HANDYMAN

Handyman | Tom Breshears on popcorn ceilings

Updated: 2012-11-04T02:26:18Z

By TOM BRESHEARS

Special to The Star

Q. I wanted to inquire about the cost and process of having my entire home removed of popcorn ceiling and possibly replaced with an orange-peel look instead. We are going to sell our home in the spring and want to get rid of this unpopular feature in our home.

A. This question is a little more complicated than it would seem. There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration before a cost can be figured. — $2 to $3 per square foot is typical.

You have to take into account the age of the home and the texture. If it was originally applied before the mid-1970’s, it may contain asbestos, and would require a remediation contractor to remove it from the home. If the texture has been painted over, it is more difficult to remove, and may require minor drywall repairs if the ceiling is damaged during the removal process.

The first step in the removal process is to cover everything in the room with plastic including the walls and floor. This makes the clean-up a lot easier and keeps the old texture off of furniture and floor coverings. Some contractors spray the ceiling lightly with water to soften up the texture, others just scrape it without water. The water only helps if the texture has not been painted.

Once all of the old texture has been removed, the plastic on the floor is carefully folded up to keep all of the old texture contained, then thrown away. Another piece of plastic is then put down on the floor to get ready for any drywall repairs that may be needed and to prepare for the new knock-down texture to be applied. At this point we seal the ceiling to eliminate any water stains that may be on the ceiling, but this can also be done after the new texture is applied. Once the new texture has been sprayed and knocked down, all of the plastic is carefully folded up and thrown away. Since the knock-down style does not cover as well as the old acoustic style, the ceiling has to be painted to give it a uniform color.

This is not usually a project that most homeowners are capable of and probably should be performed by qualified contractor.

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