The Gross Kind of Popcorn

Gross popcorn certainly does not come from the movie theater.  Or in the cheddar cheese and caramel mixed bag at Costco.  Oh no, those are delicious.  The gross popcorn plagues hundreds of thousands of homes across America.  An epidemic especially in homes built between 1970 and 2000.  We’ve got it, maybe you do too?  In an effort to rid ourselves of the dreaded popcorn, I moved the boys’ bedroom furniture into the guest room.  Leaving me with an empty room ready for popcorn removal.


Of course I had to move the guest furniture out before that.


Because I was alone in the moving process, I dragged the mattress and box spring across the hall to our room.


Three rooms affected by the dreaded popcorn.  Yes, all that to say goodbye to this:


Yesterday I did something I’d never done before.  After wrapping the room in Dexter-ish plastic, I scraped popcorn off a ceiling.


Guess what?  It wasn’t hard or bad.  In fact, it was satisfying.  Watching the ugly peel off, leaving behind a near paint-ready ceiling.  Which gives me a boost of confidence to get our larger room done, too.  For those with a popcorn ceiling problem, I’m working on a removal tutorial right now.  Something to look forward to next week.

So tell me, do you hate popcorn ceilings?  What’s the worst wall finish?

22 thoughts on “The Gross Kind of Popcorn

  1. My 1985 ranch was covered in this stuff when I moved in 11 years ago. Today, all but two bedrooms and a small hallway are all that remain of the popcorn. The key is preparation, It’s only fun to watch the popcorn fall if you’ve prepared the room for clean up afterwards. Cuz clean up’s a *itch if you didn’t do it right. I left my daughters large bed in her room and just decided I’d work around it. Well, clean up took twice as long with that stupid bed and I still think there’s some popcorn on the floor behind it that I never really got. Time will tell if we ever move. 🙂

    1. Hi Julia!

      Ahh, I totally feel your pain! Way to go on removing it, too! 🙂 And you’re so right, preparing the room does make it go smoothly. Being able to just roll up the plastic and vacuum any bits made it quick. Of course hauling everything out and putting up plastic isn’t fun, but it is worth it. 🙂


  2. Our whole house, except for the living room has popcorn ceilings. They are so terrible and I just try not to look up. It’s so bad. And it needs to be painted. But I know there’s a good chance if I start painting, the popcorn ceiling will start peeling off. I’m dreading it so much. But maybe I can find the courage to tackle it. Good luck with the popcorn removal.

    1. Hi Mary!

      Yeah, that’s a lot of popcorn! You’re right that it will probably peel off it painted. Not sure which is worse: painting popcorn or scraping it off. If your ceilings are unpainted, sraping should go quickly. Of course, then you still have to paint the ceiling. BUT you should love it after! Good luck either way!!


  3. We don’t have popcorn ceilings but we just moved across the country and we now have smooth finish walls. I doubt they are the worst wall finish but since it is my first experience with them I find them frustrating. In Texas we always had textured walls so if you had to repair a wall you could just spray some texture over the spot and repaint. I have no idea how to make the smooth walls look good like nothing was ever wrong. We bought an older home so we are needing to work on lots of areas of wall space. If anyone has suggestions I’m listening. 😉

    1. Hi Angel!

      I do know what you mean, but I think matching textured walls is a pain, too. Smooth walls aren’t as bad as you might think. Depending on the size of the area to be fixed you can fill a hole and sand it. Or if you’ve got a larger hold (light fixture box or bigger) you can cut a piece of sheet rock to size, screw it in, the tape and mud around it. We had all smooth walls at our first house and have some orange peel and knock down here and I’d much rather have smooth over these two. 🙂


  4. Please please post a tutorial soon!! We are desperate to get rid of ours but are really scared of how to tackle it…. Some questions we have are how did u spray water on them , what equipment did u use? How much time did it take (preparation/actual popcorn removal/and cleanup) if u address those in ur tutorial I would be especially grateful!!

  5. I had popcorn in my last house. Never liked it, but tried to ignore it. I got a plumbing leak which made me repaint the popcorn and it all came down in chunks! I was left with the question of do I repair the popcorn to match the house, or float it and keep it smooth? (FYI, kept it smooth.) Just bought a new to me house with 4,000 square feet of popcorn. Argh! Hired a contractor to do it all. Not even going to mess with it this time. Getting it done before I move in, because I know what a messy job it is 🙂 Good luck!

    1. Hey Joy!

      Ahh, the joys of popcorn. I understand the reason for it, but seriously, who came up with the idea?! And, good call on hiring it out BEFORE you even more in. So, so messy if you’re working on the entire house!


  6. Yep, we have it and I detest it but I read that because of asbestos issues it should be removed professionally.

    1. Hi Maggie!

      You’re right! You can get a test kit from home improvement stores to see if your ceiling does contain asbestos. If it does, a pro should handle it. If it doesn’t, it’s safe for the home owner to handle. 🙂


  7. I removed the popcorn in my bathroom first and it came off so easily. I was super excited. The downside was that when I tried the same in the master bathroom it was a PAIN! I ended up covering it up with planking instead. Just this week I got brave to try it again in my kitchen pantry to see if the kitchen would go easily and there was nearly 1/4″ thick layer of popcorn. They must have sprayed several coats on the ceiling. I guess this means that I’m going to have planked ceilings in my whole house!

    1. Hey Jenn!

      Do you know if your master bathroom ceilings had been painted over? At least you’re okay covering over it! That’s probably the easier thing in many ways.


  8. My brother and I did our entire 1900sf ranch one sumer when we where 13 and 15 what a crazy summer that was not sure how my mom convinced us to do it maybe she told us we lived there earn our

    1. Hey Andrea!

      Well, that definitely should have given you a year’s worth! 😉 Maybe because you were 13 and 15 you thought it was fun. I thought painting was fun when I was a kid.


  9. My poor parents just removed popcorn from their two story foyer ceiling. I still don’t know how they managed that without killing themselves. Unfortunately, their house was built in the mid-90s so lots of popcorn ceilings and lots of upgrades needed from those builder basics. I think I’ve finally convinced my mom there are wall colors other than eggshell, so we’re making progress.

    1. Hi Angie!

      That would be so freaky to do! I’m not afraid of heights, but rickety ladders and stairs are never a good combo. So glad they’ve finished it safely! And good job helping your mom. She should know there are tons of beautiful colors out there. 🙂


  10. Removing the popcorn from our first floor was one of the first thing we did when we moved in. Whoever invented it should be shot. I would like to remove it from the bedrooms upstairs one day as well.

  11. Your lucky you could do self-removal. Our popcorn has asbestos so we would have to hire it out. Pricey!

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