That white, flaky material that covers the ceilings of many homes, known as popcorn ceiling, cottage cheese ceiling, or textured ceiling, feels a little dated these days. It was even known to contain asbestos many decades ago until the material was outlawed in 1978.
While some people don’t mind the look of a popcorn ceiling and don’t want to bother with getting rid of it (some folks like its ability to hide imperfections), others want to modernize and try removing popcorn ceiling altogether.
Have you already taken the initiative to remove the popcorn? If so, you may be stuck on what to do next. You might find yourself wanting to paint and make it look brand new. If this sounds like you, then here are some things you should do after going through with your popcorn ceiling removal.
Assuming you have already gone through the time-consuming process of scraping the popcorn texture off of your ceiling and then wiping it down, you’re ready to begin the real fun. Now, you can get started on refinishing the ceiling.
Please note, however, that you should wait at least 24 hours after scraping the ceiling and wiping the area down to begin this process. This short time period gives the ceiling and the surrounding area time to completely dry from the removal process.
So, you’ve waited for it to dry and you’re ready to move on. What’s next? Follow these simple steps to get your ceiling looking new and modern.
Check and Repair Your Drywall if You Need to
Oftentimes, the process of scraping away popcorn ceiling can damage the drywall beneath it. If you find any damage to the drywall when you have done this process, these simple steps can be used to fix it back up before you go on with the rest of the refinishing process:
Use joint compound to fill problem areas
If you notice any small holes or blemishes, you can use a drywall compound with a putty knife to fill them. Apply the compound in a nice skim coat to make it smooth. This will help you skip out on any extra sanding that may need to be done.
Let the compound dry, and then sand
Give the compound at least four hours to dry, and then you will be ready to sand it smooth to make painting as easy as possible. It is always a good idea to wear protective gear, like a face mask and some safety goggles, during the sanding process.
Protect the Drywall
Now, it is time to apply a new texture to make sure that the drywall stays protected and in good shape. Follow these steps to make it happen:
Make sure the walls are protected
This is especially important if you choose to use a pump sprayer. Make sure you tape some drop cloths up over your walls to keep them safe and dry during this part of the process.
Suit up once more
This is optional for this step, but it never hurts to make sure you protect yourself as much as possible by wearing your face mask and goggles, or even just a pair of work gloves if you’d like to avoid blistering up your hands.
You now have a few options to choose from. You can use a trowel and work in small areas at a time to apply compound to the ceiling, or you can use a pump sprayer to get the job done smoother and, not to mention, much quicker.
- If you choose to do it yourself: Working with your trowel, use thin layers of the compound and scrape across the ceiling, working in small areas. You can use this method to work your way across the entire ceiling with your trowel and compound.
- If you choose to use a sprayer: A pump sprayer can help you get the job done quicker, easier, and will leave you with a smoother look and feel. Ensuring your walls are covered with drop cloths, you can load up the sprayer’s spray gun with compound, and then connect it to the sprayer’s air compressor. Adjust your pressure carefully, and then begin spraying the ceiling from at least four feet away. Work your way across the ceiling carefully, and take a break every now and then to be sure you aren’t missing any areas of the ceiling.
When you’re all done applying the compound, you’re ready to move onto the final step.
Get Your Ceiling Primed and Painted
After you have completed the process with the compound, you should let the area set for at least a period of 24 hours before applying primer. When that is done, you can finish the process by following these easy steps for painting:
Once again, ensure your walls and floors are protected
Now that you’re about to begin the painting process, you’re going to want to ensure that your walls and floors are not going to be affected by paint dripping down. Bring out your drop cloths once more, and put them into place.
Using a paintbrush or sprayer, paint your ceiling
You can load the sprayer up with paint the same way you did with the compound, or you can go old-school and use a paint bucket and a brush to apply the paint by hand. Whatever method you choose, work in small sections at a time, just like you did with the compound. Make sure you take a break every little bit to ensure you haven’t missed a spot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Making your ceiling look great after getting rid of a textured ceiling can be a lot of fun, and a great way to get into affordable DIY projects. Do you have questions about refinishing your ceiling after removing the popcorn ceiling? Here are some of the most common questions asked about the process:
Can I paint over the popcorn ceiling without actually removing it?
You most certainly could, but removing it first makes the painting process so much smoother. Getting the popcorn material wet could make it peel off and begin to flake, so if you do choose to paint without removing the popcorn texture, try not to paint back and forth with your roller. This way, you won’t have to worry about too much popcorn flaking off on you while you work.
Should I always prime the ceiling before painting?
Yes, you always want to make sure you prime your ceiling before you begin the painting process. This is simply to ensure that the paint adheres properly in place. For old ceilings, you can also consider using stain block primer so that old stains on the ceiling aren’t as noticeable.
A Popping Project
While some people will recommend calling a guy to handle these sorts of projects, there is no better way to get into that DIY spirit and save some money than by simply tackling it yourself. Through all this, you’ve learned how to get rid of texture on the ceiling, how to refinish it, and how to handle it all yourself. At the end of the day, there’s not a feeling quite as satisfying as a job well done.