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popcorn ceiling is peeling

Oh, the joys just keep coming with this rental house!
My house (circa 1964) has popcorn ceiling throughout. In the bathroom, some of this has started to peel away from the ceiling. I know that it not considered safe, and that removing it can be hazardous without the proper precautions, but I am trying my best to do as much repair work/prep as possible. I've read that wetting it prior to removal helps reduce the particles in the air. I don't own a hazmat suit, but everything I read makes me feel like I need to go and get one before I deal with this.
I read that you can cover popcorn ceilings with styrofoam panels made especially for these projects. Is there any words of wisdom or pointers someone would like to give on removing it, repairing it, or covering it up? And on a more universal thread, why in the world did this ever become popular???Was it to hide poor workmanship?

A. Spruce
Re: popcorn ceiling is peeling

You're discovering why popcorn texture (acoustic texture ) doesn't belong in a bathroom, odds are, it is the moisture level that is the culprit.

The main worry with acoustic texture is the presence of asbestos (pre-1978 structures ), however, I suspect that this was done by an unhandy homeowner more recently, and it was likely to cover up a botched repair job. I have never seen acoustic texture in a bathroom - ever, which is why I suspect a DIY job.

If you are concerned with the possibility of asbestos, then scr-ape a small sample into a ziploc bag and have it tested, your county extension office can help with this. Regardless, you will want to wear a dust mask, as the texture does have silica in it, which isn't much good to breathe either.

You are correct, wetting the texture will make it release much more easily, with much less effort. Use a household spray bottle and thoroughly wet it down. Repeat this several times until the texture releases easily and with minimal dust. Use a drywall knife or similar tool to scr-ape the texture off.

To minimize the mess and clean up, at least lay painter's plastic down on the floor, I would include running plastic on the walls around the room, as this will protect the walls, counters, etc. When you're done, drop everything into the plastic on the floor and then carefully roll it up. Use care not to tear the plastic, or you're going to have a big mess on your hands.

Re: popcorn ceiling is peeling

What spruce said plus;

Home depot sells a tool specifically designed for scraping popcorn ceilings which scra-pes and catches the falling debris into kitchen garbage bags.

Pretty nifty huh?

Re: popcorn ceiling is peeling


Have you ever removed a popcorn ceiling before?

No? consider hiring a handyman, and go shopping.

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