preparation

How do I Remove Popcorn Ceiling From my Home?

Popcorn_celing_close_up-1.jpg

Popcorn, Acoustic, Stucco, Cottage Cheese, whatever you may call it, removal of this type of ceiling finish is very popular. The temptation to remove this unsightly mess off your ceiling can be strong and you may want to jump right in. But before you start scraping it away there are a couple things you should know so that the project is done properly, looks good, and most importantly you stay safe.

Asbestos

Anthophyllite_asbestos_SEMThe first thing you need to know is that homes built before 1980 could have asbestos in the acoustic. Asbestos is a fibrous material that was used to help protect against fire. It has since been linked with multiple lung disorders. Testing for the substance is an important first step. Homes built after 1980 rarely have asbestos in the acoustic ceilings but it may be prudent to test anyway. It is important to take responsibility for testing before you proceed with your project. If your test is positive you will need to contact a local asbestos removal contractor. Be sure to sit down before you get the estimate as this can be a very pricy endeavor. In lieu of removing the asbestos-filled acoustic, the acoustic can be painted using specially designed light weight acoustic paints. These products perform best when you spray them on. Often the directions say you can roll them, I would avoid that if at all possible as it may damage the ceiling and disturb the asbestos.

Getting Started

Now you are ready to start. Your first step is to fully mask the floor.

  • Cover the floor with plastic
  • Lay a second sheet of plastic over the first. (Trust me you will like this step)
  • Lay some plastic outside the door of the room where you are doing the removal
  • Place an old towel on top of that to help contain the acoustic being removed

Removal

accoustic-ceiling-removalNext you will want to wet the ceiling to minimize the amount of dust from the removal process. You can use a garden sprayer or carefully use a hose to do that. Make sure you do not over saturate the acoustic as you do not want the drywall underneath to become too wet. Once the ceiling has been dampened you can use a wide drywall knife, 8’’ or 12’’ knives work well, to carefully remove the wet acoustic. I say carefully because the more nicks and scrapes you inflict on the drywall the more you will have to fix later. Once all the acoustic has been removed roll up that second piece of plastic and haul it to the trash can. Let the ceiling dry overnight. Setting up a fan to keep the air moving is a good idea. The next day sand the ceiling to get any residual acoustic off the surface. Use 100 grit drywall sandpaper or drywall sanding grids for this step.

Finish

Next you should skim coat (apply a smooth layer of drywall mud on) the whole ceiling. This can be done by using a 9’’ roller, drywall mud and the widest drywall knife you can handle. Ideally you will have two people for this. The process goes like this…

  • Thin the mud just enough to get it to roll out.
  • One person rolls out the mud and the second person smooth’s it out with the drywall knife.
  • Excess mud from each pass can be put in a drywall pan.
  • Turn the fans back on and wait until the mud is fully dry.
  • Once it is all good and dry sand the mud again and repeats the process.

Hopefully after letting the second coat dry and sanding it you will have a surface that can be textured using a texture machine or painted as it is depending on the finish you would like to have. Flat paint works best on ceilings as it shows less flaws in the finish. You will also want to caulk the corners in between paint coats to give yourself nice clean corners.

Materials and Tools

  • Drywall knives
  • Safety glasses
  • Hose or Hudson sprayer
  • Plastic
  • Tape (red vinyl works well when using water)
  • Drywall mud
  • Sanding pole
  • Drywall sandpaper or sanding screens
  • Flat paint
  • Gloves
  • Dust masks
  • An old towel
  • Texture machine
  • Mud pan

Examples of materials you may need

Asbestos Test kit

Pro-Lab AS108 Asbestos Do It Yourself Test Kit

Dryfall Acoustic paint

Waterborne Dry Fall | Waterborne Interior Coating

Texture machine

PRO Texture Sprayer

Drywall knives

MARSHALLTOWN The Premier Line 3512SD 12-Inch Stainless Steel Taping Knife with DuraSoft Handle

Exterior Painting: How do I Paint the Outside of my House? - Pt. 1

2014-08-13-08.18.53-e1427926613635.jpg

Painting a home can be a large project to tackle. Maxson Painting is here to help, today we are going to cover the crucial first step of any painting project, preparation. The type and amount of preparation needed before beginning your exterior paint job varies according to architecture and the condition of the substrata (the surface that you will be covering). That said, here are some basic first steps to a great exterior painting project.

  • First pull back any dirt or plants from the base of the house to allow 2 to 3 inches for painting below ground level.
  • Next identify any areas of mildew and treat them with a one to one solution of household bleach and water. If there is extensive mildew you may want to use a garden sprayer to apply the solution. If you choose this route be sure to keep surrounding hardscape and plants wet as a way to avoid damaging them.
  • You will want to pressure wash the exterior of the house. A high-pressure nozzle on your hose could be used but I would strongly recommend renting a pressure washer from your local Home Depot or Lowe's. This will ensure you get a good quality washing before you start painting.
  • Use a paint scraper, wire brush, or power sander to remove any loose and failing paint. Ensuring that all loose and failing material is removed from the substrata is critical before moving on in the project.
  • Apply a coat of primer to all raw wood. Priming raw wood is very important even with paints that claim to be paint and primer in one. It is best to use a product designed for priming specifically as opposed to a paint that's trying to do the job of both the paint and primer.
  • Next identify any cracks and uneven areas in the substrata and address those using elastomeric caulking and flexible patching products such as Flexall. Using flexible products is a little more difficult when patching because it shrinks and can take more than one coat. However, traditional spackle is very hard when it dries and tends to fail sooner than the flexible products.
  • Once you have patched all the uneven areas and cracks you will need to re-sand them and prime them to ensure adhesion of top coats.

Now you're ready to begin applying your finish coats of paint. In our next blog we will discuss how to select the right paints for every surface on your exterior painting project and provide tips on applying them.

 

Materials and tools

  • Garden Sprayer
  • Bleach
  • Pressure washer (recommended)
  • Paint Scraper, Wire Brush, or Power Sander
  • Primer (avoid paint+primer)
  • Elastomeric Caulking
  • Flexible Patching (i.e. Flexall, DAP)
  • Putty Knife
  • Sand Paper