Looking back at what we’ve completed in the last year at the Mod House Project, there’s really only one thing I regret not doing from the very beginning.
And that’s removing our popcorn ceilings.
Last October when we began demolition on our home, we had such a major to-do list and an urge to quickly move in that we sort of turned a blind eye to something that we would have loved to do under normal circumstances.
Living in our space now and looking at those ceilings, I have to admit, it kinda drives me nuts. As we slowly begin tackling our next project which is decorating our family room, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start smoothing out those ceilings.
Let’s bring you up to speed on this space so far.
The below image is from our MLS listing. The previous owner had bulky over-sized furniture, no overhead lighting and popcorn ceilings that just added to the dated look.
When we moved in, you can see the progress we’ve made.
We laid new flooring to match the rest of the main floor for a cohesive look, added overhead lighting, installed crown molding and painted.
Personally, I was never a fan of seeing pot lights in a popcorn ceiling. It looks awkward to me and for the past year that’s all I’ve been staring at…well that and the corner fireplace that needs some major TLC (but I’ll save that for another post).
After finalizing a plan for the family room, I thought the first thing we needed to do was say good bye to all the ugliness up top. And just like that we removed the textured ceilings. Best thing ever!
It was a fast and fairly easy process due to the fact that our ceiling have never been painted before. We also lucked out because the drywall underneath was in great shape and minimal patching work was required.
I won’t do a full step-by-step tutorial because there’s a ton of them online if you search. But also because I could explain in two sentences, what needs to be done:
“spray water directly on popcorn ceiling, let it soak for 30 seconds and scrape. Patch any imperfections and paint”.
It’s really a no brainer and you can’t really mess it up unless you start gouging the crap out of your ceiling with a scraper or you jump into the project without knowing what’s on your ceiling first.
So here’s a few pointers we’ve learned along the way.
- If you have an older home (30 years +), do check for asbestos before attempting to remove your own popcorn ceiling. Back in the day, asbestos was commonly used in ceiling textures. It was banned in Canada and U.S. in 1978, however, it remained in stock for years after that until remaining product was eventually sold off and inventory was depleted.
- You don’t need any fancy spray machines or fancy tools to remove a popcorn ceiling, a simple spray bottle filled with warm water and a paint scraper works just fine (unless of course, you have a ceiling that has been painted so many times, you may need a chemical stripper instead of water)
- Tape your scraper to a long poll, it’s easier on your arms and body.
- Invest in a great ceiling paint with a matt finish. Anything with a shine or gloss will show every imperfection.
- Use plastic drop cloths from the dollar store to cover floors and walls. It’s a quick and easy clean up. There is very minimal dust since everything is wet and literally falls straight down to the floor. However, if you’re a neat freak like my husband then you may want to cover every square inch of the space (just incase!). . .
And there you have it, a smooth ceiling and it only cost us a gallon of ceiling paint!
UPDATE: You can check out the full family room reveal here.