Yesterday as I carefully maneuvered the window screens out of the windows and into the basement before Hurricane Sandy hit NH, I took a moment to admire the smooth and bright finish of my ceilings. Last winter my wife Victoria and I scraped the “popcorn” off every ceiling in our house except for the vaulted ceiling in our studio. It was a huge project but well worth the time, effort, and money. While textured ceilings can be attractive and reduce noise, we found that without the popcorn our ceilings look much cleaner and each room appears slightly taller.
A few months after moving into our house in 2007, Victoria and I began talking about someday removing the popcorn from our ceilings. We had both heard it was a terribly messy job and should really be done before we had moved in. With plenty of other projects in need of attention, we decided the ceilings should wait.
Last fall, after four years of living with twenty year old wall-to-wall carpeting throughout the first floor, we decided that our children, Jessa then 7 and Will then 5, were not quite as likely to make a colossal mess as they had been and that it was time to look into wood floors. And knowing that the carpet was going to be ripped out when the floors were put in allowed us to rethink the removal of the popcorn ceilings.
Ten minutes after I agreed that it was the best time to scrap the ceilings, Victoria had a step ladder out and was going to work. We made sure to move and/or cover furniture and while it was certainly a dirty job, the freedom of not having to worry about creating a mess on the floor was wonderful. During the many evenings and weekends that we worked to spray, scrap, and wipe down the ceilings, we let many gallons of water and many pounds of popcorn drop onto the floor below. Once the ceilings were clean and prepped, we were able to paint them without being concerned about drips on our floor.
If you have popcorn ceilings and are not thrilled with them, you have some options. Local contrators would be happy to help you remove the texture but you can also watch some videos and consider scraping some ceilings yourself.