Acoustic (Popcorn) Texture Removal Process

The following is the normal process for removing acoustic texture:  Please note, if the texture has been painted, depending on whether it is latex or oil based paint, this process may not work and could require a more intensive removal method. We can determine what course to take when we examine your ceiling.


Before We Arrive

Remove all fragile items from the room(s), such as vases, tabletop framed photos and anything breakable that could be knocked over. Please remove all items from mantels, top shelves, tabletops, etc. If your closets are included, please be sure the top shelf is emptied and all clothing has been removed. We will take care of moving large items (such as sofas and tables) as necessary. Keep in mind that you and your family will not have access to the work area during the process. Make any arrangements necessary for your convenience (toilet, necessary belongings, telephone, etc.). We recommend that you make arrangements to leave the home during the work if your entire home is being done.



We cover the floors and also the furniture with layers of protective plastic. The furnishings will be moved towards the walls or removed from the room. Plastic sheeting is hung from the top of the walls all the way around each room, from the ceiling to the floor, and secured in place with masking tape. This tape can cause peeling of the underlying wall paint and cannot always be prevented due to the nature of the strong adhesives needed. Once the masking process is complete, each room will resemble a large garbage bag, with only the ceiling exposed. Light fixtures, smoke detectors, ceiling fans, doorbell housings, etc., will need to be removed by the homeowner prior to the texture removal. If they are not removed we can cover them with additional plastic, however, the old texture will remain underneath any fixture not removed by homeowner.


To remove, we then wet the ceiling with water, sometimes combined with wetting agents, and use drywall knives to scrape off the acoustic (popcorn) texture. Water must be used in order to soften the existing texture and control the dust. It also helps to keep the drywall from being damaged by the scraping process. We then repair any damaged sheetrock, and re-coat the tape joints and nails where needed.


Weather and temperature does effect the drying time. Please keep your thermostat set at 66°F or above in the winter, and 75°F in the summer. Air conditioning does help in removing the excess moisture created during the removal process. We also ask that you keep a few windows slightly open throughout your home for good ventilation. These precautions are to insure good adhesion of the skimming compound and/or the new texture to the sheetrock and allow us to complete the job in a timely fashion. The ceilings will need to dry for a minimum of 24 hours.


Once dry, your ceiling will be ready to be sealed (if needed due to water staining) and re-textured in the style of your choice or skimmed and sanded smooth. This is an additionally priced service we can add to the popcorn removal process as part of our quote. Once new ceiling texture is finished you will be ready to prime and paint skimmed, orange peel, or knockdown ceilings in a color of your choice.

Download Popcorn Removal Process Form.

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