Removing versus covering popcorn ceilings
Popcorn ceilings are also called acoustic or textured ceilings and they were a popular feature in homes during the 70s and 80s. Today, thanks to modern technology, we have an even wider range of options from which to choose. This is why so many people want to either remove or at least conceal their old popcorn ceilings. Before you start removing yours, however, there are a few things you should remember about this process. Here are some steps you will need to take and tips to follow:
Testing for asbestos
It was very common to find asbestos in popcorn ceilings since it was not banned until the 70s but manufacturers were still allowed to sell off their existing stock which meant that asbestos continued to enter homes despite the ban. So, if your home was built before 1983 or 1984, you should definitely have your popcorn ceiling tested for asbestos before you start the removal process. You can do this by carefully removing a sample from the corner of your ceiling and sending it to a lab for analysis. If it tests positive for asbestos, you should contact a specialized asbestos remediation team to professionally remove your popcorn ceiling. Doing the job yourself can result in serious health risks including cancer.
Clear the room
If your popcorn ceiling does not contain asbestos, you can perform the removal yourself. Removing a popcorn ceiling is a messy undertaking and you will want to get all of your furniture and belongings out of the room. If there are any items that are too large to remove completely, they should be covered with one or more layers of protective plastic. Secure the plastic in place using tape so that you don’t end up with particles of the popcorn ceiling covering your most precious personal items. It’s also a good idea to mask up your walls and floor while you’re at it. It’s much easier to roll up and fold up the disposable plastic sheets than sweep, vacuum, wipe, and mop it all up after you’re done.
Spray soapy water
Fill a spray bottle with some soapy water (you can use regular dish soap) and spray an area of about 5 by 5 square feet. Allow the soap mixture to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes so that it soaks up the mixture. This helps soften the ceiling for easier removal. Once it’s ready, simply scrape it off. Before you scrape the first area, you can apply soapy water to the second section. This way, it has time to sit and absorb the liquid while you scrape the first section. Continue until the whole ceiling has been cleaned.
Washing or sanding
After you have scraped off the larger pieces, you can then wash or sand the ceiling. If any parts of your ceiling are damaged by the scraping process, you will need to plaster up the scratches. This may require multiple layers depending on how deep the scratches are. Once the damaged areas are filled, you can sand the area down to make it smooth.
Primer and paint
When you have a perfectly smooth ceiling, you can then primer and paint it according to the desired color. Remember to remove any small particles they might be left behind after sanding.
Alternatives to time-consuming scraping
If your popcorn ceiling does not contain asbestos, you might not need to remove it at all. Provided it’s not flaking or terribly unstable, you can cover your current ceiling with various alternatives such as drywall, ceiling tiles or, better still, a stretch ceiling! Stretch ceilings are fast becoming the most popular choice for a number of reasons. Not only will they completely encapsulate your popcorn ceiling, but they also offer soundproofing benefits and require little to no maintenance. They do not absorb smells and you don’t have to worry about water damage either. These ceilings can be used in any room – including bathrooms and kitchens.
Stretch ceilings are made to order according to the size and shape of the room. You can choose between incorporated lighting and backlighting depending on the kind of visual effect you wish to create. While there are a number of standard or existing designs available, you can also come up with your very own design have the manufacturer make your very own unique design! Covering your popcorn ceiling with a stretch ceiling will mean that you will not need to take the time to scrape it off inch by inch. Not only is this task messy and time-consuming, but it’s also fairly backbreaking – especially if you have a large room or several rooms to clean.
For the best in stretch ceiling solutions, contact AV Style today at 1 (866) 787-5103. Our team is experienced in transforming spaces of all sizes. No matter how small or large the ceiling, you will love the way our designs change the way you feel in any room!