Ways to Make Your Home Smarter

Scraping Those Popcorn Ceilings Smooth

popcorn ceiling

Scraping Those Popcorn Ceilings Smooth 

If you live in an older home, then chances are it has popcorn ceilings. This bumpy, unattractive ceiling texture is a magnet for dust and cobwebs. While removing it takes a lot of work, it can be done by following these steps.   

Test for Asbestos 

Before you start scrapping, you will need to conduct some safety measures. If your home was built before 1980, you will need to test the ceiling’s texture for asbestos. This fibrous material is known to cause lung cancer and can be harmful if the dust or fibers are released into the air. Testing for asbestos can be done by yourself or a professional. If you choose to test it yourself, use a putty knife to remove a small sample. Secure the contents in a resealable bag and send to an approved testing service.  

If the contents return with 1% of asbestos, you need to hire a company that specializes in asbestos removal. It is against the law to remove the asbestos yourself.   

Removing the Texture 

The following items are need to start your project:  

Plastic drop cloths  

Rosin paper 

Painter’s tape 


Putty knife 

Floor scraper  

Garden or a pump-type up sprayer 

Liquid dishwashing soap 

Sanding block and sandpaper with 180 grit  

Protect yourself with safety glasses, a dust mask or respirator and coveralls.  


Tarping off your space will prevent a major clean up afterward. Tape off at ceiling height and ensure that all electrical sockets are covered. Remove light fixtures and cover the exposed fixture with plastic.  

Now that you and the room are protected it is time for some scrapping! 

Mix a solution of warm water and 2 to 3 tablespoons of dish soap per gallon of water in the pump sprayer.  

Spray a 4 to 6-foot section of the ceiling with the mixture. Do not oversaturate as it may damage the drywall underneath.  

Let the solution sit for 15 to 20 minutes for proper absorption.  

Gently scrape the ceiling with a floor scraper or a similar wide blade tool. Avoid scratching or damaging the drywall underneath. If the texture does not come off easily, spray again and let sit for a few minutes.  

A putty knife may be needed to remove leftover residue.  

Repair and Paint      

Once you have removed the texture, repair any dings or abrasions with drywall tape and sanding. Paint the surface with a latex ceiling paint of your choice.  

Take years off the look of your home by scraping away those outdated popcorn ceilings. It will give your home a fresh and updated new look. Call us today at Handyman House Techs if you need ceiling repair or assistance with textured ceiling removal.  

Handyman House Techs provides professional and reliable home improvement and repair services, including lighting and electrical upgrades. No job is too small or big. We are located in Gulfport, MS. If you need some extra help around your home, give us a call for a free, no obligation, quote at (228) 2970063 or visit us on our website www.handymanhousetechs.com 

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