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.


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


  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.

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