Last week we finally checked a big box on our home ‘to do’ list – we had the popcorn ceiling removed in all the rooms! Knowing that it would be a lot of work and especially challenging in the master bedroom and bathroom due to the vaulted ceilings, we hired a local company. In the process, we learned a few things that helped make the process easier from start to finish. Whether you are also hiring a professional or tackling popcorn ceiling removal as a DIY project, these tips will help!
Note: if your home was built prior to 1990, be sure to have asbestos testing done before attempting popcorn ceiling removal.
Pack up your house as if you were moving. You will want to have as few items as possible in any rooms where you are having the popcorn ceiling removed. Fill boxes and load up closets, the garage, etc. – any available storage space you have. Then move the remaining larger items such as furniture to the center of the room. This allows the crew to easily cover with plastic to help minimize dust.
If you have any ceiling fixtures that you are considering replacing, this is a great time to remove those as well. The less that needs to be wrapped up and worked around, the faster and easier the crew can work.
Change Your Air Filters
Replace all of the air filters in your home with the best possible option. They might be expensive compared to the filter you typically buy, but paying more here will be worth it. You want to limit the amount of dust entering your ductwork. If possible, also turn the system off.
Once the work is complete and cleaning has been done, vacuum the return ducts and change your air filters again.
Take a Staycation
If you are having the popcorn ceiling removed in all or a good majority of your house, plan to book a hotel nearby and spend several nights depending on the amount of square footage you are having work done in. For our entire house (about 2500sf), the project took 5 days. The first night we camped out in the backyard and made an adventure of it. The next 4 nights we stayed in a hotel to give the crew better access to the space, keep ourselves away from the dust & paint fumes, and to have bathrooms. To each their own, but my ‘roughing it’ ability is short lived and I want access to a shower!
The emptier the house, the easier the cleanup as the dust will have less spots to hide. After the crew removed the plastic and the majority of the popcorn ceiling texture, we still had plenty to clean.
We took a simple, methodical approach:
- Sweep/dry mop floors and wipe down surfaces with a dry dust cloth.
- Clean all counters and horizontal surfaces with a damp cloth.
- Vacuum all floors and baseboards. (Tip: we cleaned the filters in our vacuum before the project began and replaced them afterward.)
- Wipe down baseboards with a damp cloth.
- Mop all hard floors. I mopped each room at least twice to ensure the dust was up and the floors were clean.
Another option, of course, is to hire a professional cleaning company. We considered this and, the way our project timed out (finishing late on a Friday night), it worked out best to just clean ourselves on Saturday. Thankfully our preparation of packing up most items and covering furniture with extra sheets, helped limit where the dust collected and made it easier to clean.
Now that the work is behind you, take a step back and enjoy the new look! Gone are the old, textured, dark ceilings and in their place are beautiful, bright, smooth ones.