Everything You Need to Know About Removing Popcorn Ceilings and Refinishing Them

Everything You Need to Know About Removing Popcorn Ceilings and Refinishing Them

Removing a popcorn ceiling isn’t tricky but messy and time-consuming. That’s why it’s essential to know the process before you start.

One important consideration is that popcorn textures manufactured before 1980 may contain asbestos. This substance has been linked to lung cancer.


Removing popcorn ceiling and refinishing them can be an excellent way to improve the look of your home and add value. However, it’s essential to be prepared for this project.

There are several steps involved in removing popcorn ceilings, including using a ladder and protective equipment. Additionally, a popcorn ceiling may contain asbestos or lead paint, so testing the material before beginning work is advisable.

To prepare for the project, remove any furniture and cover it with plastic or paper to prevent it from getting scratched or soiled. It can be costly, but it will save you time and effort.

You should also clean the surface of the popcorn ceiling to make it easier for the sanding process. It can be done with a shop vacuum, brush attachment, or dusting brush.

In addition, you should spray a mixture of one part vinegar to ten parts water on the surface of the popcorn ceiling to help break down the texture. It will also make it easier to scrape.

Removing popcorn texture can be messy and time-consuming, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals. The EPA recommends testing any textured ceiling to ensure it doesn’t contain asbestos fibers.


Popcorn ceilings are an old-school texture, and while they may still be in style in certain parts of the country, most homeowners don’t love them. They’re often considered outdated and can make a room look smaller or darker than it should be.

Many people also dislike the way that popcorn ceilings trap and attract dust. It can make them a hassle to clean and creates dark shadows. They can also contain asbestos, a substance known to cause lung cancer and other health problems.

While painting a popcorn ceiling is possible, this can be tricky and take time. The texture soaks up paint and requires thick-nap roller covers.

To avoid the hassle of painting, you can remove the texture by scraping it off in chunks. It can be done by an experienced professional or DIYer with the right tools and supplies.

If you remove the texture yourself, you’ll need a good sander. A Planex sander is preferred since it will give you a smooth finish.

Please also prepare your home for removal by removing all small furniture items from the area and covering them with a tarp. It will save you much time and labor while making your cleanup effortless. Before the work starts, you should also remove any ceiling fans and light fixtures. It will help to prevent dust and debris from getting into the air.


Removing popcorn ceilings is a DIY home project that can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you’re not comfortable with doing the work yourself, there are plenty of professionals to hire who will help you get the job done right.

The sanding process is an essential step in getting rid of your popcorn ceiling and refinishing it. It’s the best way to make your roof look smooth and even without any bumps or divots.

Using a hand sander with grits between 36 and 60 will help you finish the job. Use a lightweight sander that is easy to hold over your head, but wear protective goggles.

Once your ceiling looks as smooth as possible, it’s time to paint it. It is a great way to transform your room, and it will be easier to clean up when the project ends.

Before you begin sanding, spray the entire ceiling with a vinegar mixture. The acid in the vinegar will break down the texture, making it easier to remove.

Another option is to scrape your popcorn ceiling. It is cheaper than sanding and will also make your job much faster. However, be sure to test a small section of your roof before you remove it, as popcorn texture can contain asbestos.


The texture of popcorn ceilings is a common mid-century feature that can make them difficult to paint. Painting a textured ceiling is more complex than a flat surface and can be more time-consuming and messy.

You’ll need to choose a paint and finish that will best complement the texture of your popcorn ceiling. For the best results, go with interior acrylic latex. These paints have a smooth consistency that will help them blend with the texture of your roof.

It’s also essential to use paint that has moisture-resistant properties. It will prevent mold or mildew from growing in humid areas like the bathroom or kitchen.

Before you begin painting, remove all furniture and other items from the room. Protect hanging fixtures with painters’ plastic or paper, and add drop cloths to the floors.

Then, vacuum the ceiling to remove dust and dirt. You can also use a feather or microfiber duster.

Once the surface is clean, use a roller to apply your paint. Be sure to use a wide roller explicitly designed for textured and rough surfaces like popcorn ceilings.

After the first coat dries, you can add more if needed. You’ll want to wait at least two hours between coats. It will give your ceiling time to dry and reduce the risk of peeling from the stipples of the paint.


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