Author Topic: Popcorn ceiling sanding  (Read 30100 times)

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Offline Sean.M

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Popcorn ceiling sanding
« on: December 09, 2011, 06:25 PM »
I am looking for recommendations on tools to be used for sanding popcorn ceilings.

Right now I do the standard wetting scraping of removal of popcorn ceilings. I am now looking to eliminate some of those steps. Any recommendations of sanders for this process? I am of course open to experimentation as far as what works and what does not but thought some of you may have already done some experimenting on this subject. Any input will be very helpful to me as I already have decided to try this.



EDIT:
Warning: Popcorn texture contained asbestos until 1978. It could of been used in residential use up to 1985. If your home was built before then or around those dates please have your texture tested by a professional before attempting any kind of repairs or removal.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 10:25 PM by Sean.M »

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 06:30 PM »
I know the answer to this one!  Did a crap load of those last year.  I also use Festool!  And I am a member here.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 06:55 PM »
I know the answer to this one!  Did a crap load of those last year.  I also use Festool!  And I am a member here.

Peter
Peter, I am fine experimenting and finding out from trial and error on what works and what does not but just looking for suggestions on what other members may have tried or think will work. I do this X amount of times a year and turn down these jobs X amount of times a year because I am busy enough to not to want to deal with the hassles.  My take is I want to save time, prep and clean up. I think I would want the biggest sander possible with a square sander for the flats and a detailed sander around lights and what not. If I can save on all the prep and clean up I would be doing these jobs a lot more than I do.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 06:57 PM by Sean.M »

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 07:36 PM »
Advice time.

Many popcorn ceilings have been painted and thus do not respond favorably to the water / mist approach.  Buy a 99 dollar Wagnor wallpaper steamer. This will get past the latex paint.  Scrape.   Then use your Festool sander, or then thin mud and spray and skin.  Sand with an ETS.  Prime and paint.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 07:43 PM »
I understand Peter, I normally take a garden sprayer and wet the ceiling, scrape with a 12+ blade and then repair after scraped if not getting retexured.

I am looking for a dry clean way. I will figure it out whether it is doable and if it is not I will find that out too.  [big grin]

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 07:50 PM »
I believe Bosch, Makita and Porter Cable make a large horizontal disc grinder/sander that would level it down dry, but with lots of mess.  They're normally used for concrete leveling or stripping paint, depending on the models I'm referring to.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 07:52 PM by Ken Nagrod »

Offline lumbajac

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 07:52 PM »
Corey - U.P. of Michigan

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 07:59 PM »
OK.  If you are looking for a miracle Festool sander to deal with popcorn ceilings - they don't exist.  A sander is a planer tool and popcorn ceiling is three dimensional.  The popcorn will be sheared off by sanders that deal with the level as they were engineered to do.  Just wet and scape.  Follow up with a sander that can handle the dust.  

Peter
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 08:07 PM by Peter Halle »
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 08:09 PM »
Thanks guys you confirmed what I already knew.

I am just considering another option,.

Peter, not looking for a miracle I am just considering improvements to the status quo.


Offline Scott Burt

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 08:16 PM »
I dont know guys. I have been messing around with the scraper attachment for my LS130. I would not rule out the possibility that this combo could get involved in what Sean is exploring. There wouldn't be much extraction about it, just popcorn extricated from the ceiling. I dont do any popcorn ceilings, but I wonder if this could work.

If not, a pot of coffee and the Fakir.

Offline Scott Burt

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2011, 08:17 PM »

Offline greenMonster

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 08:29 PM »
another low-tech option

Chip Buddie Scraper

Offline Alex

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2011, 09:02 PM »
Just make sure the ceiling isn't so old that it might contain asbestos. You wouldn't want to sand that stuff.

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2011, 09:19 PM »
Sean

This is the 130 attachment I am talking about:

http://www.festoolusa.com/products/sanders/other-accessories/scraper-491199.html
I saw that when we were visiting Festool and it might be too small for my purposes. I have a basic concept. of what I am thinking of and will update my trial and errors.
another low-tech option

Chip Buddie Scraper
I think that may be to small for what I am thinking.

Just make sure the ceiling isn't so old that it might contain asbestos. You wouldn't want to sand that stuff.
Good point. I do this type of work regularly and know that they used asbestos until around 83 in this type of texture.
I believe Bosch, Makita and Porter Cable make a large horizontal disc grinder/sander that would level it down dry, but with lots of mess.  They're normally used for concrete leveling or stripping paint, depending on the models I'm referring to.
I am trying to skip this step of taking it off and then sanding. I am actually just trying to eliminate the mess altogether.

http://dustlesstools.com/popcorn_ceiling.htm
Thanks.

