Popcorn, Get Your Popcorn!


White, yet iridescent snow hovers lightly over the streets and surrounding homes of west Michigan, resulting in a pictures phenomena. A canopy of matured, snow-covered trees lines the drive leading to our home, and is accompanied by a creek that acts as a point of reference to visitors who have made it to the bridge. Right now the bridge still has a thin layer of ice on it, while beneath, the creek, glistening by the cold winter’s rays, still runs quietly past the snowy banks.

By early February, rumor spread that Spring may be traveling north earlier than expected, and for myself, the earlier the better. I’ve never really have been cut out for cold temperatures. Although Winter brings beauty and relaxation, with warmth comes the opportunity for easier transportation and the psychological persistence and motivation to accomplish greater tasks.

But Spring’s not here just yet. And there’s plenty of work to be done in our home renovation. Still, I can’t help but be amazed at the progress we’ve made. Six months have passed since we started this project and everything seems to be going as planned. We’ve replaced shingles and flashed the roof surrounding the fireplace. We’ve expanded the living room by replacing a load bearing wall with a sturdy beam. We’ve added recessed lighting to the living room and front office. And finally, we’ve replaced the plumbing in the upstairs master bathroom to accommodate a walk-in rain shower.

With the cold of Winter still to pass, I find myself thinking about other interior projects that I can tackle. Now, I have to say, being one who has an obsession with “DIYing,” I pay attention to many home improvement shows. One of my favorites, and I’m sure many of you can agree with me on this, is “Fixer Upper.” On that show, in Episode after Episode, I started noticing a trend regarding ceilings. Almost every time they encountered a popcorn ceiling, the solution was the same: All that texture has to come down!

The more time I spent fulfilling my winter-bound projects, the more I found my eyes drawn upward to our popcorn ceilings. From there, it didn’t take long before that “Fixer Upper” solution was playing in my head: All that texture has to come down!

I discussed this with my boyfriend Patrick, and discovered that he didn’t necessarily agree with me. He wasn’t convinced that the popcorn was an eyesore. Of course, he was eventually overruled! However, the only way it was coming down was if I did it myself. He wanted no part of the hassle and mess, and I didn’t blame him. After all, I didn’t know what to expect, either.

Thankfully, my younger sister Leah was a gracious help, and we decided to tackle the project.

To alleviate some of the mess, and to make pick-up a little easier, first prepared the floors with Husky 3MIL plastic sheeting. The same garden sprayer we used to peel off wallpaper was our biggest asset: Two gallons of very hot tap water were added to the sprayer. We then sprayed that water in circular motions on the ceiling’s popcorn texture. (Please Note: Enough water should be sprayed on the ceiling to penetrate the popcorn texture, close to saturation, but not to the point that water is dripping onto the floor.) After five to ten minutes has passed, Leah and I each used a 6” Hyde joint knife at a forty-five degree angle to scrape the popcorn onto the floor below.

I found that scraping popcorn was extremely easy, and actually, quite fun! The texture scraped off like butter when wet, and turned into a muddy, paste-like texture that was easily manageable.

In the end, I was extremely pleased with how our ceilings turned out. Leah and I were able to remove popcorn from four rooms and a hallway in only a day’s time. Now we’ve got a smooth drywall surface that’s ready to be touched up, primed, and painted. Which is a project I’ll save for another post!

Supplies Used:

  • Hand held 2 gallon garden sprayer
  • 6″ Hyde Joint Compound Knife
  • Husky 3 MIL Plastic Sheeting
  • Laddeer
  • Extremely hot tap water
  • Large garbage can for cleanup!
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