Dining room crown molding
Comments 11

It’s snowing in my dining room!

Like a wet snow. In this photo, you can see the damp popcorn stuff falling as it passes in front of my face. Here I use a two inch scraper which has had the edges rounded off with a file.

It is slow going removing the popcorn texture from our dining room ceiling. I want a smooth surface to the ceiling prior to adding the beam detail and crown molding. After some major procrastination, I made some significant progress during the week. Here are some photo notes from the project so far…

Wishful thinking. A picture from my daughter’s bedroom – what I had hoped would happen.

In the photo above, little by little, the popcorn ceiling is falling. Not sure why; I suspect moisture from a nearby air conditioning vent. My daughter complains about this from time to time. I tell her this is actually a good thing since it is falling without any effort on my part (also it is falling in large pieces). As I start work on the dining room, I have hopes that the popcorn there will come down just as easy.

Stubborn. With the dining room ceiling, the texture is more troublesome. The popcorn tends to stick better to the mudded areas – the areas where it was sprayed directly to the sheetrock come off pretty easily.

I have been researching the correct steps in this process, trying to determine the best technique. Early on, one thing I skimped on was protection for our floor. In my research, I have found recommendations that the floor be completely covered with a drop cloth and one even suggested the walls be covered as well. I have been thinking, no big deal, I’ll simply lay down some plastic and if a little popcorn gets around the edges, I’ll just vacuum it up. I underestimated the mess scraping would create.

Like sleet really. Note the popcorn stuff on the plastic and ladder. It is really more like a heavy sleet than a fine snow. Words can’t describe the mess the scraping and sanding creates.

As you can see in the photo above, I have gone to the effort of covering the floor and door openings with plastic. This was done after I received notice from the wife that my first attempts at containment were rather poor. Even with all of this preventative stuff, there will be some leakage.

But, after inspecting the adjacent living room this morning, very little dust has made it into the rest of the house. And let me tell you there has been plenty of dust. I placed a box fan in our dining room window which creates air flow that moves the sanding dust away from openings to adjacent rooms.

Currently. I have a little more than half of the popcorn removed.

Prep work will continue this week; I have come to the realization that it will be best to paint the ceiling prior to any woodworking, so that will be next. For now, my back is bothering me from all the ladder work yesterday, so I think I’ll get a heating pad and go lay on the couch. There will be a race on TV a little later.

To see the next post in this series, click here. To view all the posts, click here. This is post two in this series.


Have a question or comment? Leave yours by clicking on the “Comments – post yours here” link below. My email is jobranch@yahoo.com or you can contact me through Twitter or Facebook. Subscribe via email or RSS by clicking here.

My top three projects:

This entry was posted in: Dining room crown molding


During the week, I sell flooring products for The Dixie Group. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.


  1. Alex – I sure hope not!!! The sheetrock itself is in good shape. At worse, I'll have to touch up some of the mud – the scraper has made a few marks there.

  2. To paraphrase “are you having fun yet.”

    I always hete the prep work but unfrotuatley it is the the way to get waht you want.

    Hope your back gets to feeling better.

  3. Jeff,
    Well done. Looks like you're into the pain. I can fully appreciate your need to remove the popcorn crap as my living/dining/hall ceiling is covered in it too. Congratulations on passing the halfway point.

  4. “I can fully appreciate your need to remove the popcorn crap”

    Funny how things change. When we expanded our daughter's bedroom, we had the popcorn stuff sprayed on her ceiling. Now everyone hates it. Why was it ever popular? Maybe it was a short cut for contractors – easier to do than to actually make the ceiling smooth.

  5. “Maybe it was a short cut for contractors – easier to do than to actually make the ceiling smooth.”

    I think that's exactly it.

  6. What worse than a popcorn ceiling? one done poorly.

    The whole first level of my house has popcorn ceilings and I hate them. The previous owners put an addition on the house and it looks like they tried texturing it themselves. You can still see the joints between the sheets and it's random and uneven — some areas heavily textured and some with hardly any texture.

    My basement was finished with smooth ceilings and it looks way better even though the people that did that ceiling did a horrible mudding and taping job.

    I've thought long and hard about removing the texture, but the thought that it might be asbestos and the fact that it would be so much work has stopped me.

  7. “What worse than a popcorn ceiling? one done poorly.”

    That's funny. Ben, you bring up a good point. Asbestos is a serious consideration for this type of project.

    I have not had my ceiling tested, but believe my home was built after than period.

    Anyone taking on this type of project should do ample research. Much of the research I found included pointers on asbestos removal.

    Thanks for visiting.

  8. Wow! What an undertaking.

    When Steve and I moved into our house we had painted pink plaster that was chipping off our bedroom ceiling! I use to come home from work and literally sweep the ceiling to try to limit the mess it made. We had someone replaster the ceiling during our big initial renovation.

    A real mess and one you just have to suffer through. I feel for ya bro.

  9. Jane – you and Beth could talk. Beth will come home to find small sections of the popcorn stuff on her floor, little keyboard, etc. I had to go in a scrape all the loose stuff off.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s