Friday, May 15, 2015

how to save thousands of dollars by scraping your own popcorn ceilings

I like popcorn. Especially Garett Popcorn. Have you ever had Garrett's in Chicago? You can smell the fresh popcorn a block away. Mmmmm Garretts. Carmel covered popcorn, cheese covered popcorn, chocolate covered popcorn. I love it all. Now I want to make another trip to Chicago.

So now that we've established that I love popcorn, lets talk about having it on your ceiling. Nope, not loving that so much. When we went to the open house for our new home we immediately noticed the popcorn ceilings. It was just staring at us, silently mocking our every step. I swear I heard it whisper, "Don't even think about scraping us off little girl". Well 5 days into the renovation of our new house and those ceilings are completely SCRAPED OFF. Hello 90's, you can have your ceiling back!!!!

Justin wanted to hire someone to do it. I humored him. I got the quotes. It was going to be between $1-1.80 a square foot depending on the severity to have someone do it for us. On an almost 1900 square foot house...I'll let you do the math. Actually I really want to type this out for extra pat myself on the back purposes. On the low end, I saved us $1800 and on the high end I saved us $3240. Oh that's right. That's a LOT of $$$. I did not feel comfortable having someone else come in and do something I could tackle myself with a little bit of research and patience. So now Justin can just pay me the $3240 he was planning to shell out to some random dude and I can go buy a new wardrobe. Oh who am I kidding, that will go right to my summer tuition. #adultprobs

I am happy to say we (ok mainly me) scraped every single ceiling clean of that ugly popcorn and I did it without any marital issues or fits. (ok maybe like one or two) Here's how we did it!

1. Always always ALWAYS (can not stress this enough) be sure that your ceiling texture is free from asbestos.  Asbestos is a dangerous mineral that was commonly found in popcorn ceilings all the way up until 1978 when it was officially banned. No amount of money saved is worth the medical heartache this could bring up if you try to tackle something like this on your own. If you have a home older than 1978 just tap out and call a professional. 

2. Get the proper equipment. You will need a sprayer, a scraper and I recommend also using a handy 6-in-1 painters tool for the stubborn spots. You can find all three items at your local Home Depot for under $20. If you need to do prep work make sure you gather those materials. In our case, our house is basically gutted so we didn't mind the mess. And there will be a mess, so make sure you're wearing your "play clothes" as my mother would always say. 

3. Spray the heck out of the ceilings. Other tutorials may scare you when it comes to this part. They will tell you to be careful because you could damage your drywall, etc etc. I promise you, it is a lot harder to soak drywall than you think. The popcorn texture has to be soaked in order to really come off the easy way. Your drywall will be fine. Trust me. I did all 1800 square feet of our house and it is so much better to overspray than underspray. That popcorn is so thick, you really can't mess this up. (Ok I guess if you stood in one spot for five full minutes spraying water on your ceilings you may have an issue-so don't do that:p )

Spray baby, SPRAY!!!

Do you see how the popcorn is coming off in sheets? That is exactly what you want. When you go to scrape it off, it will literally just fall off your ceiling and you will scream in delight. BYE BYE UGLY POPCORN DONT YOU COME BACK NO MO!!!

4. Do a good job (take your time). Although I did most of the work, I got so sick of it by the end I did a lazy job and my husband had to do some sanding. I'm a sorry excuse. He was ready to murder me, I think. So if you just take your time and do it right the first time, you will save yourself soooo much time and headache. Learn from my mistakes!

5. Jump up and down and scream when popcorn is finally removed. You did it! I knew you could. When I told people we were removing the popcorn ceilings ourselves, I got ZERO positive responses. People could not believe we were crazy enough to do that, or that we would follow through. I cannot stress this enough, you can do this yourself. It took me hours, but I did it and I do NOT think it is worth paying someone to do when I saw how easy it was. I am not exaggerating with the word easy. I promise. You got this! 

Whether you are renovating a house like we are, or just want to give your current place a little facelift, getting rid of popcorn ceilings is an easy, affordable way to change the whole look of a house. It even feels brighter for some reason. You can decide to do what you want with the ceilings at this point. I've heard some people just painted theirs, but Justin hated that idea so we got a quote for someone to come in and texture/paint for us. Weellll, that was a $3000 quote that we were not ok with, so my handyman hubby went to home depot, bought himself a texture-pro hopper gun and did it himself! ha! We are seriously being so frugal with our updates, I love it! 

Ok here's the fun part!

Total cost-


Sprayer- $9.97
Scraper- $4.37
6-in-1 painters tool- $4.97
*Hopper(for texturing)- $65
3 5 gallon buckets of Pre Mixed All Purpose Joint Compound-$45
*Paint Sprayer rental- $140
Ceiling Paint- $280
Mountain Dew for sanity-PRICELESS


"Inexpensive Handy Man Estimate"
Popcorn removal for whole house- $1800-3000
Texturing/Painting Ceilings- $3000


Total saved- OVER $4000!!!! WHAT! I'm telling you people, when you can do it yourself, DO IT YOURSELF! You know what I'm spending that $4000 on? Yeah yeah, you guessed it, summer tuition. ;) 

Good luck with your ceilings and feel free to contact me with your updates. Happy Weekend! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. Well done recording and presenting everything. How many square feet of popcorn ceiling did you scrape in your house and how did you finish it? did you painted it? sanded and skim coated?
    Be well,


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