12:23PM | 12/02/04
Member Since: 12/01/04
1 lifetime posts
We are about to buy a house which has popcorn ceilings which has been painted over. I was wondering if it is possible to remove the popcorn that has been painted over-I was not sure if i spray it if the swolution will penetrate through the paint or will we stay locked in the 80's forever? Thank you Rayna


01:10PM | 12/02/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Rayna,

There can be asbestos in popcorn ceilings, so be a little careful.

Back in the 80s, I had actually removed the popcorn ceiling in a couple of rooms (before I had any thought of asbestos being an issue). The popcorn in that case wasn't painted and came right off with a scraper. This was (in retrospect) a rather dumb thing to do--I don't even think I used a dust mask.

When we went to sell the house (also the 80s), one of the ceilings was painted popcorn. Back then popcorn ceilings were actually delaying house closings (including ours) because of asbestos scares. (It was a while ago so I don't remember all the particulars--but I think it was the buyer's lender that wanted the tests and caused the delays). The paint, it was determined, actually "encapsulated" the asbestos (what little there was), so the paint actually made it safer. In the end, everyone was happy.

In that house, the popcorn ceiling dated back to the 60s. As I understand it, there are varying amounts of asbestos (if any) in different popcorn ceilings from different eras.

You might want to at least have it checked at a lab; hopefully there's no asbestos and your plans can continue in a straightforward fashion.

Good luck on your new home!


-k2 in CO

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