Scraping Popcorn

Who knows what I’m talking about??  Not yummy delicious buttery home made popcorn.

White, flaky, the so-not-my-friend-popcorn.



Yep, now you know what I’m talking about.

Fortunately since we pulled out every single bit of drywall and plaster in our current house, we could choose to not use this as a texture to cover up seams in the drywall.  We kept our ceilings flat.  In our last house though, it was everywhere.

I have to tell you that I wasn’t a big fan from the get go, but it seemed an overwhelming task to tackle, therefore we sprayed 10 gallons of paint onto our ceilings to give it a fresh white and left it as is.  I have a couple that I’m helping with their cabin this spring, and they had popcorn ceilings in just a few rooms of the cabin.  Since it wasn’t covering over 2000 square feet of drywall, the task seemed much more manageable.  I researched for hours (or quick you tubed how to remove popcorn ceilings) and found a great video.

It’s 11 minutes long, but after the first couple minutes you get the picture:)  So, we gathered supplies.  We needed a sprayers..

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I believe this one was used for around the yard, but rinsed out it worked great!

A scraper..


It’s a drywall knife that you can get at any hardware store.

and  a plastic tub..


I took the sprayer and sprayed the ceiling once, let it sit for a minute, and then sprayed it one more time.  You want to make sure to get enough water on it so that it scrapes off nicely.  I found it best to wait about 5 minutes after your last spray to start scraping.

Then, you seriously just start scraping…

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Make sure you hold the container so you try to catch as much as you can.

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Here’s a small clip of me in action.  Note:  Your arm does get tired, and popcorn does get everywhere:)

Thanks Kelly Jo for taping it:) I didn’t quite know she was video taping, but it was great to show how smooth it actually works!

There were a couple of spot that some of the drywall got nicked a bit that would needed to be patched, but I really think we could have just primed the drywall and painted it smooth.

You might notice the tape lines are a bit extreme and decide to either get them re-sanded, or do a knock down texture (which I like a bit more)

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Or if this looks like too much work, you could just cover your ceilings up with a wood treatment with something like this…


The Lettered Cottage

We actually ended up planking the ceiling with 1/4″ plywood, and they are looking so cool!  Hopefully I can show you soon!

Happy scraping:)

It’s a bit more subtle.


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2 thoughts on “Scraping Popcorn”

  1. Hi Allie,
    This post caught my eye because I work for a drywall/paint contractor (and am acting safety manager, ugh!). You provide a great tutorial for the DIY-er, but I would advise that anyone doing this use a mask to cover their mouth and nose due to the dust particles. Also, if your home was built prior to 1978, you have to beware that asbestos may reside in the texture and take care to mask off each room (to avoid contamination in other rooms) and use protection for yourself. My husband and I scraped the ceilings of an old home of ours and yes, it is quite an undertaking, but quite cheaply do-able. Another tip I would add is to lay plastic over the flooring and let the scrapings fall to the floor and just wrap it up and throw it in the trash when you’re done.
    I hope this doesn’t come across as too know-it-all or anything. I love your blog and the DIY tips you post!

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