Remove a popcorn textured ceiling in four basic steps: preparing the room, wetting the ceiling, scraping the "popcorn" material off the ceiling and using joint compound to recover any bare joints and eroded nail holes - leaving your ceiling ready to be painted or textured in any way you desire.
Take a small sample of the ceiling material and send it to an EPA certified testing lab before you begin. If your ceiling contains Asbestos, you will need to have a certified asbestos removal contractor do the job for you.
Since you’ll be using a lot of water in this project, first be sure to turn of the electricity and check it with a circuit tester. Remove all furniture and ceiling light fittings.
Tape small pieces of plastic over each electrical outlet and cover the floor with heavy duty plastic floor sheeting, extending it up the walls a foot or so.
Run painter’s tape along the upper edge of the walls then cover the entire wall with plastic sheeting, taping the top edge to the tape already there. Roll out a layer of resin paper on the floor.
Using a garden sprayer, wet the ceiling, working in 4 to 5 square feet areas at a time, wetting the ceiling thoroughly, but being careful not to over-wet it.
Round off the corners of a joint knife (to prevent gouges) and use it to scrape off the popcorn ceiling. If you run into any hard scraping areas, apply a little more water, wait and then try again.
Unroll another layer of resin paper directly on top of ceiling debris and continue scraping ceiling. When all material has been scraped off, take down plastic sheeting from walls, roll up wet paper and plastic on floor and place all into a large garbage bag.
Mix joint compound in a tray and apply along the joint lines. Dip joint tape into water, squeeze of excess and use a putty knife to press the tape into the joint compound. Smooth off excess.
Use two thin applications of joint compound to bring holes flush with the wallboard.
Use a sanding pad on the end of a long pole to sand off any high ridges.
Fill any low spots with another coat or two of joint compound, sanding in between coats. Prime the ceiling using a primer that says “for wallboard”. Your ceiling is then ready for you to paint or texture as you like.