Popcorn ceiling - replacing drywall

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YOJiMBO20

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My wife and I are in the process of buying our first house, and it’s definitely a fixer-upper. It seems that someone has smoked at least a pack a day inside for almost 60 years.

We’re planning on replacing all of the drywall, including the ceilings. Unfortunately, the ceilings have popcorn on them.

Do I need to scrape the popcorn off the ceilings before I take down the ceiling drywall? Or can I just take it down as is? If I can avoid scraping, I’d love to, just to keep the mess down, and since we’re keeping the hardwood floors.

I’ve been trying to find an answer to this, but Google hasn’t been much help.
 

Snoonyb

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Welcome.
Your money will be better spent in learning the popcorn removal process, instead of removing the drywall, insulation and hoping to save yourself from a mess.

Once removeal of the popcorn is accomplished, prime all surfaces with an oil based primer before finishing.
 

Sparky617

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Clean the walls with TSP before priming. Cleaning up after a smoker is nasty work.
 

bud16415

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Unless you need to get into the walls and ceilings to do insulation, electrical, heat/AC or plumbing I wouldn’t recommend taking it to the studs also.



Cleaning it up and repainting is a lot of work, but stripping it to the studs is even worse IMO.



I did a 150 year old house that was in really bad shape and also had smokers and we cleaned, sealed and re-plastered as needed all the walls. And the ceilings I added ½ dry wall over what was up there. It turned out fine.



If you are going to go to the studs you don’t need to remove the popcorn first. I would suggest picking one room to start and see how it goes.



I had a couple areas that had what I think was a cat smell and I coated them with varnish the old type oil based and it did the job.
 

YOJiMBO20

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We are redoing electric and insulation as well as ductwork for heat/ac and plumbing in the kitchen
 

bud16415

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We are redoing electric and insulation as well as ductwork for heat/ac and plumbing in the kitchen
When I did our kitchen I took about half down to the studs and rewired, insulated and plumbing (PEX) and I patched the other walls and covered over the ceiling. I was debating if i wanted to go to the studs or not.

Sounds like in your case taking it to the bones is what you want to do. It does make it nice when you can see everything.
 

Sparky617

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Are the walls drywall, plaster over plaster board, or plaster over wood lath?
 

condoowner

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Im surprised nobody has mentioned the risk of the stucco/mud containing asbestos, but I just had some lab testing done for my basement popcorn ceiling and results came back positive for chrysotile asbestos (<1%). House was built in '78.

I will also be taking this out along with the actual ceiling drywall to have access to the ceiling plenum for misc work (wiring, pex pipes, etc) and installing suspended ceiling.

@YOJiMBO20 get that stuff tested as yours most likely contains asbestos as well due to the age of your house.
 
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