How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

Ready for an updated look in your room? Start with the ceiling.

As a precaution before you begin: If the popcorn texture on the ceiling was added before 1979, have it tested for asbestos. Either wet down a small area with a sponge, scrape off a sample and place it in a small bag to be tested, or have a professional come test it for you.

Materials:

safety glasses
garden sprayer
ceiling texture scraper
putty knife
plastic sheeting
drop cloth with waterproof backing

Steps:

  1. Remove furniture and items in the room.
  2. Seal off the entire room by hanging plastic sheets from the crown molding all the way to the floor.
  3. Put a window fan in the window for added ventilation.
  4. Add a drop cloth with a waterproof backing to the floor.
  5. Using a basic garden sprayer, wet down the ceiling. This will soften the ceiling texture and help to break down the adhesive bond and make scraping easier.
  6. Work in an area about five feet square. It’s better to make several passes than to allow the popcorn ceiling to absorb too much water, which could damage the paper surface and the wallboards underneath.
  7. Wait 10 to 15 minutes for the water to soak in and then start scraping off the popcorn using a ceiling texture scraper.
  8. Use a smaller putty knife to scrape the corners and crown molding.
Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Install a Planked Wood Ceiling

Add architectural detail and rustic, farmhouse charm to a builder basic bedroom with a tongue-and-groove planked wood ceiling. This is also a great way to cover up dated, cottage cheese ceilings or a sloppy drywall job.

How to Remove Wallpaper

How do you remove the wallpaper without damaging the wall – or yourself? Use these tips to help you decide which option will work best.

How to Remove Black Mold

Learn how to remove black mold safely and effectively.

How to Easily Remove Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper is never fun. But with the right tools, a little know-how, and a lot of patience, anybody can rid a room of a dated wall covering.

How to Remove Wall-to-Wall Carpet

Rid your room of all traces of dated wall-to-wall carpet following these simple steps.

How to Remove Wallpaper Using Solvents or Steam

Removing wallpaper can be difficult and time-consuming. Learn the tips and tricks to using liquid solvents and commercial steamers.

Add Interest to Your Ceiling and Walls

Learn about details that pull a living room style together: beams, molding, wainscoting and trim.

How to Grow Ginseng at Home

Follow these tips to grow this exotic perennial in your own garden.

How to Properly Paint Your Home's Exterior

Give your house a fresh, updated look with exterior paint.

How to Build a Home Theater

Want a movie-theater experience in your home? Learn how to build a home theater with step by step instructions from the pros at HGTV.com

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.