Popcorn ceilings are also known to suck up light in a room because it gets trapped in the little pieces. After removing it I noticed what a drastic difference in lighting there was. It felt like the entire ceiling had been lifted way up!
In the picture above, you can see the shadows that it created across the ceiling. (You can also see our lovely banana painted everything haha...)
In the picture below you can see how heavy it made the place feel.
UGGGGHH my trypophobia goes into overdrive just looking this picture!!!
Here is all you'll need to remove icky stuff:
- Plastic drop cloths
- Masking or painters tape
- 6" drywall knife
- Spray bottle
Lay down plastic drop cloths and secure to the wall with tape. We used painters tape but I think masking tape would end up sticking better. We had to keep adjusting it because as people walked it pulled away from the wall. We found the cheapest price at Walmart, they sold a three pack for $2.67. For the living room we splurged a little and got a super-sized one since it was such a large space.
My father-in-law and brother-in-law were nice enough to help, and between the 3 guys they had the entire house completely stripped in 2 hours.
(my goodness, looking at the yellow almost makes my eyes hurt!)
We thought, "Hey that didn't take nearly as long as we were thinking! Finishing up the ceiling should be a breeze!" Oh we were so so sooooo wrong.
The mess wasn't pretty. It looked like we had gravel all over the house and it felt like you were on a playground when you walked over it.
After the popcorn was removed we had to figure out how to finish the ceilings. This is something that very few resources go over. Most of the blogs and articles that I read stopped at this point. Even the ones that did go on to talk about finishing the ceilings, not a single one that I found ran into any difficulties (or at least failed to talk about them).
There are basically 3 options that are the most simple to DIY: orange peel, knockdown or smooth. This site is awesome at describing and showing different texture options in case you're like I was and have no idea what these mean.
A lot of people think that going smooth is the easiest, and I admit that at one point I was ready to throw in the towel and go this route. But the texture is meant to disguise imperfections. So if you try to go smooth you will be sanding and sanding away and will probably never get it perfect. Every little divot in the drywall will be super noticeable.
We decided to do knockdown texture since that is what we have on our walls. In the end we came out with more of an orange peel, but I think it still looks great.
Fail #1--We began by purchasing a box of wall texture. According to the box, you could use this to do popcorn, knockdown or orange peel and a hopper gun is optional.
and also some Sheetrock joint compound. I read online that this is the best stuff to use for knockdown texture since it comes premixed. The other stuff was really difficult to get the right consistency with. And wouldn't you know it, months later when the contractor was finishing our basement guess what he brought over to do the wall texture--yep this stuff! :)
Fail #2--So we thought we were almost there. Wrong again. The gun is supposed to come with 3 sized nozzles. The one I purchased ended up being one that someone returned because A.) it still had texture all over it from the last person who used it and B.) it only came with the middle sized nozzle. I thought we would be okay using that one but the texture didn't spray on thick enough to "knock down."
Success!!--So we took it back to the store and returned it for an unopened one. We popped on the largest nozzle and FINALLY we were texturing masters!!
Hubby would spray (this thing is heavy!) and I would go back over to knock it down after 5-10 minutes of letting it sit. If you go to scrap it and it turns into one big smear, then you haven't waited long enough.
Once you start getting the hang of what it should look like when it's ready to knock down it's pretty easy.
Here is the texture spraying master himself haha!
The whole process of figuring out what the heck we were doing took a total of about 3 weeks since we only had weekends and a few hours on weeknights after work. Once we had the hang of it we finished the whole house in a weekend.
Also, you could tape up plastic on the walls to prevent overspray on them. We tried but it kept falling down. So since we were painting the walls anyways, we just went back over it with the drywall knife once it was dried to knock it down and it totally blended in with our existing texture.
After getting all of the texture on, sand any rough areas, roll on an oil-based primer (I like KILZ) and then your ceiling paint.
- Make sure you cover as much as possible in plastic.
- Get the texture spray gun and Sheetrock joint compound! Seriously, you need this gun to get a good texture and this compound is awesome.
- Work as a team. The pressure to knock down the spray before it dries too much can be stressful and it helps to have another person working at it.
- With that being said, make sure you don't spray too large of an area at a time.
- Get ALL of the popcorn off when you're scraping. I forgot to mention that some areas weren't scraped off completely because we were thinking that the texture would cover it up---but it doesn't. That popcorn is stubborn and shows right through! We had to go back and get the drywall totally bare before applying our texture.
Linking up to these awesome parties!
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