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  • The Brolaws

How to properly remove a stucco ceiling

Today we’re talking about stucco ceilings - who likes them? “Nooooooobodyyyyyyyyyyy!”

Let’s talk about how we can get rid of them. When we come in and see a stucco ceiling, most home owners want it gone. There are a few ways to change over that look and get that nice flat finish.

Option 1 - Scrape your ceiling

You can start by scraping the ceiling. If you go this route you want to make sure the ceiling hasn’t also been painted. If it has been painted, especially with an oil based paint it's going to make scraping it a lot harder.

You’ll want to start with a nice spray bottle and fill it with any kind of soap. We’ve used shampoo in the past. Mix it with water, spray that on the ceiling and leave the for a little bit. Get a nice scraping blade and just start peeling it away. If you get lucky this step can be really easy. If you don’t then this can be really time consuming.

Once all your ceiling is scraped off you’ll want to get a pole sander and sand it down to make it as smooth as possible. Then you’ll want to put a couple skim coats on top of that. If you don’t feel comfortable with doing that you can always hire a mud and tape company.

Option 2 - Just start fresh

The second option would be to re-drywall the ceiling and rip down the old drywall with the stucco on it. This route is also helpful if you are putting up pot lights. That way you can take down the drywall and will have all the room in the world to run wires and place the pot lights wherever you want. Once you’re done you can just re-drywall with 1/2” or ⅝” drywall. Next step is to mud your seems like you would do any job and this way you can start fresh!

Option 3 - cover it up

There is also a less popular option where you can add ¼” drywall on top of your stucco ceiling. You’d lose a little bit of height on your ceiling but it would be less messy. Personally, we feel that you’re best to scrape the stucco or start fresh with new drywall.

This look goes best in most cases and gives you a modern feel. That’s why you see it more these days. People love the nice smooth ceilings and the stucco has become outdated. With stucco, after awhile you start to see your ceiling develop this yellow tinge, especially if you’ve had a smoker living there in the past. The smooth ceiling is the best way to go.

The Big Questions

As a homeowner, is this something you can tackle on your own? If you’re feeling good about it then maybe - you can attempt it. The hardest part will be the drywall finishing. Once you’ve got the stucco removed and you’ve got it worked out to a nice flat finish the hard part is over. If you’re handy and good with mud work you can give it a try and apply a few nice light coats of mud across your ceiling and sand it down. Then, you’ll want to make sure you finish it off with a nice quality ceiling paint on top. You can always give it a try and if it doesn’t go so well you can always bring in a pro afterward to finish the job. At least this way you can say you’ve tried!

One last thing

While we’re on the topic of ceilings. Once you do have your ceiling finished and it’s nice and smooth and mudded you’re going to want to go with a nice brand of ceiling paint. We’ve talked about this before on our Instagram page. It’s not worth going the cheap route on this with these paints. We find that we go with the Sherwin-Williams brand. The Pro Mar 400 to be exact. It gives it a nice flat finish where you won’t see any streaks. If you go with a cheaper brand and light comes across your ceiling, you’ll most likely see every single stroke of that roller so it’s definitely worth going with a better quality ceiling paint.

Also, this isn’t an ad for Sherwin-Williams. We’re speaking from experience. We’ve used the cheap stuff in the past and you could tell! We had to go and spend more money on the expensive stuff and paint it again which costs more money and more time. You’ve already gone through the hassle and have done the grunt work with scraping so go spend the money on some good quality ceiling paint to get you that nice modern look that everyone is raving about.

Wrapping it up

That’s it for now. If it wasn’t already made clear, scraping your ceiling is the best way to go. It’s a bit messy but that’s what vacuums are for! Don’t forget to get yourself some good quality paint to finish up the job. Future you will be very grateful! As always, if you need a hand, you know where to find us! BroLaws Out!

-Dave & Joey

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