We’ve made it to the first real inside project of the new house : scraping ceilings!  When we looked at the house I never really noticed that some ceilings were smooth and others were the popcorn finish, but now that we’ve moved in I seem to notice every little detail.  The previous owners scraped some of the popcorn ceilings, but not all of them and they’re all mixed together – our master bedroom isn’t scraped, but the master bathroom is.

We knew we wanted all the ceilings to be smooth and decided to go ahead and start working on them while we didn’t have furniture in rooms.  The man cave and master bedroom are getting new carpet (the only rooms that didn’t have new carpet), so it only made sense to start the ceiling scraping in there before new carpet went in!

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How to Scrape Ceilings

What you’ll need:

Other handy items:

  • Step ladder
  • Old pan
  • Shop vac

Prepping the room to scrape the ceiling helps minimize the mess, plus helps you work faster.  We hung plastic drop cloths on the walls with painter’s tape  to cover windows, had drop cloths on the floor and also taped over all outlets to protect against dust.

We also took down the ceiling fans, ceiling lights and air vents so the whole ceiling could get scraped.

Fill the sprayer with water and spray the popcorn ceiling.  You’ll want the ceiling to be damp, but not soaked.  Hunter sprayed a 10’x10′ section at a time, let it sit for a minute, then started scraping.

Note: The sprayer will be great to use in the yard after all the ceilings are scraped – yay for multiple uses!

Scraping your ceilings is actually pretty straight forward: Put the taping knife against the ceiling at an angle and push it out to get the popcorn off so the sheetrock remains.  This is easier to do when the ceiling is damp, which is why you spray it first – plus it’s not as dusty as if the ceiling was completely dry.

Here are some tips we learned during the process:

  • Use an old pan to catch the majority of the popcorn ceiling as you scrap.  You can dump it in a trashcan and then there’s a smaller mess on the floor to worry about.
  • Scrape with the tape lines.  As you scrape and see the white lines on the sheetrock, make sure to be scraping in the same direction as these.  If you scrape perpendicular, you could damage the sheetrock and need to patch & sand it.

After working your way around the room, you’re done scraping!  Seeing the ceiling down to the sheetrock is weirdly awesome and feels like you’ve accomplished something – instant results!

The worst part about scraping the ceilings is just the dust.  After the ceiling was done and plastic was down, we bundled up the drop cloths, took out the trash and gave the rooms a good vacuum.

After the ceiling is scraped, then it’s time to prime & paint it to finish it off – You can guess what we’re working on next.  TBD if we go ahead and add crown molding in now, but the plan is to paint the walls before the new carpet is installed.  Once all of that is done, we’ll be ready to move into the master – woohoo!

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