How to Remove a Popcorn Textured Ceiling


This is a valuable post for sellers who want to know the scoop on ridding their home of this eyesore, that is a big turn-off to buyers!  I like the final tip... Call a professional! 

Please leave your comments with Karen, the author of this post!  Thanks!


In a recent post, What to Do With a Popcorn Textured Ceiling  I took a survey on buyers and real estate professionals really feel about the dreaded popcorn-texutred ceiling?  I received a lot of thoughtful comments and have concluded that while most people DESPISE this particular feature, it's not necessarily a deal breaker (that is, according to those who responded).

Personally, I haven't had any success convincing a seller to remove a popcorn ceiling - usually there are more pressing concerns.  (Of couse ANY ceiling that is damaged popcorn ceilingpeeling, dirty, stained, etc. definitely should be addressed.) That said, SMART home sellers realize they need to go above and beyond to get their home sold in today's challenging real estate market. 

If they have features in their home that they know buyers will hate, they realize that doing something about it will help them acheive their goal. 

photo courtesy of Rynosoft

My friend Lanre"The Real Estate Farmer" Folayan has a brother who is selling his home and wants to know how to go about removing his popcorn-textured ceilings.    Lanre the good news is: this project is NOT difficult or expensive.  The bad news is:  it IS very messy and can be somewhat timeconsuming. 

Lanre here's what you need to do....

First of all some blown-on acoustic “popcorn” ceilings applied before 1980 could contain asbestos (the use of asbestos was banned in 1978). To find out if your ceiling contains asbestos, send a sample to a certified testing lab of the Environmental Protection Agency. Be sure to wait for the results before beginning any ceiling removal project!   If asbestos is found, you’ll need to hire a certified asbestos removal contractor.  

  • Once you have determined that it is safe to remove the textured ceiling, move all furniture out of the room.
  • Remove any light fixtures from the ceiling - turn off electricity first! 
  • Cover walls and floor with drop cloths. 
  • Use a spray bottle or garden sprayer to wet down the ceiling with water.  Give it time to soak up.   Use enough water to thoroughly wet the ceiling, but not so much that the wallboard underneath becomes damaged. 
  • Using a plastic scraper or a joint knife GENTLY scrape the ceiling (much of it should fall off easily on its own).  Be careful not to gouge the ceiling when you scrape.  Spray stubborn areas with more water. 
  • Apply a thin layer of joint compound to areas that you damaged.  Let dry. Apply as many thin coats as needed. 

  • Sand with a sanding pad and pole. Sand until smooth, then paint. 
  • Call a professional if you find yourself getting into trouble with this project.

Stay tuned .... tomorrow I will share tips for painting a popcorn ceiling - I learned the hard way how NOT to do it and I want to make sure you don't make the same mistake I made! 



                                                     linkedIn      twitter


Karen Bernetti is a Real Estate Stager, Former Realtor®, Author, Speaker, and Owner of Staging4Smooth Transitions - specializing in assisting seniors with their downsize moves.  

Karen is also the Co-creator of the Ready2Sellin30Days® System - an innovative, interactive, multi-media educational program designed to teach do-it-yourself homeowners EVERYTHING they need to know about preparing a home for sale during tough economic times.  Visit to learn more. 

Stay up to date on all the latest real estate staging and home decor trends with The Home Sale Success with Karen & Ann BlogSign up here to receive The Home Sale Success with Karen & Ann Newsletter!

Call 860-302-0333 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            860-302-0333      end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information.


Kathy Schowe   760.333.8886  California LifestyleRealty  California Lifestyle RealtySchowe Properties                                           



Comment balloon 1 commentKathy Schowe • June 29 2011 01:04AM
How to Remove a Popcorn Textured Ceiling
This is a valuable post for sellers who want to know the scoop on ridding their home of this eyesore, that is a big turn-off to buyers! I like the final tip… Call a professional! Please leave your comments with Karen, the author of… more
Luxury Real Estate Marketing: Guess Who's Coming To Santa Barbara?
It is no surprise that the Royals will be roosting and playing in the Santa Barbara area of southern California. It is has been attracting the wealthy and the privileged for years. It is the perfect blend of climate + scenery + recreation.. more
The Home Buying Journey – Part 2. Touring Homes - A Game Plan for…
I have clients coming in from New York next month to tour homes and find their perfect desert getaway… the only thing I can add to this checklist is bring water, stay hydrated, and keep COOL! I have disabled comments-- so if you… more
10 Cowboy Rules to Live By
My Dad would have loved this post-- he was a cowboy at heart… and always came up with the best "cowboy quotes". This re-blog comes from the Clarks in Denver… which, is where my Dad was from! Comments are disabled… more
Feature worthy and rebloggable, #2
I was lucky enough to be included in this group of blogs that our illustrious Russell Ray has found worthy! Russell is an ActiveRain legend and I'm proud that he picks on me now and then! Kathy Feature worthy and rebloggable,.. more
Google Reverse Image Search… Do you know where your photographs…
Follow the link below to see what your photos have been up to… you might be surprised just where they are showing up! Hopefully it is in all the best neighborhoods! Google Reverse Image Search… Do you know where your photographs have… more
English Spanish Espanol Real Estate Dictionary for Buyers and Sellers
It would really be helpful to know Spanish here in Southern California--and we can sure use these terms here in our desert market! Luckily I have a Spanish speaking member on my team, Irma Madrigal.. she is a huge asset! Kathy English… more
Hacienda Home in La Quinta Country Club Reduced!
JUST REDUCED TO $575, 000! Hacienda Style home with tee to green views of the Signature 7th Hole at La Quinta Country Club.. more
It's Official! "Reading In The Rain" is a New Group.
I'm so excited that the "Reading in the Rain" group chose my name suggestion for the new reading group! We can't wait to get started with our first book! Stay tuned to find out what it is -- you can join the group below! It's Official!.. more
Debunking the Myth: You Will Not Save Money By Not Using a Buyers…
There are many misconceptions on this topic… and this post is definitely worth sharing! Buyers need to have someone representing them in their deal… who has their best interest at heart! Debunking the Myth: You Will Not Save Money By Not Using… more