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Demolition Phase III / We Struck Gold! // The Popcorn Ceilings Get the Boot

This house, having been "remodeled" in the late 1970s, was sporting some rather intense popcorn ceiling situations.  The living/dining room had normal popcorn, the library had glittered popcorn, and the bathroom has painted popcorn.  Heavens, they could have just at least tried to make it a little uniform.

Popcorn ceiling texture.
Needless to say, popcorn doesn't fly in my house, so we had to come up with a plan to remove it.  As we were contemplating it, the husband noticed that the ceiling in the kitchen (which was tiled - yeah, gross too) was quite a bit higher than the ceiling in the rest of the house.  This wouldn't make any sense unless there was a drop ceiling put in.

There are a few reasons why people will put in drop ceilings, the main reason being the need to hide things like duct-work or electrical wiring.

One night at about midnight, after a long day's work, we were once again contemplating that drop-popcorn ceiling.  The husband grabbed a hammer and, well, the rest was history.  We bashed a few holes in the ceiling that night, enough to let us know that we were, indeed, in the possession of 9' ceilings.  We crossed our fingers that we wouldn't find any ductwork the next day when we really got into demo and we went to bed.

Turns out, there was a lot going on under that ceiling.  However, to our delight, there was really no reason to have a drop ceiling.  It wasn't hiding any ductwork or electric lines.  It was just there.  My guess is the previous owner, when remodeling, wanted the 1970s look - low and "modern" and installed the drop ceiling.


Underneath the drop ceiling and framing, we found another ceiling treatment of tiles.  My guess is that the tiles came in to play in the 1950s or so.  We found some areas of plaster damage under the tiles, so I'm assuming they worked as a cover-up for the falling plaster, and also as a sound dampening solution.

Crumbling plaster found under the tiles.
When we first found the tiles, it was rather dampening on the spirits, another layer of junk we need to rip out?! Then, once we realized the plaster would not be salvageable and we would need to redo the sheetrock anyway, the furring strips used to install the tiles were actually rather perfect for installing the new sheetrock.  To deal with the crumbling plaster, I took drywall screws and large washers and screwed them in to the joists above sagging bits.  This will hold the plaster in place, and hopefully prevent any further crumbling.






So, it was a lot of ripping down sheetrock, removing the drop ceiling frame, and ripping out the old ceiling tiles.  The filing boxes we used for moving turned out to be perfect for tile disposal.


It looked awful after we were finished.  We looked like crazy people.  I honestly can't believe we tackled all this stuff like champs.  Looking back, no wonder our families thought we were crazy.  We now have lovely 9ft ceilings that have nice, smooth sheetrock on them.  I'm so very glad we decided to bash those exploratory holes in the ceiling that night so very long ago (October 20th to be exact).


Moral of the Story: 
Never underestimate two newly married 
20-somethings with stars in their eyes 
and crowbars in their hands.