Removing Ceiling Texture

Long before we even closed on our little abode, we decided our first project would be to remove the icky ceiling texture. When I told my family about it, they seemed to shrug it off as if ceiling textures are NBD. Okay, fair enough... you can live quite comfortably in a home without the ceiling textures affecting your ability to dwell there peaceably. But let's be honest. These are real ugly:

See how "shadowy" it makes the room seem? The ones in our house are not "popcorn." They actually have several names (crows feet, panda paws, slapbrush, etc), none of which sound particularly pleasant.

The first thing we did was look up YouTube tutorials and read a few how-to's. After trying several methods throughout our entire upstairs, Tom has come to a good system for smoothing these cavernous babies out.

You'll need:

  • bug sprayer
  • putty knives
  • sand paper and tools for sanding
  • masks and eye protection
  • drywall mud
  • primer
  • patience!

We started in a secondary bedroom and used it as a "test room." We would spray an area, let it sit, and then scrape. The problem was, this particular texture was so thick, we had to scrape two layers to get down to the sheet rock instead of just one. Spray, set, scrape... spray, set, scrape. It took a couple days and serious manual labor to remove everything, but we succeeded! And there was only a layer of dust on every surface of the house! It was really messy, guys. What we realized though, was we didn't actually need to get ALL the way to the sheetrock. Not only was it difficult and time consuming, but it didn't give us the best results. Part of the reason contractors texturize ceilings is to mask imperfections. Getting those perfectly smooth ceilings isn't easy, so they save themselves some time.

Now, having done this process room by room, this is the process we've landed on. It isn't as time-saving as some other methods we've tried, but it gives the best results with moderate effort.

So sorry for the image quality. We weren't planning on using these photos for posts!

Remove one layer:

Freshly mudded, sanded, and primed:


After my family saw the before and afters, they realized what a huge difference it makes. We live in Georgia, which has very dense forests, so our house is extremely shaded. This leaves us with limited natural light, so removing those shadow-casting-ceilings was so refreshing! Our goal is to give off the illusion of a naturally lit home by smoothing out the ceilings, choosing cool/bright paint colors, and using fabrics that seem "airy."

Have you ever done a little ceiling reno before? Did you add, or remove texture? Never before have we put so much thought or research into ceilings (does that make us sound old? ...ehhhh.. we're over it.. we're obsessed with this ceiling and not ashamed to say it)

HouseJoy Johnsondiy