Today's DIY Question

How to remove and refinish a popcorn ceiling

by | Jul 27, 2012 | DIY Questions |

Clem asked

I recently moved into a small apartment in Manhattan. There is a popcorn ceiling. I noticed a small water stain. Upon closer inspection, the ceiling I discovered is dry. However, the ceiling crumbled in my hand. I checked another part of the ceiling, same thing. Flakes fall to the ground, on the couch leaving white sheet-rock like material.

Is this popcorn ceiling dangerous? Should I be concerned? Is it airborne?

I have a disabled daughter who can't breathe any hazardous materials. She has noticed she's been getting hives on her legs and a stuff nose. But this could coincidental.

PS- the building isn't that old. So I don't think there is asbestos.

DIY Answer Guy

Hi Clem, The popcorn ceiling is mostly just an aggravation. It's fairly easy to remove with a 4" drywall or putty knife.

Make sure to wear a mask as it will get a bit dusty and have your shop-vac ready to do the final cleanup.

Next, use a Pole Sander, the ones the drywallers use, to lightly sand. Now prime the surface with Zinsser 123
Choose your finish color (easier said than done) and paint.

My best to your daughter. I have one in a similar situation.

Enjoy yourself and let me know how you get on. Cheers