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Captainehh 01-30-2011 07:48 PM

Removing Mt. Everest ceiling texture
Great forum here. Looking around I didn't find the exact answer to my question so here it is:

My house was built in 1938 and at some point in its history, someone added a "popcorn on steroids" texture to all the ceilings. The walls and ceilings are lath and plaster.

The texture looks like stalactites you see in an underground cave. Many of these "stalactites" are 1/2-3/4" deep as they hang from the ceiling. I'm sure there are many coats of paint on it.

I see 4 paths to having smooth ceilings again:

1) Scrape off texture (if possible) and re-mud

2) Mud ceilings to fill in gaps and eventually make smooth

3) Sheetrock over texture

4) Sand off texture

What do people think? I will be doing the work. I'm not afraid of messy hard work. I just want to make it as "easy" as possible.


joecaption 01-31-2011 08:48 AM

Lay 6 mil. plastic on the floors and anything it's going to fall on. Mist the whole ceiling down with hot water and a dash of liquid fabric softner, let it sit a while. Scrape it off with a sheetrock knife held at a sharp angle. If it starts to get hard to scrape mist it down again. Once it's all off let it dry for a day then sand the whole ceiling with a sanding pole and med. grit sanding cloth not sand paper. It's sold in the drywall area at any Lowes HD or hardware store. It looks like screening with grit on it. Once it's all sanded wipe it down with a broom then fill in just the low spots with drywall compound and tape all the seams if it was not done before the texturing. It has to to be perfect with no low or high spots. No paint is going to hide the flaws. Prime it twice then paint with ceiling paint.
It's not hard to do just messy.
Do not try and just level this stuff off, way to much work to get it perfect.
Do not try and just go over it with sheetrock, it would never lay flat.

Captainehh 01-31-2011 09:54 AM

Thanks for the response.

So the fabric softener and warm water will penetrate the paint barrier enough to soften the texture and allow me to scrape if off huh? If it works, I will be thrilled.

Also, sounds like I'd be wise to have a chunk of my ceiling checked for asbestos before starting work?

nealtw 01-31-2011 10:54 AM

Your not going to get thru the paint very easy. It might be better to remove and replace.

Captainehh 01-31-2011 03:34 PM

Anyone else have experience with this or an opinion?

fi3rymonkey 07-15-2011 08:36 AM

I found a set of postings on preparing, removing and spraying ceiling texture. There is no mention of a lot of paint on the ceiling, but at least there are some pics to look at.

From what I've seen on the web there is no easy path besides pay someone to do it for you :D Removal looks really messy.

TxBuilder 07-15-2011 10:02 AM

I agree, mist it with water in smaller sections you can work with and scrape as you go along. I would seal off this room while you're working as well. This will get everywhere in no time at all.

nealtw 07-15-2011 05:37 PM

Just heard of someone getting old drywall tested for asbestos, It was fine but the old textured ceiling failed. It is no longer diy, and cost a fortune to have removed.

fi3rymonkey 07-16-2011 10:34 AM

I think it was more common to use asbestos in the popcorn ceilings. They probably thought it would help with fires? Or maybe it was an inexpensive way to create that popcorn affect.

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