04:33PM | 04/03/03
Member Since: 04/01/03
8 lifetime posts
I have the popcorn ceiling in my house which was built in 1958..not sure if it contains asbestos or not..non the less im going to get rid of the popcorn ceiling by wetting it down good and scraping it off.. what pre cautions and type of filtered mask should i use and wear if it contains asbestos?..also any tips to make the job easier thks...

[This message has been edited by Rockinfigz (edited April 03, 2003).]


10:45PM | 04/10/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
Besides the obvious warning about asbestos, a precautionary tale first. I do encourage you to remove the popcorn finish because popcorn ceilings are ugly and creating a smooth ceiling will produce a nicer room with cleaner lines.

However, removing the popcorn off a ceiling is a seemingly easy job that usually ends up producing more work than just replacing the ceiling, altogether. As a newbie, or even with experience, you will most likely scratch the paper on the drywall underneath all over the place, which you will need to patch with a skim coat of mud, which is extremely difficult to do on a wall, no less a ceiling. A buddy of mine did it recently without consulting me, thought he had done a good, clean job, but then spent the next three weeks of spare time trying to skim out the imperfections. Same thing I went through, and I ended up trashing my ceiling and replacing the drywall, entirely, in the end, anyway. Drywall is still cheap, and your time is valueable. And "taping" new drywall is qualitatively easier than repairing torn paper by skim coating.

You can remove the popcorn by wetting and scraping it off and then install 3/8 or 1/4 inch drywall over the existing ceiling to simply provide a smooth finish. 1/4 inch drywall is not that tough to lift--nothing like 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch--although your should have a partner or two help you if only for balance.

Keep in mind that working on a ceiling is extremely more difficult than working on a wall because you hold you arms over your head and look upwards the entire time. You are not in for a "fun" project. One main reason for using popcorn ceilings is to quickly, cheaply, and easily cover up imperfections in the ceiling taping job because contractors want to reduce the amount of work they need to do on ceilings. They don't want to carefully smooth the imperfections out like on walls; they just want a quick-fix.

If you decide to take the risk of removing asbestos, yourself, get a good mask that conforms to your face tightly and that you can "hear" working through some sort of valve. Dust masks are not good enough because most of the air you breath when wearing them comes in through the sides, not the mask. They are better than nothing, but not perfect.

The water on the popcorn will reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of airborne asbestos when you are removing the popcorn, if it has asbestos, at all.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited April 11, 2003).]


11:55PM | 04/10/03
Member Since: 04/01/03
8 lifetime posts
wow thks for the long reply ..thats some good info. i think im gonna go for it and try it..ill prob do my hallway first and see how it comes out then do the rest of the house. question though...for the most part will the ceiling come out smooth? i know there will be imperfections and ill fix that with spackle. also which testuring method do u recommend? im thinking about buying the spray on orange peel type but i prob need to buy a alot of cans.


11:18AM | 04/12/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
Again, I strongly recommend that you install 1/4 inch drywall onto the existing ceiling instead of trying to skim-coat a clean surface. You will almost certainly not get a perfect surface if you try to skim-coat, especially without expereicne, whereas you will have a good chance of a perfect finish if you install new drywall. Plus 1/4 inch drywall is easy to work with.

Again, it is much, MUCH easier, if not routine, to tape the joints of drywall sheets than it is to skim coat the imperfections out of a scraped up piece of drywall.


09:57PM | 11/10/08
Member Since: 04/06/07
6 lifetime posts
1. How wide are 1/4" dry wall sheets? I'm trying to figure out how many sheets I'd need to buy for my ceilings.

2. What kind of glue do you use to paste the 1/4" dry wall sheet onto the ceiling?

3. I have crown molding that I really, really :) don't want to remove prior to scraping off the popcorn ceiling. I'm hoping that the 1/4" dry wall sheet won't protrude from the top of the molding... Any better options?

4. Does the trash need to be disposed in a specific safe place?

I'm thinking that, after masking up, I'll spray a corner portion with water, then begin scraping the popcorn using a 4" paint scraper. I'll have the floors covered in spread out plastic trash bags that I'll scoop up and trash in the end.

First time ever tackling a big home project, much appreciative of the great information!


10:04PM | 11/10/08
Member Since: 04/06/07
6 lifetime posts
Instead of removing popcorn, can I just put up dry wall over the popcorn instead? If so, how could I do that? I have crown molding and am not sure how it'll look at the edges if I do this successfully... How to tell?


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