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How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

These detailed instructions demonstrate how to remove a popcorn ceiling by using a texture scraper to remove the popcorn texture.

More in Remodeling

scrape corners and crown molding with putty knife Watch Video
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Prepare the Room

Remove furniture and items in the room.

Seal off the entire room by hanging two millimeter plastic sheets from the crown molding all the way to the floor (Image 1).

Put a window fan in the window for added ventilation.

Add a drop cloth with a waterproof backing to the floor (Image 2).

If the popcorn was added before 1979, get it tested for asbestos by either wetting down a small area with a sponge and scraping off a little to place in a small bag, or by having a professional come out and test it.

Step 2: Spray the Ceiling

Use a basic garden sprayer to wet down the ceiling. This will soften the ceiling texture and help to break down the adhesive bond making scraping easier.

Work in an area about 5 feet square. It’s better to make several passes than allow the popcorn ceiling to absorb too much water which could damage the paper surface and the wallboards underneath.

use basic garden sprayer to wet down ceiling

Step 3: Scrape the Ceiling

Wait 10-15 minutes for the water to soak in and then start scraping it off (Image 1) with a ceiling texture scraper (Image 2).

Use a smaller putty knife to scrape the corners and the crown molding.