If not, a pot of coffee and the Fakir.
There you go. 

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2011, 09:22 PM »
A buddy of mine and I duct-taped an elongated vacuum nozzle to a putty knife to remove a popcorn ceiling once. It worked pretty well. It didn't get all the mess but probably about 90% or more. After scraping with that, it almost looked good, kind of like a subdued Monterrey drag.


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Offline Scott Burt

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2011, 09:23 PM »

There you go. 
[/quote]

I'm not entirely joking. The Fakir is a popcorn perforator just waiting to happen.

44900-0

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2011, 09:40 PM »

There you go. 

I'm not entirely joking. The Fakir is a popcorn perforator just waiting to happen.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ]
[/quote]
Having a hard time envisioning it, I think the Planex might be a good tool but I am wanting to try what I have in my mind. I am trying to eliminate some steps by sanding it down.

Offline Scott Burt

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2011, 09:42 PM »
Any outcome where you can eliminate the wet work would be a major gain. Just like the pressure wash v. dust free sanding discussion we had at the workshop. This is one of those cases where wetter is not better.

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2011, 09:48 PM »
Any outcome where you can eliminate the wet work would be a major gain. Just like the pressure wash v. dust free sanding discussion we had at the workshop. This is one of those cases where wetter is not better.
Exactly how I see it. When wetting and scrapping it falls all over so my goal is to eliminate both of those and over all make a clean working environment.

Offline Paul W.

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2011, 10:27 PM »
Something like a paintshaver pro for ceilings?

Instead of blades have a brush of sort.

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2011, 10:34 PM »
Something like a paintshaver pro for ceilings?

Instead of blades have a brush of sort.
Something like that, I have a blade or grinder idea but that would require new tool development and at this stage I have some ideas I want to try with what already exists.


Offline Paul W.

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2011, 10:45 PM »
Gerbils doing OT!  [thumbs up]

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2011, 10:52 PM »
lol just trying to improve my systems.  [wink]

Offline Paul W.

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2011, 11:13 PM »
Wonder what a planex would do?

If you sand it, do you think it will gum and roll?

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2011, 11:32 PM »
Wonder what a planex would do?

If you sand it, do you think it will gum and roll?
I have thought about the Planex.

I don't think so most popcorn I run into has never been painted.

Offline Holzhacker

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2011, 11:10 AM »
Sometimes hard work is just hard work. I've done tons of popcorn ceilings. I stopped using water years ago. Way too messy, way too much sloppy clean-up. Easier to use fans and vacs to control dust in the room. Also scraping gently helps.
I generally scrape with a 12" mud blade or long handled ice scraper to get the majority off; then sand with an ETS; then patch as needed.
If this is vintage popcorn you need to be aware that it may contain asbestos material. Use appropriate breathing protection and confinement. Its helpful to have a guy running the vac and holding the wide nozzle near the scraper as you go along to minimize some of the dust. If it is newer popcorn probably not an issue.
If going over an old plaster or especially concrete ceiling consider mixing structolite into your DB or mud. Old plaster and concrete tend to suck the moisture out of the mud and cause adhesion problems. Adding structo will allow the compound mixture to dry properly and fully adhere.
Very rare that I will patch over old plaster without a structo/DB mix, never over concrete. A structo/DB mix also works very well if going over old canvas wallpaper.
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Offline Mr Jones

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2011, 11:32 AM »
I've never seen a popcorn ceiling in the UK, but I have sanded a lot of wood chip with the Planex. There is a very low grit which is chunky enough to deal with the first layer of wood chip, it sounds like that might work on this popcorn stuff !

Offline Tom Bellemare

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2011, 11:40 AM »
Quote
Its helpful to have a guy running the vac and holding the wide nozzle near the scraper as you go along to minimize some of the dust.

That's why we taped the wide nozzle to the scraper. We used the tubes from the vac as a long handle to reach the ceiling. It worked amazingly well and was essentially a one man job.


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Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2011, 10:05 PM »
Sometimes hard work is just hard work. I've done tons of popcorn ceilings. I stopped using water years ago. Way too messy, way too much sloppy clean-up. Easier to use fans and vacs to control dust in the room. Also scraping gently helps.
I generally scrape with a 12" mud blade or long handled ice scraper to get the majority off; then sand with an ETS; then patch as needed.
If this is vintage popcorn you need to be aware that it may contain asbestos material. Use appropriate breathing protection and confinement. Its helpful to have a guy running the vac and holding the wide nozzle near the scraper as you go along to minimize some of the dust. If it is newer popcorn probably not an issue.
If going over an old plaster or especially concrete ceiling consider mixing structolite into your DB or mud. Old plaster and concrete tend to suck the moisture out of the mud and cause adhesion problems. Adding structo will allow the compound mixture to dry properly and fully adhere.
Very rare that I will patch over old plaster without a structo/DB mix, never over concrete. A structo/DB mix also works very well if going over old canvas wallpaper.

