D.I.RY. – Everything You Want To Know About Popcorn Ceilings!

Popcorn ceilings…..WHY WERE YOU EVER A THING?! Nothing kills a home boner like popcorn ceilings for me.

What Is the Point of Popcorn Ceiling?

Here’s the 411 on those nasty eye sores….

In early formulations, it often contained white asbestos fibers. When asbestos was banned in ceiling treatments by the Clean Air Act in the United States,[1] popcorn ceilings fell out of favor in much of the country. However, in order to minimize economic hardship to suppliers and installers, existing inventories of asbestos-bearing texturing materials were exempt from the ban, so it is possible to find asbestos in popcorn ceilings that were applied through the 1980s. After the ban, popcorn ceiling materials were created using a paper-based or Styrofoam product to create the texture, rather than asbestos. Textured ceilings remain common in residential construction in the United States.

WHY did they do this to ceilings? WHY? ….well LAZINESS plain and simple. Other than priming the ceiling with paint, there was no need to patch any cracks or smaller holes and sand them down before painting, because it would just be covered up by the texture. Popcorn ceilings provided a cost effective, and time efficient, solution for many families. Or so they thought.

SO….HOW DO I FIX THIS? If you don’t want a hazmat team to come out and cost you literally several hundreds of dollars to test the ceiling for asbestos, then here is what ya do!



For roughly 500 smackers you can do it yourself!

An initial asbestos inspection costs $400 to $800. A follow-up inspection when the project ends adds $200 to $400. For lab work, a sample analysis averages $25 to $75. Asbestos removal costs vary depending on the extent of the work to be done.

Simply put, asbestos was originally used for it’s fire resisting ability. Little did we know it couldn’t resist causing CANCER and horrible respiratory problems if inhaled.

I’d rather not lose that 1/2 inch in the ceiling, but plainly put, drywalling is the most cost effective way if you’re dealing with the chance of asbestos. If you’re absolutely sure there is no asbestos (which is likely after 1980) then you can scrape, seal, skim coat and paint. They do make tools for scraping drywall and to save yourself a muddy mess I recommend scraping it dry.

I don’t recommend skim coating over dry wall as it’s really hard to get a smooth surface and I’m not a fan of textured ceilings unless in an Spanish home and even then it’s difficult to do well.

So, good luck and let me know how it goes! Tweet me @RyRyRyanBlack