Removing Popcorn Finish from Ceiling

What is the easiest and safest way to get rid of cottage cheese ceilings?

By Betty

April 14, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

You have to cover the whole room in a big sheet of plastic. Then use a cheap $12 garden pump-sprayer filled with water to saturate the whole ceiling and let sit overnight, then come back and saturate the area you are going to work on again and let that sit for half an hour or so. Then using a large, flat paint-scraper and start scraping the wet popcorn off the ceiling. You should be wearing one of those white paper cover-suits and and a dust mask. Put the white cover-suit into a plastic bag before leaving the room. It also helps if you add a squirt of dish soap to the water you are using to wet the ceiling. A sponge soaked with the wetting-solution can also be used to wet small areas.

More Info & Alternative Ideas:

Additional Recipes for Wetting Popcorn:

1) Add 1 part of vinegar to 10 parts water.

More Info:

2) 1 cup ammonia, 1 cup of fabric softener to 1 gallon of water.


At least 50% of popcorn ceilings have asbestos in them. After a house fire, we had to pay the haz-mat guys to come in their white suits and respirators to remove ours. It's safest to first have some of it tested before you subject yourself and your family to the possibly of danger! I would call your local county Health Department and ask them for more info about testing.

* If you decide to go ahead without pre-testing for asbestos, remember that you need to keep the area soaking wet, because once it dries and turns to dust, it can easily be inhaled. Make sure children and pets stay out of this room until the whole room is completely cleaned (ceiling to floor) and there is no possibility of dust! Also, use caution when cleaning out your vacuum cleaner!

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Anonymous Flag
April 13, 20100 found this helpful

There are many helpful answers in the ThriftyFun archives below :-)

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April 14, 20100 found this helpful

It just scrapes off, or if you dont mind the mess a pressure hose will take it off fast.

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April 14, 20100 found this helpful


It is easy to remove. Please cover all carpet/furniture and fill a Hudson sprayer with water. Let it stand for a few minutes and then scrape it off with a broad knife.

PLEASE have your "popcorn" tested for asbestos if it was installed before 1970. It it contains asbestos, you must have it professionally removed. Good luck

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April 14, 20100 found this helpful

It's as easy as everyone says with water. Just a tip though get a small pail and cut a hole in the bottom of it just big enough for the scrapper handle. Insert the handle into the pail from the inside. When you scrape the ceiling most of the stuff will fall into the pail. Just keep dumping it when full.

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In This Article
Removing a Popcorn Ceiling
Removing a Popcorn Ceiling
Home and Garden Home Improvement AdviceApril 13, 2010
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Popcorn Ceiling
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A textured popcorn ceiling
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