Saturday, June 29, 2019



Ah, popcorn ceilings. These bubble-textured ceilings were very popular in homes built between the 1970s and 1990s and are still used in many homes. The unique textured finish is achieved by spraying on a mixture that looks like cottage cheese onto the ceiling and allowing it to dry. This look was used as a cheaper alternative to properly painting ceilings in all types of buildings, as the textured finish helped to hide imperfections and wouldn’t require painting as often. Popcorn ceilings are also great for absorbing sound, which made them a popular choice in both homes and apartment buildings.

These days, many people prefer the more modern look of smooth or lightly textured ceilings. If you’re ready to say goodbye to popcorn and achieve a sleeker look, there are a couple of ways to get rid of popcorn ceilings. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it can be quite a difficult and expensive process.

The biggest issue with keeping popcorn ceilings clean is dust. Textured ceilings tend to collect dust, so you’ll want to clean the surface before you do anything. A microfiber duster or vacuum with a brush attachment should do the trick. If you have some staining on the ceiling, use a small amount of liquid cleaner and a soft cloth. Be sure to test out a small patch first, as sometimes the texture can disintegrate when it gets wet.

There are a couple of ways you can remove or change the texture of your older popcorn ceilings. Let’s take a look at a couple of the most popular methods.


Scraping is the most time-consuming method, but it’s also probably the most popular. It can be slow and messy work, but it’s the most cost-effective and doesn’t necessarily require a large team of people. (You could do it all by yourself if you wanted to, but it would be a very long job!) Before beginning the work, it’s important to note that popcorn finishes and paint applied before 1979 often contained asbestos and lead. Both these substances can be toxic if they become airborne. If you have an older home, consult with an expert about testing your paint for lead and testing for asbestos. If you do end up with positive test results for either substance, do not proceed with scraping the ceiling.

Once you’re ready to get started, you’ll need to gather your tools: a putty knife, 4-inch utility knife, and a 6” or wider floor scraper. You’ll also want to make sure you cover all surfaces with drop cloths (plastic sheeting works well) as things will definitely get dusty. For this same reason, you’ll want to make sure you wear a dust mask as you work. To begin, you can either scrape the ceiling while dry, or gently mist it with water to loosen things up. From there, it’s a matter of slowly and carefully scraping the surface, working in small sections around the room until you’re done.

Before painting it over, you’ll need to sand it down, apply some drywall plaster, and then sand it again to ensure a perfectly smooth surface. It’s a lot of work and can be tricky to do correctly, so it’s always best if you can hire professionals to take care of it for you.

If a completely smooth ceiling isn’t the right look for your home, you can also look at creating a different kind of textured ceiling. However, creating a new finish does still require some prep work. First, the ceiling will need to be cleaned and prepped with quick-set drywall mud. Once dry, a bonding agent (such as joint compound) will need to be applied, and then the finishing texture can go on top of it. Before getting started, it’s a good idea to get a contractor or other expert to take a look at it, to ensure the ceiling is sturdy enough to handle the extra weight of the new materials needed to cover the popcorn finish. It’s possible that adding more compound could be too heavy and cause the ceiling to come down.


Since it’s a lot of work to fully remove a popcorn ceiling, it’s often easier just to paint over it and keep the texture. Before you get started, you’ll need to get the room ready. It’s likely that paint will drip since you’re painting a ceiling, so make sure you cover all the floors and any furniture or other items with dropcloths, and tape or mask off any fixtures or ceiling fans.

You’ll also probably need to buy extra paint. Textured surfaces typically need more paint to ensure full coverage, so you’ll likely need double the regular amount you would usually need. This is something to keep in mind if you’re hiring professionals to paint for you, as you’ll need to budget for more paint than normal. If the ceiling is currently unpainted, you want to use an oil-based ceiling paint to get the best results. You can tell if your ceiling is unpainted by simply running your fingers over it. If the popcorn crumbles as you do this, it is unpainted.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

6 Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home In A Down Market

One of the most common problems that homeowners have is they tend to become spoiled by watching their home increase in value due to natural inflation. They get to sit back year after year during a decade or so of an up market trends and simply count the equity as it stacks up.
When the down-market hits they find themselves lost and clueless on what to do.  Most homeowners hope for some arbitrary change in the market so that they can once again start watching their home increase in value.
Yet, there are some homeowners who take matters into their own hands. These are a select few who realize that a down-market is not a ‘no market’. These are savvy homeowners who actually increase the value of their investment with cost effective improvements like the 5 listed below.
6 Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home In A Down Market

1. Weatherize Your Home
The cost of heating and cooling larger homes is one of the reasons people opt to buy smaller units. When it comes to homes with high ceilings, utility bills can quickly take the joy out of living large. The best solution is to weatherize your home to make it more enticing to prospective buyers.
The information and products in weatherizing your home are readily available. Many of the things that you need to weatherize a home are also relatively inexpensive. Brushes under doors to stop drafts, water heater blankets and cellulose ceiling insulation are just a few things you can start to improve on. There are loads of easy weatherization projects that you could do on your own with the use of simple tools.
2. Interior and Exterior Painting
It’s not cheap to have a home painted so this is something that you can do to increase the appeal and build some real equity in your home. The problem that too many homeowners have is how to start painting the entire home. The best way is to start painting one room at a time.
Rather than painting your home all at once try to do it as a series of weekend projects. Keep in mind that you don’t need any specialized skills to paint a home.
3. Modern Trim and Molding Work
If your home is old and looks outdated, one of the reasons may be because of old trim and molding. Take a look at the baseboards that you’ll see on any modern home and you’ll see that the taller colonial look has become the trend to replace shorter more discreet baseboards.
You don’t need to have any carpentry experience to install your own trim and baseboards. Rather you just need to have the will to do it. Take a look and see for yourself that it’s just a series of straight runs with 45° cuts on the corners and light nailing. The materials are also relatively inexpensive.
4. A Light Kitchen Remodel Job
You can really spend a lot of money into a kitchen remodeling job. If you’re thinking of low cost with high return kitchen remodeling jobs, you can always opt for affordable improvements. Ask any realtor and they’ll tell you that the two most important rooms in a home are the kitchen and the master bathroom. These two rooms need a lot of attention if you want to successfully sell your home.
Start with a light kitchen remodel job which involves tasks such as replacing the knobs on doors and cabinets, installing string lights under cabinets, hanging a new light fixture, and updating counter tops. Finish it off with a fresh paint job and you can have a brand-new looking kitchen to make your home more marketable.
5. Tub and Shower Inserts
If you have an older home then the bathrooms would most likely look worn and outdated. For such a small area, tubs and showers can be real money pits and could really entail a lot of work.
There are still ways to make your bathroom look spic and span. First, take a close look at tub and shower inserts. There are newer and improved insert kits that are available which looks like real tile and you don’t need any special skill to install these things. It is easy to trim to the right size with a razor knife and then glue it in with standard construction adhesive. Finish it off with a tub and tile caulk.
The Bottom Line:
You don’t need to be an expert Calgary Painters at any particular craft or trade to do worthwhile projects on your home to improve its value. On the other hand, things like electrical wiring, gas piping and roofing projects are better left to professionals, but there’s still loads of other things that you could do around your home.
Take the time to read about products and materials and watch some do-it-yourself instructional videos on the internet before you start your home improvements. It’s not rocket science and a big chunk of what it takes to get improvement projects done on your home is simply the will to commit to doing them.