Friday, June 20, 2014

The Great De-Popcorning

I have to look at this project through the lens of "what I have finished" instead of "what I still have to do". 

In spite of my threats to Bill that his "get out of popcorn jail free card" had expired, it looks like the irradiation of popcorn ceilings is all on me. 
I was hoping my daughter would be so strapped for cash that she would help, but no such luck. 
I wasn't about to let this summer pass without getting some more rooms done. 
So in spite of a feeling of dread worse than one preceding going to the dentist or the gyno, I pulled out the ladder, massive amounts of plastic and the 6inch scrapper.
*I made sure we had paid the water bill because I knew it was going to be a least a four shower day.* 
I got up, made some coffee and started removing stuff from the living room. 
I was finished clearing out the room and had hung the plastic by 8:30. 

Did you know that you can still watch T.V. through plastic?
True crime shows help the time go faster. 

I left the big stuff. 
Note to self at this point. 
Scrape the popcorn before getting a new rug, couch, media center and T.V. 
*Shower number one.

I started scrapping and only took two breaks. 
The popcorn was all completely off by 11:30.
To read about my dry method click here.
*Shower number two.

I cut out the edge of the ceiling first before I was too tired to climb up and down the ladder. This is a new, good tip from our painter friend.
I picked up a new paint stick by Wagner. It was going to change my life. 
I could paint without having to bend over a million times. 
It was heavy and I really couldn't get that much more coverage. The paint would not go into the handle. It could have been user error but I was too frustrated to take it apart and start again. 
So I ended up rolling the ceiling with a regular roller on an extended stick. 

I finished painted by 3:30.
*Shower number three.

It was time to clean up all the little styrofoam dinglehoppers and dust and put the room back together. 
I finished doing that at 7:30.
I didn't need to cook because Bill had lasagna leftovers.
*Shower number four.

I freshened up and met Bill at the door.

Popcorn is one of those DIYs that requires a pre-game pep talk. 
It is just plain unpleasant to do. 
I have to ask myself, "How much do I hate the popcorn?" This ceiling was dusty after 24 years. There is no way to dust a popcorn ceiling. I have tried. 
I didn't want to paint over it because I don't care to have whiter, freshened up popcorn and I've heard it's harder to remove once it has been painted. I want it all gone, even in the closets but that probably won't happen because those do look like they were painted before we bought the house. 
Rather than look at what I still need to do, I'd rather look at what doesn't need to be done.
Powder Bath
Master Bath
Garden Room

I hope to get to one or two of the smaller bedrooms next week but unfortunately I have Popcorn Thumb.

It isn't blistered but it hurts like crazy!

I did use a respirator for this project. It's rated and approved for asbestos and mold. I don't have those but I didn't want to breathe in any dust. 
If you live in an older home, check for asbestos before removing popcorn. 

That's all for now, sweeties. 
See you next time.


  1. You are a workhorse! You make it sound so easy though I know it's probably as fun as a root canal. Keep it up girl!

  2. Wow! You must be younger than I am. Great job! I love the little corner with the white chair and the white chest. Great style through out the house.

  3. Wow!!! I've got 5 new wood windows to paint, and compared to what you just accomplished, my job seems like a walk in the park! It's a good thing I don't hate my glittery textured ceilings in the living and dining room, because they are staying put......unless the texture starts falling off due to its old age. lol! After chiseling and taping overhead on our upstairs ceilings, I have no desire to do that ever again. ugh I totally sympathize with you and congratulate you on a job well done. Your room looks fabulous!

  4. Bless your heart and your sore thumb. I felt so sorry for you. I hate those darn ceilings too. I have a stamped one and it's not so very easy to dust either. I can't believe how hard you worked to get that all done by yourself. But you did fabulous. So hugs to you girl. xoxo,Susie

  5. All in one day! Wow, Katie, you are a rock star! It does make a huge difference, so at least you can get a feeling of satisfaction each time you walk into a finished room. Hope your popcorn thumb heals soon!

  6. Wow, what you did is really impressive. I'd never seen popcorn ceiling my entire life until I came to America. I agree that it traps dust and it's impossible to dust and repainting actually can roll off the popcorn asbesto content, which isn't good. I will never dare to remove any popcorn ceiling myself because of the asbesto. I initially was shocked to see the popcorn ceilings in almost every rental I was shown and I found them quite ugly. Now I 'm used to the sight of it and it doesn't bug me as much. I also came to realize that popcorn ceiling does help slow down the spread of fire and to block the heat a little for top floor apartment with flat roof. Given that the buildings in America are built with flimsy thin wood and poor insulation, I am beginning to feel that popcorn ceiling may have its purpose for fire safety and the insulation of heat. I therefore don't hate it now as much as I used to...As long as the asbesto are bounded in popcorn chunks, it's not dangerous to health. It becomes dangerous when it becomes dust form... I will leave my popcorn ceiling alone for now until I have money to have move to a new built apartment that has no popcorn ceiling and better insulated roof. You did a great job with the ceiling and it does look so much better. As for me, I will wait.