Getting Flat and Shiny Surfaces: Effective Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Bare office with a smooth ceiling

From popcorn ceiling removals, floor polishes, window glossing, and general cleaning: get solid and reliable results in post-construction services in Florida from Legally Clean Inc.

Despite some practical use, the popcorn ceiling trend has seen better days since the early to late 2000s; now, it’s the first thing that goes when renovations, remodeling, and reconstructions come. Of course, trends come and go, and the popcorn ceiling texture is now a dated style, swiftly getting replaced by the modern direction of flat, clean, and smooth surfaces–which is why popcorn ceiling removal is an increasingly popular service.

What is a Popcorn Ceiling Anyway?

Despite their whimsical name, popcorn ceilings are not made out of popcorn or surfaces with popcorn drawings. In reality, they are far duller than their name suggests.

A popcorn ceiling (sometimes called a stipple ceiling, an acoustic ceiling, or a cottage cheese ceiling) is made from any number of spray- or paint-on treatments, giving the treated surface a bumpy, choppy texture that gives it a sound-dampening quality.

Why Were Popcorn Ceilings Popular?

Popcorn ceilings were a popular home design choice during the later 20th century. They were common in many affordable housing developments and multistory residential structures and were even popular in home renovation and remodeling. Inexpensive and efficient, it was used throughout the construction explosion in the 50s and saw its rise to popularity there.

They were typically made by spraying a paint mixture on the surface, providing an easy and quick solution to surface finishes. Because of the rough, uneven result, popcorn ceilings had the added benefit of hiding damage, shoddy craftsmanship, and surface irregularities. All these eliminated the need for drywall, primers, regular paint, layers, and sanding, which require focused effort and time that contractors could use on other, more essential aspects.

Aside from its accessibility and eclectic style, a popcorn ceiling possessed noise-reducing qualities. Due to the bumps created from the initial treatment, sound waves are dampened, and echoes and ambient noise are suppressed to a more tolerable degree.

The Most Glaring Issue that Popcorn Ceilings Have

A popcorn ceiling’s thick and heavy texture presents a dated design choice and might need to mesh better with newer renovations or additions to the room. Although it certainly gives off a unique and eccentric taste, a popcorn ceiling makes color matching and stain removals challenging to work on without damaging the entire ceiling’s texture consistency and quality.

The unevenness and irregular surface of a popcorn ceiling make it easy for dust to accumulate between the bumps. They are complicated to clean and provide a constant health risk.

But aesthetic and practical considerations were only some of the issues with popcorn ceilings; the biggest is their chemical composition. 

The spray used in making popcorn ceilings, at least the ones widely used before the new millennium, contains asbestos, a mineral that has long since been discovered to cause cancer and gives a potential health hazard. 

Even though the asbestos in popcorn ceilings is not harmful unless damaged or removed, the Clean Air Act, which banned asbestos use, dealt popcorn ceilings a big blow to their reputation. 

The Current State of Popcorn Ceiling Popularity

Despite the existence of popcorn ceiling treatments without asbestos, the trend is mostly dying in the modern remodeling scene. The mere presence of it reduces home value, and because of that, it is almost always the first thing on the list of areas of concern with renovations and remodeling.

Easy DIY Popcorn Ceiling Removal

For homeowners who are only looking at a small patch of popcorn ceiling, here are steps on how to remove them safely and easily:

  1. Check for asbestos in the popcorn ceiling.
  2. Prepare the necessary tools for removal: sprayer, taping knife, sheeting, painter’s tape, ladder, safety goggles, and mask.
  3. Cover the walls and the floors and remove furniture.
  4. Wet the ceiling and carefully scrape off the bumps.
  5. Sand the surface and add a finish.

Intensive Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Of course, not all popcorn ceilings can be removed easily, and there is a need for expertise and experience, especially in large spaces owned by a business. 

In that case, what is needed is a reputable contractor or a professional cleaning service, and Legally Clean Inc. offers precisely that and more, including post-construction services in Florida