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Our house was built in 1983 and a popcorn texture was used on the ceilings. We are interested in making the ceilings smooth. What is the conventional wisdom on the best way to do this? Thanks in advance.
Have only done this on a single room basis.There are only two way's I no of to approach a job like yours. First your going to have to scrape all of the popcorn down as smooth as possible. Go to your local lumber store and they will hook you up with the right kind of scraper. Next you can either skimcoat the entire surface with compound to smooth or use my method and overlay the ceiling with new 14 inch seetrock then tape.Someone else might no of a better way,I'm not sure.If you have not done a lot of this kind of work check out Myrons book Techniques for Walls And Ceilings to help you out.
Yes, it will have to be scraped off. I use a 12 inch taping knife taped to an extention pole and then sand smooth and maybe dust off or go over the ceiling with a sponge mop. If necessary skim coat the ceiling with a joint compound.
I just covered a popcorn ceiling on some rental property I own. First I made sure the ceiling had no "give". Next,I hung the drywall - directly over the old ceiling. Then taped and filled the joints, and veneered the entire ceiling with durabond 90. Finally, sanded (my favorite part), primed and painted it. Not saying this is the "right" way, but I am satisfied with the results.
I've done a few others the same way (only on my own property) and they've stood up well. Works for me.
Doubt there's asbestos in the acoustic ceiling fro 1983. There is a scraper that has a tray in which the texture falls while you roll it across the ceiling. Not a neat job, anyway you go about it it's messy but worth it. I despise that stuff and remove it every chance I get as a remodeling contractor.
(a) Go buy a garden sprayer, or use a spray-bottle.
(b) Fill with water and just a touch of dishwashing detergent.
(c) Spray about a 2 x 2 or 3 x 3-foot square section of ceiling at a time. You need to experiment with the right amount of "soaking" - both in terms of quantity of water and (patience) amount of time to let it penetrate.
The idea is to penetrate the "beautiful" popcorn, but not so much as to soak the paper of the sheetrock. When you get it right, it comes right off, and there is minimal dust.
(d) Protect the floor, of course, if necessary. Wear a respirator, of course. Use about a 6' taping knife or scraper, and a hawk, to catch the popcorn as it comes off.
Initially, you may gouge the sheetrock or the taped seams a little, but this method works like a charm, and patching a few gouges is WAY easier than re-rocking the ceiling!
WARNING: Pre-1972 popcorn often contains asbestos. If in doubt, have it tested. This is a zero-tolerance deal. Asbestos is a bad way to get more fiber in your diet.
Just got two estimates on the cost for removing popcorn--in a approx. 2600 sq. foot house--and bringing the ceilings to the point where they can be painted: First quote was from a individual who specializes in the work--$5,400; second quote was from a contractor who doesn't seen to be too keen on this type of job. His quote: between $13-14,000.
This job is very difficult and extremely messy.
The dust will permeate every inch of your house unless you visqueen walls and floor properly.
You never know if the popcorn will come off easy or hard no matter if you wet it or not.
Wetting it does not decrease the dust factor substantially.
There is no "if" you have to skim afterward the question is how many coats.
The ceiling will have to be bonded after scrape and before skim.
Some of the above suggestions infer that this job in fairly easy and something you can do yourself.
I do this type of job every week and I can asssure you they are incorrect.
Hire someone who knows what they are doing.