Popcorn is great at the movies, but not on your ceilings….
Popcorn, also known as cottage cheese or acoustic, was used for several reasons. In the 50’s and 60’s, when we had vinyl floors and Venetian blinds, it helped with the acoustics inside your home. It was used to absorb sound. It gave an absorbent surface to help deaden the sound waves reverberating in your home. The sound waves would be absorbed in the popcorn and not be bouncing off the walls and floors.
Builders also discovered that it hid a lot of imperfections on the ceilings. It was not necessary to float the joints in the drywall with joint compound to a smooth surface, with the new machines that blew the popcorn on the ceilings, and you did not have to paint the ceilings saved builders quite a bit of money on each home they built.
Much of the popcorn, in the beginning, was made containing asbestos. Asbestos is a known carcinogen causing lung disease and cancer. Asbestos was discontinued in the making of popcorn in 1978. Even though it was banned from production, the government allowed the suppliers to continue to sell what they had on hand.
It is possible for some homes built in the 80’s to contain asbestos. Before removing popcorn from your ceiling you should have it tested for lead-based paint and asbestos.
Removing popcorn is usually a fairly easy job, but it is very messy. If your ceilings have been painted before, this makes it a little harder. If your ceilings were painted with an enamel or an oil based primer, this adds to the difficulty ten-fold.
You are going to want to remove as much furniture from the room that is possible, cover the floors with plastic and cover any furniture left in the room.
The best way that I have found to scrape your ceilings is to wet the ceiling before scraping, this will cut down the dust in the air but make a soupy mess.
Once all the popcorn is gone, you will probably need to float all the joints in a drywall. Depending on the texture you chose, you might possibly need to float twice.
Once the texture is completed and dried. The ceilings need to be primed and painted. There are paints designed specifically for ceilings, usually flat, the flatter the better. Flat paint will not highlight the imperfections that are common on ceilings.