Dexter Style

Popcorn I have completed the popcorn ceiling removal in one room (if you don’t count the closet and linen closet – 90% done).  I have shifted over to do the living/dining room area.  There are a few steps involved in removing the popcorn.  You will also need to pick up a few items.


Here are the materials you will need:

– Plastic sheeting
– Painters tape
– Dust mask
– Protective goggles
– Wide putty knife
– Ladder
– Garden sprayer – I used a 1 gallon version similar to this.

– Optional – small sprayer (empty Windex bottle will do)

1.  You need to make sure your popcorn ceiling doesn’t contain asbestos by having it tested.  The house I was working in is only 12 years old so we skipped this step.

All Taped Up2.  You need to Dexterize your room.  Fans of Dexter will know that this means you wrap the room with plastic.  Unlike Dexter, you don’t want to cover the ceiling.  You want to make sure your floors and walls are protected.  Popcorn ceilings are pretty much joint compound, but you don’t want to pick it out of your flooring (in our case berber carpets). I taped the plastic sheeting right up next to the popcorn using painters tape. Make sure you overlap the sheeting on the walls and floors.

3. You need to fill up your garden sprayer with water.  I like the 1 gallon size.  It was very easy to haul around and I didn’t have to worry about over filling it.  Don your protective goggles and dust mask (you definitely need these).  Pressurize your sprayer and spray a 4×4 area on the ceiling.  I then waited 10 minutes and sprayed it again as well as an extra 4×4 area.  Next you will use a wide putty knife or you can buy a specialized scraper.  I used a putty knife, but I wish I had the scraper to try.

Getting It Done4.  You will take your putty knife at an angle and gently push/scrape the popcorn off the ceiling.  If you find the popcorn isn’t practically falling off, you will need to spray again with water.  Be careful to not soak the drywall underneath the popcorn or it can easily be damaged while you are scraping. I like to take a small sprayer with me.  You will find some spots that are thicker and need a bit more water to soften up and remove.


My ToolsWe will use lightweight spackle to fix any damage.  Afterwards we will need to sand where any damage was as well as sanding over the areas where the builders skim coated.  It needs to be as smooth as possible.   Then we will be able to just prime and paint the ceiling.  Once that’s done, we will finally be able to paint the walls. Yay!

This was great exercise for me.  I got 7k steps just from going up and down the ladder, constantly shifting the ladder, and spraying the water.  If I can do this, anyone can.



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