textured ceilings. It's because texture hides drywall glitches. You can just about texture over a dead animal and not notice the bump, whereas with ceiling mounted light fixtures, your drywalling needs to be near perfect in order to avoid having the sharp lighting angle make any little glitch stand out like a sore thumb. So, by texturing ceiling, it's the contractor who benefits because he can pay the drywallers less to do a lesser job and still avoid complaints from the home owners who buy the houses he builds about problems with the drywall on the ceilings.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,
Awesome! Thank you so much! You've been a great help! We won't be able to check the ceiling until June 15, but we have decided that if the texture isn't absorbent, we will paint over it. If it is absorbent, we will take it down!
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