Initially, I had no intention of removing the stubborn popcorn ceiling. However, I got a wild hair and a fleeting urge to wreak havoc! Popcorn ceilings are notoriously difficult to remove, but I got a secret method for getting the stubborn texture off.

scraping the ceiling

Removing a stubborn popcorn ceiling

Let’s get right to it! To get rid of the tough popcorn texture, you’ll need:

  • Plastic sheeting to protect the floor
  • A drywall knife for scraping
  • A paint sprayer filled with hot water
  • Proper eye protection and mask for PPE
spraying the popcorn ceiling

How to remove a stubborn popcorn ceiling

It’s all pretty simple: protect the floors with some inexpensive plastic wrap. Then, spray some hot water onto the texture. The hot water breaks up the surface of the texture. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.

Beware – it’ll be raining indoors after spraying the ceiling!

scraping popcorn ceilings

After that, carefully scrape the texture off.

how to remove a stubborn popcorn ceiling gif

You’ll want to hold the drywall knife flush to the texture at around a 30 degree angle. If the knife isn’t flush or isn’t at another angle, you may gouge the drywall! That means you can accidentally add extra holes to the drywall. It’s super easy to do, especially with wet drywall paper.

If you gouge the drywall, it isn’t a major deal. You can patch that later.

The texture will come off neatly with minimal dust! It’ll hit the plastic sheeting covering the floor. When the job is done, simply throw away the plastic!

Follow the complete this One Room Challenge journey! See the previous week here!


Test your popcorn ceilings for the dangerous chemical asbestos before removing a stubborn popcorn ceiling. If asbestos is present, you will need to hire professionals for abatement. Therefore, proceed at your own risk.


PS: Take a look at the other week 2 One Room Challenge posts!

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  1. So impressed and motivated Felicia! I’m literally going to try this today in our basement. The kids will not be pleased because of course they’ll have to help, but I’m very excited .:)