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Popcorn Removed now Primer ?

10777 Views 15 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Dash808
Got a house I'm doing. All the ceilings had popcorn. All been removed. Where the PC was not painted came out smooth and fairly clean. Where painted, harder to remove, has a good bit of chalk remaining. Will sponge that off.

I've been at this for many years but up north in MD there's not too much popcorn. Here in NC there's a lot of it. So now the flag is up on me for prep.

I do a lot of repairs and always use Cover Stain - Oil. Its just about full proof. I seem to never use the cheapest products either.

I've searched CT and DIY on the subject and can't get a good read on using oil (Kilz) or Zin 123 (water).

I'm scared to death of using any wb primer on these ceilings. Apparently some folks are ok with it ?

Can you guys clear it up ? Oil or water base ??

Wb - Zin 123, Bull's Eye wb or Kilz 2 (yuk ?)

Ob - Kilz Orig, Bulls Eye

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Normally I use Cover Stain, but I have used Gardz once when I had to keep the VOC's low.
1) mop the ceilings with a sponge mop, get all the chalk and loose stuff off

2) float out the entire ceiling area. Use wet mud and a wide trowel/knife. You can apply the mud with a roller or a hopper gun, two guys preferably.

3) sand as needed.

4) prime with any type of primer
Are you going for a smooth finish now that the popcorn has been removed?

We have found that we have to go back and re-coat all seams and screw heads because they look like hell after priming. Popcorn hides a lot of drywall sins and around here they take full advantage of that fact and blow through it.

EDIT: I like Thoms #2 answer even better
normally I try to push for a knock down texture after removing popcorn, less work (ceiling doesnt have to be perfect), plus around here almost all of the higher end houses have knock down. Just doing my part to make sure everyone keeps up with the Jones's
The seams will suck the extra moisture out of the ceiling coating (knockdown or popcorn) and it will show BAD if you don't prime. I know others have given their techniques, I'll give mine. I use a drywall knife to take the popcorn (after I wet it and let it sit a few minutes). Where the seams are is always more rough so I get what I can easily (not trying to gouge it) and after the ceiling is completed come back with a wet sponge and basically wipe the whole ceiling down paying good attention to the seams. I fill where needed and sponge smooth those spots also. Come back with a PVA primer and then whatever you are going to do at this point you can texture or leave it smooth. It is best to make it smooth even if you are putting up a texture.. just good practice.

Good luck.
Thanks fellas. I thought I might get flamed a bit, but the pro's are out tonight.

The hard to remove 2 rooms that the PC was painted I'll sponge off the heavy chalk remains and most likely pull a tight coat of mud. The others, sponge off, pull where needed, spot and seams.

They're all going back to smooth dw. Its not stained but about 35% of the original surface looks like real old dw (built 1965) brown most likely from the age and heat of the attic over the years.

Looks like a good latex primer sealer will do. I was concerned about the remains / chalk creating an adhesion problem with latex primer but I'll clean it up ? Cover Stain would be full proof.

The owner (this is a FC in a good neighborhood) gets in there and works the job too. I just want to give the best input but ultimately its his call. I originally said ob primer for all the right reasons. I'll let you know.

Any other input is appreciated.
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I alway's put Kilz oil on every popcorn removal we do.
It's like an insurance policy that the ceiling will be nice and white when we are finished.
Works every time. :thumbsup:
Just want to check back in.

Used Zinnser 123 Primer - Sealer wb. Worked out well. Sprayed it on with my rig.

As I mentioned, scraped the whole house of PC ceilings. A couple were painted and made it more difficult.

Just wanted to pass along a tip I got about a year ago I think from FHB mag? That's using rounded edge scrapers. See the pic. Cut the corners with a Wiss snip then used a grinder to finish the rounding. No gouging anywhere.

Thanks for the input.


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Can I send you some of my mud knives? :thumbsup:
Those are scrapers for the PC......I could never finish with anything like that, man..!

I've got Hyde for finishing......I knew this was going to come up.....
I also use Kilz oil for this as I can never be sure of getting all the residue off. I do agree about the seams though.
brown most likely from the age and heat of the attic over the years

Did this brown smear with you as you washed it off? I have seen some smear and get slimey like. Made me think, what the hell? Think I have an area clean then look back and it still not be white. Wash it some more and more slime like smearing. Like somethink kept oozing out of the rock. Don't really think it was nicotine, may have been. I just felt better using oil on it in an attempt to really seal whatever might have been left in.
a steamer helps to remove painted popcorn
A hose with a nozzle set to "mist" works wonders too. I use one of those scrapers that you can hang a grocery sac on the bottom to catch most of the PC. Still a PITA of course.
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