Well, after a very LONG wait, I've finally completed my experiment of removing the popcorn ceilings from my dining room and adding a beautiful beadboard design. For those of you who read my DIY Family Room Built-In's post back in Dec 2012, you'll know I've been meaning to get to this project since then.
This project would be more of a Staging to Live project, as I doubt you would do this to stage your home to sell. It's a fantastic way to add character to your home which will add value - character goes a long way with home buyers.
For any of you that saw my video blog What Buyers Want in High End Properties, I mentioned that Home-Buyers do not, I repeat DO NOT like popcorn ceilings. Why builders even do them anymore is beyond me. They're messy, ugly and collect dust bunnies.
So, my mission to remove the popcorn ceilings from my own home begins. After much debate with my husband, who is quite handy, I decided that I would attempt to remove the popcorn ceiling without him knowing. He seemed to think it would be an extremely difficult undertaking...I on the other hand did not (yes, I have a tendancy to think DIY projects are just as easy as they look on TV and should take the same amount of time).
So, I decided I would take on this little experiment myself. I figured if I experiement in the dining room, which was undergoing a complete reno anyway, it would be a small enough area that he wouldn't mind.
The final goal however, was to add a beadboard detail to the ceiling, with the hopes that he would like the end result so much that he'd agree we should continue it through to the rest of the main floor.
After much research on Pinterest, I finally had my plan in place. So I will list in order what needs to be done to remove the ugly popcorn ceiling and add a gorgeous beadboard ceiling.
Step One: Scrape the Ceiling
Before we start here, I should mention that if your home was built before 1979, it's a good idea for you to call in a professional to test for asbestos. Asbestos was used in popcorn ceilings pre-1979 and it could be hazardous if you breath it in.
Okay, back to scraping....to do this, have a spray bottle full of water handy, a sharp scraper, a ladder, safety glasses, a face mask and LOTS of plastic sheeting. You want to tape off the entire room to ensure no dust settles in the other rooms. I bought a heavy duty role of painters plastic from Benjamin Moore which worked perfectly.
To cover the room in plastic, you first want to lay a large piece of plastic to cover the entire floor area. Any plastic that overlaps or is not connected should be taped together to ensure there are no leaks. Cut the plastic so there is about a foot extra on each wall so that you can tape the plastic a foot up each wall.
Next, attach a long piece of plastic to the very top of the wall with tape, making sure there is lots of ovelap onto the floor plastic to ensure there's no leaks. Go around the room and do the same.
Once that's done, do a quick inspection of the entire area, ensuring everything is taped well and there are no leaks.
Taping the plastic sheeting is what takes the most time...believe me. You will be surprised at how little time the scraping takes.
Now that your room is completely sealed, (yes, it looks like an episode of Dexter), it's time to get scraping. Focus on a small 3' x 3' section and spray it with your water bottle so it's moist. Let sit for a minute, then start scraping. The 'popcorn' should be wet enough that it's heavy and falls right to the floor with very little dust. I used a drywall knife for this and it worked quite well.
Just move your way along, spraying and scraping, spraying and scraping. Before you know it, you'll be done.
Now, because we're covering the ceiling with beadboard, you don't need to worry about sanding the ceiling. Next is cleaning up the mess by taking down all the plastic, rolling it up and dumping it right into the garbage.
Here's what the ceilings looked like after removing the popcorn ceiling but before we started with the beadboard. You'll notice now in the photo's the walls are a different colour. Like I said, the dining room is undergoing a complete reno, so the ceiling project happened in stages along with everything else in the reno.
Step 2 - Adding the beadboard to the Ceiling
I have to admit, my husband was right here...adding the beadboard to the ceiling was not easy. I would recommend renting a drywall lifter, or building a T Bar stand for this. We just decided we could do it ourselves...and although we did, it was not the easiest thing to do. Those sheets of beadboard get heavy when you're lifing and balancing them above your head.
First things first, measure your room and decide how you want to cut the beadboard. We decided to go with the full sheets because it meant less cutting. For our diningroom it took three sheets of beadboard.
We marked on the wall where the joists were in the ceiling so we knew where to nail to.
We used both an air nailer and PL 400 (your friend when doing projects like this). Be sure to have the window's open while doing this...you'll be using lots of it.
First we did a dry fit, to make sure the size was okay. Then we covered the entire back of the board with PL400.
Then, very carefully, with me on a ladder on one end of the room and my husband on the other end of the room, we slowly attached the beadboard to the ceiling. I held it up using my arms and my head, while my husband did a balancing act by holding his end up, grabbing his air nailer and then started nailing on his end, being sure to nail into the ceiling joists. Once his end was nailed, he took my spot and nailed my end, then finished in the middle.
One down, two to go. It's the same process for each piece of beadboard. For us, we didn't have to worry about the seams or the ends to be perfect, because we were finishing it off with moulding.
And the second board is up.....by this time my arms are very sore. But it's worth it, I promise.
Finally, we got the third one up and that was enough for one day...we were pooped.
Step 3: Installing the trim
We purchased some trim to go around the outside walls and to cover the beadboard seams. Installing this was a piece of cake compared to the beadboard...my arms were much happier.
We used the same process, a little PL400 then our trusty air nailer.
And this is what it looked like after going around the entire room with the trim.
Next we added trim to cover the seams where the pieces of beadboard meet; it's starting to come together now.
Step 4: Caulking
Once all the trim was installed, it was time to caulk along the seams and fill in the nail holes. Believe it or not, this didn't really take as much time as you would think. Considering the trim along the seams covered up a lot of the nails, it went pretty quick.
Step 5: Painting
And finally, time to paint. I recommend a good wipe down with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust that collected. And if your caulking job on the nail holes isn't smooth, you may need to sand some of the areas. I was lucky, there wasn't much sanding I had to do...thank god!
I gave it two coats of paint. I found using a small roller worked better for getting into the grooves. Again, my arms were sore....I need a massage by this time, but the end is in sight.
Some designers say a flat paint finish is what you should use on the ceilings, but I wanted to showcase my gorgeous new ceiling. So I decided to use the same paint and paint colour that I used on the wall detailing & the built-in buffet...Benjamin Moore Cabinet Coat in Cotton Balls. This paint has really good coverage and a beautiful sheen.
The Finished Project
Finallly, we are finished and I couldn't be happier. It looks fantastic. Would I do it again? I think I would. In fact, my husband even mentioned carrying it through to the front living room....hmmmm, looks like it wasn't such a bad idea afterall.