How to remove textured ceiling paint

Updated February 21, 2017

Some people love the look of texture and add it to their walls and ceilings. However, if you just moved into a new house you may completely hate the textured ceiling above your head. Moreover, it collects dust and dirt far easier than an untextured surface. Luckily, it is possible to remove the textured paint from the ceiling without hiring a professional.

Tape off and cover all electrical sockets. You do not want the textured paint to lodge itself into the outlet once removed.

Spread plastic sheets over the entire floor. It may help to tape the sheets up against the walls. You are going to use water so the sheets will help protect the floor from becoming wet. It also makes for easier cleanup.

Mix two or three tablespoons of mild dish soap into a gallon of water. Then fill a pump sprayer with the solution. You can purchase a pump sprayer at any home-improvement store.

Spray an area of the ceiling until it is thoroughly soaked. You want to make sure the texture on the ceiling is soft. Do not spray the entire ceiling at once because parts are going to dry before you can properly see to them.

Stand on your ladder and use a putty knife to scrape away the textured paint. With the ceiling thoroughly wet the paint should fall right off.

Proceed with spraying additional areas of the ceiling and scraping the textured paint off until the entire ceiling has been cleared of the texture.

Sand the ceiling to smooth out any jagged areas that may be left over from the textured paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Painter's tape
  • Putty knife
  • Pump sprayer
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Ladder
  • Sandpaper
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About the Author

Greyson Ferguson is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in film and television. He currently resides in Lansing, Michigan where he works on independent film projects and writes for numerous publications. Ferguson primarily focuses on computer and electronic articles. Greyson produces, focusing on only upbeat news stories with daily updates.