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 Tin and Beam Ceiling

An old ceiling is restored with new beams and tin tiles.

How to Create a Coffered Ceiling

A coffered ceiling adds Old-English style to a home office.

Tray Ceiling Ideas: How to Paint Horizontal Stripes

Add interest to a lackluster tray ceiling with painted horizontal stripes.

How to Create a Barrel Ceiling in Small Nook

The ceiling of a small breakfast nook is changed from flat to curved.

How To: Installing Tin Ceiling Panels

Host Steve Watson shows homeowners how to install tin ceiling panels.

Dramatic Striped Ceiling Update

The ceiling is a room's fifth wall. Give this often overlooked area a big dose of personality with an easier-than-it-looks graphic paint treatment.

How to Install Oversized, Patterned Ceiling Wallpaper

Bring bold, graphic flair to a flat ceiling using oversized wallpaper. Follow our step-by-step instructions for an easy, professional-quality installation.

How to Hang Wallpaper on the Ceiling

Add an unexpected touch to a ceiling with graphic wallpaper.

How to Install Grasscloth on a Coffered Ceiling

Add sheen and texture to an architectural ceiling with inlaid grasscloth panels.

How to Create Ceiling Circles

Wooden medallions are used to conceal an uneven ceiling and add a modern touch to a traditional home.

On TV

Desert Flippers

7:30am | 6:30c

Desert Flippers

8:30am | 7:30c

Desert Flippers

9:30am | 8:30c

Flip or Flop

10am | 9c

Flip or Flop

10:30am | 9:30c

Flip or Flop

11am | 10c

Flip or Flop

11:30am | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Caribbean Life

1:30pm | 12:30c

Caribbean Life

2:30pm | 1:30c

Caribbean Life

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beach Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beach Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beach Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

Beach Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Hawaii Life

8pm | 7c

Hawaii Life

8:30pm | 7:30c

Bahamas Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Island Life

10pm | 9c

Island Life

10:30pm | 9:30c

Bahamas Life

12am | 11c

Bahamas Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Island Life

1am | 12c

Island Life

1:30am | 12:30c

Hawaii Life

3am | 2c

Hawaii Life

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

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