Popcorn Ceiling Removal and Drywall Installation

For many years, popcorn ceilings, also known as textured or acoustic ceilings, were a popular choice in home construction. Their textured appearance was popular due to its ability to conceal flaws and reduce noise within a space. Popcorn ceilings, however, have fallen out of favor as design trends have evolved, leaving many homeowners looking to update their interiors. Popcorn ceiling removal and drywall installation are two home improvement projects that can give your space a new and modern look. We will walk you through the process and benefits of removing popcorn ceilings and installing new drywall in this blog post.

The Popcorn Ceiling Problem

Popcorn ceilings were common in homes built between the 1950s and the 1980s. While they served practical purposes such as noise reduction and hiding flaws, their dated appearance and difficulty in maintenance have made them less desirable over time. Here are some of the most common reasons why homeowners choose popcorn ceiling removal:

1. Aesthetic Appeal: Popcorn ceilings can make a room appear outdated and visually unappealing. Their textured surface can collect dust and cobwebs, detracting from a room’s overall appearance.

2. Difficulty in Cleaning: Cleaning popcorn ceilings can be difficult because the texture makes it difficult to wipe down without damaging the surface or spreading dust particles.

3. Health Concerns: Popcorn ceilings installed prior to the 1980s may contain asbestos, which poses serious health risks when disturbed. Removal is required to maintain a safe living environment.

4. Health Concerns: Renovation Plans: If you’re planning to renovate or update the interior of your home, removing popcorn ceilings is often a necessary step to achieve a more modern and appealing look.

The Removal of the Popcorn Ceiling

Removing a popcorn ceiling can be a time-consuming and messy task, but the end result is well worth it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

1. Precautions: Before you begin, wear protective gear such as a mask, safety goggles, and disposable coveralls, especially if asbestos is a concern. To reduce dust and debris, remove all furniture and cover the floors and walls.

2. Asbestos Testing: If your home was built prior to the 1980s, you must have a professional test the ceiling for asbestos before proceeding. If asbestos is present, it is best to have it removed by a licensed asbestos abatement professional.

3. Moistening the Ceiling: Using a spray bottle, mist the popcorn ceiling with water to make the scraping process easier. This softens the texture and reduces dust release.

4. Scrape the Ceiling: Gently scrape off the textured surface with a wide putty knife or a specialized popcorn ceiling scraper. Take your time and be patient to avoid damaging the underlying drywall.

5. Patch and Sand: When you remove the popcorn texture, you may discover flaws in the underlying drywall. Fill any holes or cracks with joint compound before sanding the surface smooth and even.

6. Prime the Surface: Apply a coat of primer to the surface to prepare it for the new drywall or ceiling finish. Primer aids in the adhesion of new materials and provides a uniform base.

Installation of Drywall

It’s time to install drywall after you’ve successfully removed the popcorn ceiling and prepared the surface. Drywall is a versatile material that is commonly used for interior walls and ceilings. It is also known as gypsum board or plasterboard. Here’s how you do it:

1. Measure and Cut: Carefully measure the dimensions of your ceiling before cutting the drywall sheets to fit. To make clean cuts, use a utility knife. For stability, make sure the sheets are properly aligned with the ceiling joists.

2. Attach the Drywall: Use drywall screws or nails to secure the drywall sheets to the ceiling joists. Ensure that the fasteners are flush with the surface but not over-tightened, as this can result in dimples or cracks.

3. Tape and Mud: Cover the seams between the sheets with drywall joint tape. Then, cover the tape with joint compound (also known as mud) to create a smooth surface. For a seamless finish, multiple layers and sanding between coats may be required.

4. Sand and Finish: Sand and finish the drywall to remove any imperfections and create a smooth, even texture. Finish with a final coat of joint compound and sanding to ensure a flawless finish.

5. Prime and Paint: After the joint compound has dried and the surface has been smoothed, apply a coat of primer followed by your desired paint color to achieve the desired final look.

The Advantages of Removing Popcorn Ceilings and Installing Drywall

1. Aesthetics: Replacing popcorn ceilings with smooth drywall instantly modernizes your space, making it more appealing and attractive.

2. Improved Lighting: Smooth ceilings reflect light more effectively, increasing the overall brightness and ambiance of your room.

3. Easier Maintenance: Smooth ceilings are easier to clean and maintain than textured surfaces, resulting in less dust and cobweb accumulation.

4. Home Value Increase: A well-executed popcorn ceiling removal and drywall installation project can significantly increase the resale value of your home, making it a worthwhile investment.

Taylor Locklear Drywall is here to help you achieve a more beautiful, functional, and valuable home. Say goodbye to those outdated popcorn ceilings and hello to a brighter, more appealing living space.


Removing popcorn ceilings and installing drywall can completely transform the interior of your home, giving it a new, modern look while addressing a variety of practical issues. This home improvement project can make a significant difference if you want to improve aesthetics, increase home value, or improve lighting. Just remember to take the necessary safety precautions, especially if asbestos is a concern, and consider seeking professional services if you have any questions about the process. You can enjoy the benefits of a beautifully updated space for years to come if you take the right approach.

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