Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our very first Home Improvement Project

(This picture was taken while the sellers were still living here)

Do you see that?  Up, up, up....on the ceiling!!!  That dear readers is the dreaded popcorn ceiling texture that was popular in the 50's, 60', 70's, and even the 80's (when our fair house was built, 1986 to be exact).  Not only is that stuff unsightly, but up until 1978 it usually contained asbestos.  Since our house was built nearly a decade after the ban we weren't concerned with the possibility of asbestos, but we were unexcited about the way it aged our home.

Long before we bought this home, we realized that it was very likely that we would be de-popcorning the ceilings of our first home.  It was very popular for decades and well we weren't in the market for a brand new home.  (Side Note: most new builds have more inspection items that need to be addressed than older homes.)  So long ago we started researching how to remove this ugly stuff and we found out that in most cases it is relatively easy to remove if 1. it does not contain asbestos and 2. if it has not been painted over in the past.  We were lucky because we didn't have asbestos and it had never been painted over, which is also why ours looked even more dingy.

In order to remove the texture one simply has to wet an area of the ceiling with either a spray bottle or in our case a pressure sprayer filled with water, give it a few seconds to soak and then use a putty knife (we used a 4 inch one) to scrape it off.  It slides off like butter on hot toast and you are left with exposed drywall!  If and when we felt a little resistance we simply wetted it down a bit more, waited a second and then scraped again.  We found that the drywall seams needed the most soaking, as well as, along the edge of the walls where there is a bit of tape.  Are you ready to see a picture?  Here goes...

Ahh, look at how smooth that is.  And surprisingly the exposed dry wall offers more lighting in room than the texture did.

Here's what the floor looked like.

We found the paper was creating more of a mess than it was preventing so we pulled out a tarp and then threw it and the popcorn goo from the ceiling out.  And yes the carpet is pink...but that's a project for another day.

We managed to the get living room/dining room in two nights which really helped us devise a good plan of attack.  The next night it took the two of us about an hour to do that mater bedroom including clean up.  I forgot to mention but a nice wet/dry shop vac, while not essential, makes the clean up process so much easier. We just sucked up anything that fell on the floor and then we were all cleaned up.

Here's the master...

We have no overhead light in our room so we had to get creative with our mirrored closet doors and angled in light from the bathroom and hallway.

We managed to get my office done yesterday during the day and all we're left with is the guest room and the hallway which we hope to get done in the next few days.  Our next project is to make sure the ceilings are uniformly smooth by using a screen sander on the exposed dry wall.  We're thinking for now that we don't want to add any texture to the ceilings, so after sanding we will paint.  We've decided to just white wash everything with primer and then once we are all moved in we can start making some more serious color decisions.

My office/craft room.

Stayed tuned as we continue to update the house and we will do our best to document what we're doing.  Ohh and some day I'll use my real camera instead of just my phone, but until then you'll just have to deal with a lower quality pictures.


  1. It looks sooo good!!!! (side note, last pic didn't load!) I'm so excited for your house, and to see all the many projects to come!

  2. Thanks Lady! Hmm It's loading on my computer, I'll tweak it and see if I can fix it!