One Room Challenge – Week 4 – Master Bedroom & The NASTY Popcorn Ceiling

One Room Challenge – Week 4 – Master Bedroom & The NASTY Popcorn Ceiling


One Room Challenge – Week 4 – Starting Over (UGH!!!!!)

I came across the One Room Challenge last week from Linda @ Calling it Home and thought, no problem.  I’m in even if I have only 3 weeks I can do it!!!  In last week’s update – Week 3 (actually my week 1, 2 AND 3) I made a BOLD to do list of everything I was going to do with our Master Bedroom in just a mere 3 weeks.  The first item on the list was remove the popcorn ceiling.  No problem I said.  I’ve done it twice before to smaller rooms (approx 8′ x 10′) and it’s possible to do it in 30 minutes (if you’re strong and/or a guy)  It took me longer but was still quite doable. Nothing insurmountable.

So I started out first thing Monday morning, kids off to school, I remove everything I can out of the room, cover up what I can’t remove, get my spatula, paint tray for the popcorn droppings, chair and water spray and I’m ready to spend the morning maybe part of the afternoon removing the popcorn off the ceiling.  Easy peasy!

But wait!  There’s a small catch!  It’s easy if the popcorn ceiling has NEVER BEEN PAINTED!!!  If your popcorn ceiling HAS BEEN PAINTED, THAT’S A WHOLE OTHER STORY!!!  The paint “seals” the “popcorn” and thus makes it extremely difficult to remove.  So obviously our ceiling had been painted before.



So now I’m turning to plan B and wonder how am I ever going to get this room finished in 3 weeks.  I google how to remove popcorn off a ceiling that HAS BEEN PAINTED!  One video showed me a woman who peeled the paint off (not helpful-my paint wasn’t that thick.)  Another one said she used a water and vinegar solution.  It worked a little better but VERY slow.  Instead of 30 minutes to do the ceiling it’s going to take me 30 hours!!!  Yikes. This can’t be happening!!!! Before pic of Master Bedroom, popcorn ceiling that had been painted!
The very NASTY popcorn ceiling that HAS BEEN PAINTED!











I start googling how to strip paint off walls/ceilings.  I came across another solution of laundry soda and flour.  You mix the two together to come up with a non-toxic paint remover.  I mixed a batch together, pasted some on the ceiling, and 20 minutes later TRIED to scrape if off!  It worked a little bit but I admit defeat!!!  

My hubby & I talked it over and we need to cover up the ceiling.  Scraping is not going to work. Way to labor intensive.  There are a number of options to cover up a popcorn ceiling from planking the ceiling, ceiling tiles drywall etc. So we will need to look at the options.  Stay tuned for more on the popcorn ceiling.



I mentioned last week that I have 3 rooms on my target list so I’m going with option #3.  The front entrance.

So here I go again.  Take 2.  Introducing:

One Room Challenge – Week 4 – The Front Entrance

I’m a little disappointed but I can realistically do this in 2 weeks now and it does need a transformation.  It looks okay now (but slightly boring in my opinion.)  It doesn’t look stunning and the paint color definitely needs updating.  I think all entrances should look stunning because it’s the first space people see when they walk into your house.


one room challenge, front entrance, before















The current challenge for me is the buffet.  The buffet, a beautiful piece of furniture, was a hand-me-down from in my-laws, and is VERY traditional.  Too traditional for me and doesn’t “fit” with the rest of the main floor.  Thus it’s time bid farewell! Former buffet. One Room Challenge, Fall 2015
The current “traditional” hallway table. A street find entrance way table awaiting its makeover.
My new entrance way table. A great street find thanks to my hubby!












I’m still in the process of putting together my vision board & deciding on colors.  I have a general idea but not the specifics yet.  You can click here to check out my evolving Front Entrance vision board on Pinterest.


Here’s my new to do list:

  1. Paint walls
  2. Clean grout & seal hallway tiles
  3. Do accent wall on buffet wall
  4. Paint the inside of the front door
  5. Put in new glass for front door & side window
  6. Buy 3 hall lights
  7. Paint/finish new entrance table
  8. Remove the popcorn ceiling – kidding!!!! It’s been painted.  NOT touching it!

Please check back next week, week 5 to see how I’m doing!!!  I will give updates throughout the week on my blog!


DESIGNER TIP:  If you’re going to remove the popcorn ceiling in your home, and your home was built prior to 1980, get your ceiling professional tested to see if their is asbestos in the paint.  If there is, you need a professional to remove it.  DON’T do it yourself.  It’s not worth the health risk.  The professionals have all the equipment, safety suits & know-how to do the job safely.

Check out the other 175+ amazing designers/bloggers who are also participating in the One Room Challenge.


Related Posts:

One Room Challenge – Week 3 – Master Bedroom


Add Value to Your Home with Debi CollinsonI’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Stager. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I staged my very first home. Staging houses was just starting to become popular. I was very nervous staging my first house, but the sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and have never looked back. Since 2006, I have been staging & styling spaces to make them look like they belong in a magazine page, and buying “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent them out. I’m currently living in my 8th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time!



  • Avatar <cite class="fn">Nell Coyle</cite>

    How do you remove popcorn ceilings that have not be painted over?

    • Avatar <cite class="fn">Debi Collinson</cite>

      Great question! Basically you get a spray bottle of hot water, spray the area, 6′ x 6′ is a good space to start. Wait about 10 minutes and using a scraper you gently scape the popcorn off into a bowl or something. You need to be careful not to scrap to hard or you can scrap part of the ceiling off. You keep repeating this until the ceiling is done. Once it’s finished, use a filler to fill in any holes you might have created from the scraping, sand the ceiling so it’s nice and smooth, wipe it down, prime it and paint it. I’ll have to find the pictures of when I did the basement ceiling and post that one. It’s easier to see in pictures! Thanks for reading my post!

  • Avatar <cite class="fn">Denise</cite>

    This is funny because I was just discussing my ceilings with M-M-M (thinking it was easy as wetting and scraping) and he was said the EXACT same thing. NOT a small job once they have been painted!

    • Avatar <cite class="fn">Debi Collinson</cite>

      Hey Denise! It’s SO true!!! You need to know if they have been painted or not before you start. I wasn’t sure when I started – I thought they weren’t painted. I will get back to those popcorn ceilings soon so you can stay posted and read all about them. Great to hear from you!

  • Avatar <cite class="fn">Nancy @ Slightly Coastal</cite>

    Oh my goodness! That looked so tough. I hate textured ceilings…why oh why do they do that? I know, to cover poor workmanship. I’m excited to see your front entry and I am so happy you joined in! It’s going to be fun but such a challenge! I can’t wait to see next week!


    • Avatar <cite class="fn">Debi Collinson</cite>

      And to think people actually paid more money for textured ceilings and now we’re scraping it all off! Thanks for posting Nancy!

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