Test for Asbestos
Safety is paramount, so before starting any popcorn ceiling removal in Chicago, make sure there is no asbestos present. Asbestos was used in textured ceilings prior to the early 1980s, so if your property predates that era, we suggest having a professional test the surface.
A positive result from asbestos testing will require a certified asbestos removal professional to take down the textured ceiling or cover it with new ceiling material.
With a negative asbestos test, you can begin your popcorn ceiling removal project. Clear the room completely by removing all furniture and taking down light fixtures. Then cover the walls and floor with plastic sheets, as this will get messy.
It’s now time to put on the dust mask and safety glasses. You may also want to keep the room ventilated while you’re scraping.
Wet the Ceiling
Popcorn ceiling removal is easier to do with a wet surface than working dry. Bring in your garden hose and carefully spray a 4×4 area at a time.
Let the scraping begin with the help of a wide putty knife. You can also use a drywall taping knife, gently running it over the wet ceiling. Spray and scrap the entire area until all the texture in the room has been removed. The plastic protection will make sure you don’t end up with popcorn walls in your Chicago home.
Finishing the Ceiling
With a now flat ceiling, you can prep it by sanding it smooth and priming. Then it’s ready to be painted. This is the best time to take care of the ceiling finish because the floor and walls are already covered.
If you find any imperfections or popped screws, they can be covered with joint compound and sanded down before painting.
When the painting is completed, remove the plastic sheeting from the walls and floor, reinstall the light fixture, and take in your new flat, popcorn-free ceiling.