- Remove the furniture from the room and cover the floor with plastic sheeting. Tape plastic sheeting over the doors, as well, to keep the dust in the room.
- Stand on the ladder and spray a 4-by-4-foot area with the spray bottle until it is wet, but not dripping. Wait five or 10 minutes until the popcorn ceiling darkens slightly.
- Scrape the ceiling with the putty knife to remove the popcorn texture. It will fall to the ground, where it can be removed later.
- Spread a thin layer of joint compound over the ceiling with the putty knife. The joint compound will fill in holes and imperfections, readying the surface for stucco.
- Sand the ceiling with sandpaper to smooth it. Cover the ceiling with a layer of stucco or spackle. There are several ways to accomplish this. You can spread it on in thin layers with a putty knife, creating swirls similar to the process of frosting a cake. Or, use a textured brush specifically for texturing walls and ceilings. Another option is to spray "orange peel" texture on the ceiling for a smooth, modern look.
Things You Will Need
- Plastic sheeting
- Spray bottle
- Putty knife
- Joint compound
- Stucco or spackle
- To test the ceiling for asbestos, moisten a small area with water from a spray bottle. The water will help reduce the amount of dust. Cut a 1-inch chunk of the ceiling with scissors or a knife and place it in a sealed bag. Wear rubber gloves and a mask as you work. Send the sample to a certified lab for analysis. If the results are positive for asbestos, consult a specialist for recommendations.
- If you decide to texture the ceiling yourself, practice on a sheet of plywood until you're happy with the design. Work quickly with thin layers of spackle.