How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling | Ceilings

How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling | Ceilings | Armstrong Residential


How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

Think you have what it takes to remove your popcorn ceiling? You may want to consider an easier (and more beautiful) option.

Country Classic Plank


How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

Congratulations! You’ve got a home with a popcorn ceiling, and you’ve decided it’s time for this monstrosity to go. As a DIY-er, your research will tell you that there are a few different ways to remove a popcorn ceiling.

The main way to remove a popcorn ceiling is by scraping it off. If you’ve ever removed wall paper before, you’ll have an idea of what a job like this will take. This method involves wetting down the ceiling with water and then hand-scraping off the popcorn texture.  Now, there are a few cons to tackling this DIY project yourself:

  1. Hazards – like asbestos getting jarred loose and settling into your lungs. Before you even START the project you’re supposed to scrape off a small portion and send it to your local EPA approved testing office. Sounds like a real blast!
  2. Special Tools – every DIY-er dreams of having to purchase a laundry list of special tools you’ll only use once for this one gigantic pain-in-the-you-know-what project. 
  3. Roadblocks – aside from testing your ceiling for carcinogens, if your popcorn ceiling has been painted, the easier removal techniques won’t even work. Great!
  4. Time – No doubt a popcorn ceiling is going to take some time to solve, but removing it is simply a black hole into which all your spare time will disappear. Plus, let’s not even talk about the clean-up time for this job! Anything that requires that you put plastic sheeting over EVERY possible surface, including outlets, furniture, and yourself — well that sounds less and less like a DIY project and more like unnecessary suffering.

If removing a popcorn ceiling sounds a little daunting, fear not: there’s a better way to fix an ugly popcorn ceiling.

Before - Ugly Popcorn Ceiling Before – Ugly Popcorn CeilingBright and Formal Sitting Area After- Covered with Country Classic Plank

The Alternative to Removing a Popcorn Ceiling that No One Is Talking About

You can install an Armstrong ceiling right over top of a popcorn ceiling, with a fraction of the fuss, mess, and bother of removing it. Any surface-mounted ceiling option will work. The best part? You’re not limited to just one look. You can choose from a variety of looks to suit your taste. Our two recommendations are wood look ceilings and metal.


Coastal Cool Living Room WOODHAVEN Coastal White

Rustic Charm

One of the many surface-mounted ceiling options you can choose are beautiful wood-look ceilings. On-trend shades like WoodHaven Coastal White are the transformation a popcorn ceiling deserves.

WOODHAVEN Classic White 5

WOODHAVEN Classic White 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Driftwood Gray 5

WOODHAVEN Driftwood Gray 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Rustic Pine 5

WOODHAVEN Rustic Pine 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Painted White 5

WOODHAVEN Painted White 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Woven Charcoal Gray 5

WOODHAVEN Woven Charcoal Gray 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Natural Cherry 5

WOODHAVEN Natural Cherry 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Beadboard 5

WOODHAVEN Beadboard 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Woven White 5

WOODHAVEN Woven White 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Knotty Pine 5

WOODHAVEN Knotty Pine 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Weathered 5

WOODHAVEN Weathered 5″ x 84″

WOODHAVEN Coastal White 5

WOODHAVEN Coastal White 5″ x 84″


WOODHAVEN New Apple 5″ x 84″

Warm Kitchen with Traditional Touches METALLAIRE Large Floral Circle in Copper

Glam Metal Looks

If you’re open to something a little more exciting, metal may be the way to go. It’s a fairly easy way to create a statement ceiling rather than just something more traditional or white. Metal ceilings come in a variety of patterns and colors, including gold, copper, and lacquered steel.

The wood and metal looks are going to be your best bet for covering up your popcorn ceiling and ridding your room of that overly-textured and outdated look.


METALLAIRE Medium Panels Copper 24

METALLAIRE Medium Panels Copper 24″ x 48″

METALLAIRE Hammered Border Chrome 24

METALLAIRE Hammered Border Chrome 24″ x 48″

METALLAIRE Fans Lacquered Steel 24

METALLAIRE Fans Lacquered Steel 24″ x 48″

METALLAIRE Hammered Trefoil Brass 24

METALLAIRE Hammered Trefoil Brass 24″ x 48″

METALLAIRE Wreath White 24

METALLAIRE Wreath White 24″ x 48″

Surface Mount Installation

Installing a new surface mount ceiling isn’t as hard as it might sound. Bonus: it’s definitely easier than scraping and sanding your way through a messy popcorn ceiling removal.

You can use the Easy Up installation system to attach the grid directly over the popcorn ceiling when you are installing wood looks. Then, you’ll use clips to attach the  new ceiling to the grid. If you’re installing Metallaire ceilings, you’ll be nailing them directly to the ceiling. Keep in mind that you may have to sand down any extra-large peaks if the popcorn ceiling is very textures, so that your nail-up ceiling is level. Expect a job like this to last a weekend, perhaps two if this is your first time.

Cover up an ugly popcorn ceiling with Armstrong planks or tiles. In this video, see how easy it is to transform your space with the Easy Up® Installation System and Country Classic Planks.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t waste time scraping it off…cover up that popcorn ceiling today!

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