Friday, March 07, 2008

This Olde House - Scraping The Hallway

Nothing about a house instantly says "OUT DATED" like popcorn ceilings. In my hallway, not only was the ceiling out dated, but it was also painted a shade of brown similar to baby poop.

So here is a quick HOW TO on scraping popcorn ceilings:

First, get a close friend who loves you and won't punch you in the mouth when you tell him you want to scrape a ceiling. It's not pleasant work and won't earn points with friends.

Second, put paper one the floor. (Lowe's sells huge rolls for $5 - $9 dollars depending on the width.) And put plastic anywhere you don't want dust going. This is purely optional, but you'll thank me later.

Third, if your ceiling is painted, like mine, get a long handled scraper and remove that top later. I'd suggest clipping the corners off the scraper. In my experience, straight corners tend to go into the ceiling very easily. Clipping off the pointed edge on each side seemed to lessen the chances of digging into the sheetrock. If your ceiling isn't painted, skip this step!

Fourth, get a sprayer, fill it with water, and spray a portion of the popcorn. Get it damp! If the popcorn doesn't change color, you aren't spraying enough. It should soak up the water and look darker. Don't spray a very large area and don't get what you do spray soaking wet.

Fifth, scrape the damp popcorn. It will come off in sheets. Unless you made it too wet. But then it will come off in muddy chunks.

Sixth and last, roll up the paper, taking the remains of your popcorn ceiling with you. The remaining mess should be minimal.
My buddy, Kim "Rockpile" Hall and I had a lot of success with this process. I'm planning on using it for the rest of the house, eventually. The remove-the-painted-layer portion was quite dusty, though! We looked like we'd been dipped in powdered sugar, afterwards.
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