Remove The Stipple - June 24th 2008
Q: I have an older home which has dated stipple ceilings. We have replaced some bulky light fixtures with pot lights. Now we have damaged this stipple and I am hoping there is a way to remove the stipple and have nice smooth ceilings. Can this be done and if so how do I go about it?
A: To remove the stipple all together, first you will want to cover floors with plastic and make a clear working space by removing the furniture. Next, in a spray bottle mix 1/2 Sudsy Ammonia and 1/2 warm water. It is easier if you purchase a 2-litre spray/mister from one of your local building supply stores. Mist a large area of the ceiling 4 feet x 8 feet section at a time. Mist the area a few times to ensure it is wet and let sit for fifteen minutes. The stipple should be bubbling/blistering and easy to scrap off. Be careful not to dig into the drywall with the blade of the scrapper, since this will damage it and a drywall repair will be required. This job requires patients so go slow, smooth and steady. It is important to make sure all the stipple base (chalky powder) is totally removed and vacuumed before priming and painting.
Your other option would be to just patch the stipple areas that were damaged where the pot lights were installed by purchasing a can of stipple touch-up spray at your local paint stores. I do recommend you practice on a scrap material to make sure it is the texture you want.