How To Easily Remove Popcorn Ceilings Without Making A Mess

Some older homes and apartments have old popcorn ceilings that lend the space an old-fashioned feel. They’re not too popular nowadays, but they were quite common in many homes from the 1950s right into the 1980s.

Facing the daunting (and messy) challenge of removing a popcorn ceilings, Aaron Rollins figured out a way to quickly and cleanly remove the retro ceiling with this simple technique.

He sprayed the popcorn ceiling with water. Then he attached a 6-inch spackle knife to his shop vacuum using duct tape. The spackle knife scraped off the “popcorn” while the shop vac sucked up the mess. Rollins said he was able to clean up one room in less than 10 minutes!

Now, Rollins did include a couple of caveats with his video (posted above).

1. He usually wears a dust mask, but said he didn’t do so for the video because he wanted to people to hear him narrate.
2. There was no asbestos in his ceiling. WARNING: anyone thinking of removing their popcorn ceilings in the way Rollins demonstrates should absolutely make sure there is no asbestos in their ceiling for their health and safety. The majority of popcorn ceilings pre-1978 in the United States will have asbestos in them so please contact a licensed professional to remove a popcorn ceiling. Homes from 1978 to 1989 may contain asbestos, and after 1989 ceilings probably don’t contain asbestos (although this can vary from country to country). If you are unsure, consider getting a test done to determine if there is asbestos in your ceiling. You can read more about Asbestos at the EPA website.
3. He has a tube going out the window. Rollins writes, “on most shop vacs you can attach an exhaust hose so none of the dust gets blown into the house.”

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