“Carolina Painting and Pressure Cleaning have been doing popcorn removal since popcorn removal since the 1980’s. We know the good, the bad, and the ugly of it.”
Removing Popcorn Ceilings
Don’t be fooled by HGTV
Popcorn ceilings. We’ve all seen it. The popcorn just comes right off and falls right into their bucket or bag, but definitely not on the floor. One minute it’s a popcorn ceiling and the next minute it’s a brand new smooth white ceiling that looks like they were done by the angels themselves. Don’t let the home repair and renovation shows fool you. Rarely does removing acoustical ceiling spray (popcorn) ever come off like it does on TV or YouTube.
First a little history on why we have popcorn ceilings in the first place…. the popcorn served a couple of different purposes. One is that it is a sound deadener. Basically it causes less echo in big open rooms, especially ones with hardwood flooring or other hard surface products. The second reason they became more popular was it was cheaper for the contractor when he was building a home. The drywall finisher didn’t have to finish the ceiling like he did the walls. He didn’t have to apply the final coat of joint compound and he didn’t have to sand, therefore, cheaper for the builder.
Our Popcorn Ceiling Removal Process
I am not going to sugarcoat it. It’s dirty and dusty and takes a few days. Dust will be around for a month no matter what we do to contain it. It’s magic dust and not the good magic. In a perfect world, the popcorn ceiling comes down easy, but more often than not, it has been painted a couple times in the last 25 years, making it more like scraping concrete than little bits of styrofoam from the ceiling.
The ceiling will need to be sanded after scraping, and then, once it’s sanded, the final coat of joint compound will be applied. Remember, they didn’t have to do that because of the popcorn. Now we have to do it. Once the ceilings are scraped, sanded, and skimmed, we are ready for paint? No, we need to sand again and spot patch any nicks, nail pops, or scratches we see in the ceiling.
In a majority of the older homes, we find that as we apply the new compound to the ceilings, they begin to get yellow. The moisture from the compound (or latex primer) starts pulling the yellow from the old drywall and needs to be primed with an oil-based primer to stop the yellowing. 5 coats of white ceiling paint will not make the yellow go away. It will be primed.
After priming, we do another very light sanding of the whole ceiling and follow up with two coats of ceiling paint. We did it. The ceilings look fantastic. The journey was not as glamorous as Chip and Johanna but you are finally able to sit back and enjoy the new look.
We would love for you to let Carolina Painting and Pressure Cleaning give you the perfect ceiling you are looking for.
The Best Time to Remove the Popcorn Ceiling
Its never a fun time but there is a right time and an order we would always suggest. We never suggest painting the walls and trim now and removing the popcorn later. If the budget is strained, it is still better to wait on the wall paint and do the popcorn removal first. If any of the wall become damaged, at least they can be fixed and painted later. It is much harder protecting the walls and trim after they are painted, especially with all the dust that is created.
If you have several rooms you are redoing, we suggest either doing all the popcorn as phase one or do a couple room complete at a time.
How Much Will it Cost to Remove My Popcorn?
You finally asked the question of “How Much Does it Cost?”. Based on a room with 8′ ceilings, you should expect on average $4.50 per square foot including all labor and materials to set up, protect, scrape, prepare, and paint 2 coats on the ceiling.
Can the price go up? Yes….. and it can be less! If we have to oil prime the ceilings, it would need to be added. Is the room is full of furniture? Are the ceilings are very tall? Have the ceilings been painted before? Are we painting the rest of the room (walls and trim)? Do the ceilings have Asbestos in them? Are we doing 1 room or the whole house? ….As you can see, there are many factors that affect the pricing. Each job is different and we measure each one and take all of these considerations when completing the estimate.