DIY Home Renovator Question..Help would be appreciated.

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Posted by: from East York
8/1/2012 at 2:19:38 AM


I have a popcorn ceiling in my rooms, can I remove this with a putty knife and if so once I do so what may I want to do after, should I simply apply plaster, sand it done, prime it and repaint. And if so what tools do I need to complete job.

I am a DIY person looking for advice. Watched a couple of youtube videos just want to make sure I am doing the right thing as don't have much money to hire someone.

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Trevor in Ottawa
Date/Time8/1/2012 at 10:14:53 AM

Hi Jason,

That depends on whether or not the ceiling has been previously painted. You can determine if it has been previously painted by running your hand over the stucco, if it is loose and comes off when you touch it, then it has not been painted. If it is hard and does not come off, then it has been painted. If it has not been painted before then it is not an overly difficult job. You can scrape it off with a putty knife, you can also spray some water on the popcorn to make it easier to scrape off. After that, make the ceiling smooth with drywall compound, sand, prime and paint.

The tools you will need are a putty knife, paint brush and roller, sand paper (a pole sander makes it easier to sand a ceiling, but is not absolutely necessary).

If the ceiling has been painted then it is a much harder/more time consuming job. I usually find it more efficient to put a new layer of 3/8" drywall over the ceiling in this case. I would recommend that you leave it if the ceiling has been previously pained.

I hope this helps!

Trevor Schentag

Splash of Colour Painting & Design

Ottawa, Ontario

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Date/Time8/1/2012 at 10:17:57 AM

If the ceiling has been painted previously, popcorn can't be removed by scraping. If the ceiling is not painted, yes you can remove the popcorn by spraying first small areas and scraping, then priming and painting. If the ceiling is painted, best and most economical way is to apply drywall compound, do sanding in between coats and you need to apply (3) coats and then primer and paint.

Hope this helps you.



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Date/Time8/1/2012 at 4:09:14 PM

Hi - There is one more thing you can do if the ceiling has been painted - find someone who can use a hawk and trowel and have them do at least 2 coats - cross-coat - of mud on the ceiling - you may need a third skim coat to fill pin holes and fish eyes but we don't board over painted texture. Just coats twice and pole sand with 150gr foam-back between coats and prime when happy. It creates a flawless finish. :)

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Date/Time8/1/2012 at 4:49:34 PM


Well you are on the right track. You would use a clawed drywall scrapper followed by plaster sanding down smooth and the primer and paint.

So drywall scrapper, putty nifes and your paint supplies is what you should need.

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Date/Time8/2/2012 at 9:58:08 AM

Hi Jason

Regardless of what choice you make from the above you will have a horrible mess to clean up. I'd advise on simply adding a single layer of new 1/4" drywall over your popcorn ceiling. No mess and you have a nice new flat surface to work from. The 1/4" inch drywall is so thin that you will never notice that subtle change.

Good Luck and Cheers


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Date/Time3/28/2013 at 11:23:56 AM

If its painted go with Normans idea. The initial application uses latex paint mixed with the stucco and then sprayed. But then it should be sealed. Sealing sprayed stucco is done by using oil paint. If it's not sealed then it will flake when touched.

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