Thanks for your post.

I've never seen a popcorn ceiling in the UK, but I have sanded a lot of wood chip with the Planex. There is a very low grit which is chunky enough to deal with the first layer of wood chip, it sounds like that might work on this popcorn stuff !

I agree that they may be the right tool for the job but don't think it is an option.

Offline Mr Jones

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2011, 04:55 AM »
I've never seen a popcorn ceiling in the UK, but I have sanded a lot of wood chip with the Planex. There is a very low grit which is chunky enough to deal with the first layer of wood chip, it sounds like that might work on this popcorn stuff !

I agree that they may be the right tool for the job but don't think it is an option.
[/quote]

It's taken me a long while to realise it's NAINA although it seems that's changing next year. I'm sure once it rolls out this forum will fill up with positive recommendations for it.

Offline JLB builders LLC

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2011, 11:10 PM »
I use a Porter cable 7800 drywall sander and 80 grit.12x14 room takes 20 min. It will fill the PC7812 bags quickly so have bags on hand. Completely dustless.
Assorted Playskool tools and some Bob the builder vids, 
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Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2011, 11:50 PM »
I use a Porter cable 7800 drywall sander and 80 grit.12x14 room takes 20 min. It will fill the PC7812 bags quickly so have bags on hand. Completely dustless.
Thanks, for this post. What are you using for the edges?
What is your turnover rate on the 7800?

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2011, 10:03 PM »
I removed the popcorn texture from a 6' X 14' bathroom drywall ceiling today. I first scraped the ceiling with a 2 1/2" Craftsman paint scraper. I did not make any gouge marks in the drywall ceiling.  I swept up the dry compound off of the floor with a broom. I vacuumed up the remaining dust from the floor & other surfaces with a CT36. I then sanded the ceiling with a ETS125 with 80 grit Granat paper hooked to the CT36. There was very little dust from the sanding for me to vacuum up & I only needed 1 disk. It worked great & much better than I expected. The total time including cleanup was less than 1 hour & 45 minutes.  
Thanks Chris a ets125 is something I planned on trying. Do you think you could of skipped the initial scraping of the nubs and just went into sanding?

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2011, 12:27 AM »
I removed the popcorn texture from a 6' X 14' bathroom drywall ceiling today. I first scraped the ceiling with a 2 1/2" Craftsman paint scraper. I did not make any gouge marks in the drywall ceiling.  I swept up the dry compound off of the floor with a broom. I vacuumed up the remaining dust from the floor & other surfaces with a CT36. I then sanded the ceiling with a ETS125 with 80 grit Granat paper hooked to the CT36. There was very little dust from the sanding for me to vacuum up & I only needed 1 disk. It worked great & much better than I expected. The total time including cleanup was less than 1 hour & 45 minutes.  
Thanks Chris a ets125 is something I planned on trying. Do you think you could of skipped the initial scraping of the nubs and just went into sanding?

I am sure I could have. It would have made the job cleaner, but even with the cleanup I believe it was a lot quicker by scraping first. 
Interesting. That is pretty much lines up with what I was thinking. I would probably sacrifice a little time to push the cleaner aspect.
Thanks.

Offline Joseph C

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2011, 01:33 AM »
PEOPLE!  [eek]

As a previous commenter suggested, MANY POPCORN CEILINGS CONTAIN ASBESTOS!

If you sand/grind, you'll atomize those (extremely fine/lightweight) particles and they can never be fully removed from the house's atmosphere.   The advantage of the wet+scrape method is that it weighs down the fibers and keeps the mass intact.

It's one thing to be that irresponsible with the air of your own home, but please don't do that to clients.
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Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2011, 01:53 AM »
PEOPLE!  [eek]

As a previous commenter suggested, MANY POPCORN CEILINGS CONTAIN ASBESTOS!

If you sand/grind, you'll atomize those (extremely fine/lightweight) particles and they can never be fully removed from the house's atmosphere.   The advantage of the wet+scrape method is that it weighs down the fibers and keeps the mass intact.

It's one thing to be that irresponsible with the air of your own home, but please don't do that to clients.
Asbestos was used up to 83 in this type of texture in some regions, now it is more like styorfoam rather than cork. I have this in mind when I  typically inquire of the age of the home even though most time it is apparent, but what Joseph says is 100% for anyone in doubt verify the age of the home and if in doubt get it tested.

I also shut the air off and cover the vents as to not contaminate their central system when I do this type of work. If that is not possible then I will block the area I am in.

