Saturday, June 4, 2011

Popcorn belongs in a bowl!

And not on my ceilings! And so the process begins, we are slowly over time going to be taking down all of the popcorn from our ceilings. Hallelujah! To see something go from this:

To this:

Is an amazing site…and something that even days later still makes me smile every time I walk in the room. Aaahhhh…smooooth….

We started with what I consider the hardest room; although that is still debatable and I’m guessing will continue to be debated until both are complete. Since our living room is by far twice as big as the master bedroom and in some areas it spans over our entry stairs making it easily 12 feet high or higher in places my assumption is that in practice it will be much harder and much more time consuming. However, I can live without that room for a time…whereas living without your master bedroom is a huge inconvenience and headache, making the process that much harder. I mean imagine having no bed, your dressers crammed into another room, your closet on the other side of pure disaster and the shower you always use almost inaccessible. So to me, it was and will be the hardest. But its done! And oh does it feel good.

We followed this guys blog post on how to remove it almost to the T: We bought all the supplies, we used plastic on the floor instead of the paper though, we wetted it down and scrapped. It took us about an hour and a half and we were down to the drywall.

But that’s where our process ended, and we found ourselves lost and confused at what to do AFTER the popcorn came down. We made some mistakes but in the end, we got it done, wasted probably an entire day but now I can say next time, we can easily complete this project in 2-3 days with amazing results.

So, we’ll start with our biggest mistake. If you look closely at the ceilings of both our bathrooms and our kitchen, you’ll notice that the texture there is similar to our walls, a soft orange peel texture if you will. So we thought we’d try that in the bedroom, so we bought a can of wall texture and after letting the ceiling dry from the wetting and scraping process we went to work…BAD IDEA! Wall texture does NOT stick to ceilings…it left us with a bunch of bumps and an entire can wasted, and the smell…oh god! We had to let the room air out for the rest of the day…so I advice against doing that lol. We’re obviously amateurs at this….live and learn.

So here is what to do (as opposed to what not to do above)…once that popcorn comes down, and before you clean up the floor you want to sand and sand and sand. The blog above actually mentions that, but we had thought we were doing something different…but go with that. Sand your little heart out until you get the ceiling as smooth as possible. Then take your mud and fill in as best you can. Its an easy process, find the rough patches drop some mud in there and scrape till its smooth like the rest of the ceiling. After you get the ceiling as smooth as possible clean up. We rolled up our plastic and dropped it in the garbage…we had already tested for asbestos and didn’t have any so we didn’t have to worry about any of that.

At this point leave it overnight to dry. Both the drywall is a bit wet from the scrapping process and your compound needs to dry as well. The next morning lay a fresh layer of plastic sheeting down…this is now for the painting, you want to clean up the night before so you don’t track it all over your house…and since sheeting is so cheap ($1 or $2?) it makes an already messy project a bit easier to handle. You’ll need to do some last minute sanding in places that the mud didn’t get totally smooth, but hopefully that will be minimal and you’ll be good to go. One coat of primer, wait an hour or 2 and then a coat of paint and you should have a nice smooth and painted ceiling! Congratulations.

Now, if you’re anything like us…you made a mess on your walls as you went, water dripping down them, paint flying everywhere, nicks and scratches…and yes, I’m kicking myself for not taking any pictures at this point! But we had to repaint all the walls. 3 of which we were already planning to repaint, color change and all, but the 4th we had to touch up as well…and it was easier just to roll on new paint and it also made the whole room nice and crisp. This was day 3. But if you get up early, unlike us, you could probably do both the ceiling and the walls in one day, but we had limited light and wanted to tape the ceiling, so leaving it to dry longer was in our best interest.

We had accent walls so I had to trim the corners myself, I used the brush recommended by my favorite blog: and it worked like a charm! By the end I was trimming like a pro, I didn’t need tape for the corners or the trim…and the tape on the ceilings did such a bad job I had to go back by hand anyway…check out my finished product:

Pretty good huh?

Like I said, for multiple reasons I smile when I walk in the room now. And I can’t wait to do the others…well, yes I can, I’m exhausted. But we will get to them…slowly but surely I promise!

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