Progress Update

We have been spending almost every minute of free time we can over at the new house scraping ceilings and so far, about 65% of the ceilings are popcorn-free.
(All the plants for all the air cleaning!!  I got this palm yesterday at Sam's for $14!!)

Last weekend we were chugging along, getting two bedrooms and the hallway done when we moved into the bathroom, did our usual set up, but went to scrape that first chunk and CCCRRUUUNNNCCHHH, found out the ceiling was painted.  *womp womp*  It was like scraping ice chunks off a frozen windshield.  We both just sat there for a second and stared at the ceiling, not knowing what the heck to do.  :(  We thought about just scraping the *popcorn* pieces off to reveal a more subtle texture but we're not in love with the all.

You can kind of see where we scraped in this photo to get that subtle texture look:

I went back in the next day and sprayed a small part of the ceiling with a vinegar and water mixture (thank you Google) to see if that would break up the paint enough to get it and the popcorn texture off, and it did, but it took a little bit of scrubbing and scratching work AND took pieces of the drywall paper with it.  SO, we’re on to Plan B.  I’ll let you know what exactly that is when we know.  ;)

Since then, we’ve worked our way through a few more rooms.

When we got to the dining room, I pulled a piece of already-peeling wallpaper off the wall while I was on the step ladder scraping the ceiling and it came off easily in one large piece.  So I tried another, and another, and another, and they all (or at least most) came off in big ‘ole chunks.  With the exception of one piece coming off with a big chunk of drywall paper behind it, I felt like it was a lucky break after the whole painted popcorn let down. 

Sadly, the lucky duck left there because the wallpaper in the entry didn’t want to budge the same way.  When I tried peeling it off, it came off in pretty big pieces but took large pieces of the drywall paper with it in several places.

The more drywall paper that goes, the more patching we’ll have to do later so we’ll pull out the steamer and try again so that we can avoid the patching.

I’m sorry I don’t have any substantial tutorials on anything yet – those are the most fun to write.  :)  All I have for ya is progress.  But, that progress will keep progressing and sooner or later, we’ll have a flood of diy projects to fill this white space.  Including, but definitely not limited to, how to remove popcorn ceilings (and what to do with painted popcorn ceilings).


  1. Looks Great! You are giving me hope that it can be done with kids around - we have popcorn ceilings in the condo we rent out (and hope to sell once our renters move) and I'm thinking that maybe we can try what you guys are doing. The only tough part is that I know at least one of our ceilings has been painted (because I had it done due to an upstairs neighbor's water leak that caused a stain on one part of the ceiling) so now I'm a bit scared of how that will be to take off!

    1. Well, since writing this, we realized that the ceilings in our den had also been painted BUT they are coming off fairly easily! It must just depend on the kind of paint used! There's hope for you!

  2. I'm sure you know this, but beware the wallpaper adhesive! Often, it's some type of water-based glue, so when you try to use a water-based paint over it.... the paint peels off. Not pretty. A simple, but labor-intensive, fix is to scrub the walls with warm water and an abrasive cleaning pad. Ask me how I know......

    1. Oh thanks Rachel! I didn't know!! I was planning on scrubbing the walls down but I'll definitely be more mindful while I'm scrubbing to get all of the adhesive off.