Offline JLB builders LLC

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2011, 06:37 PM »
I use a Porter cable 7800 drywall sander and 80 grit.12x14 room takes 20 min. It will fill the PC7812 bags quickly so have bags on hand. Completely dustless.
Thanks, for this post. What are you using for the edges?
What is your turnover rate on the 7800?
I used up 2-3 bags on a 12x16 room using 100 grit….House was built in 1986. No mess to clean up afterwards and no dust escaped the PC sander. For the Corners I used a Fein Multi Master and held the Vac hose up to catch the dust :D
Assorted Playskool tools and some Bob the builder vids, 
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Offline Bob Lambe

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2011, 06:43 PM »
About 10 years ago, I did a smooth ceiling job for a cousin of mine, and her father dropped in.  He was a retired plasterer, an italian man in his 70's.  He  saw me scraping the ceiling, laughed at me and says "Why you no just coat over it?"  So now, in most cases, I just bury the stuff in mud.

  You do have to watch sometimes the moisture in the mud will cause the popcorn to let go from the ceiling.  Which makes it a more costly, but cleaner wet removal system.   Often though you'll be carving out a few bubbles, filling them in with more compound and with another coat everything should look great.   In most cases though everything holds just fine. 

Just to offer an entirely different angle on the problem.  I've smoothed too many ceilings and walls over the years, and I've never thought about using a powered sander.


Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2011, 07:19 PM »
Some of the ceilings that I have done have been quick and easy.  Some have been a bear.

Here are some things I have encountered:

1.  Multiple layers of paint - used a wallpaper steamer and then scraped off
2.  Repairs made with plaster and sand - Grunt it out
3.  Repairs made with small gravel and sheetrock mud - wished I had used the steamer.  Projectiles flying.

Have fun!

Peter
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Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2012, 10:31 PM »
Sean

This is the 130 attachment I am talking about:

http://www.festoolusa.com/products/sanders/other-accessories/scraper-491199.html

Anybody know the measurements on this? I looked at it on the Festool site but could not find specs. When connected to the LS 130 does it have extractor capabilities?

I have done some popcorn ceiling removal sand jobs now using the ETS 125 and the RTS 400 on unpainted popcorn ceilings. The job goes fast without the mess but the problem I am having is it is not quite as clean as I want.

When the edge of the pad hits the texture it knocks the nubs off. Of course it is only knocking a percent down and it cleans up easy but I am now thinking I need to quickly knock the nubs off before sanding if I do not want some of the nubs to get knocked down on to my drops. I am also considering the Homax 6100 scraper that you attach the bag to. I have used the Homax thing before and it is not all that good of a tool but I am thinking since I just want the nubs to fall into a bag it may work here.

I will post pics and or video later of how this has been working for me but right now I am looking for input on the LS 130 attachment or any other tool I can use that will prevent the nubs from falling without preferably being caught in the CT.  

« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 10:48 PM by Sean.M »

Offline Sean.M

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2012, 11:26 PM »
I have not seen one but I am guessing it is about 4" wide.

You would not have any dust collection with the scraper.
Thanks Chris, that is what I was thinking but was not sure. I can quickly sand if I am fine with the droppings and clean up later. It seems your earlier post was dead on about the prescraping.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2012, 03:11 AM »
Sean, 

I don't have measurements, but you can get a good idea of the size by looking at the images in Frank's thread here:  a-great-tool-for-handling-hard-to-remove-vinyl-tiles-festool-scraper/

Peter
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Offline Alex

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2012, 05:23 AM »
A width of 4'' or 100 mm is correct..
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 08:33 AM by Alex »

Offline Demetrius

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2012, 08:46 AM »
At a certain project, a client wanted to eliminate the popcorn ceiling.  His was of the fine type, but he was concerned about costs and possibly asbestos.  Though through tests it was revealed that asbestos was not present, we proposed capping the entire surface with a 1/4 inch sheet of gypsum.  He lost 1/4 inch of height and was very pleased with result.  Time and costs were kept to minimum, since only the joints and fasteners had to be plastered.
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Offline andvari

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Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2012, 10:21 AM »
At a certain project, a client wanted to eliminate the popcorn ceiling.  His was of the fine type, but he was concerned about costs and possibly asbestos.  Though through tests it was revealed that asbestos was not present, we proposed capping the entire surface with a 1/4 inch sheet of gypsum.  He lost 1/4 inch of height and was very pleased with result.  Time and costs were kept to minimum, since only the joints and fasteners had to be plastered.

This is what I did in my home.
TS55, Domino 500, Domino Assortment, OF1400, CT36+Boom Arm, T12+3, FS3000, Parallel Guides, RO 90, ETS 150/3, Domino XL, Domiplate, LS130, RTS Guide Stop, CMS-GE, Carvex 420

Offline drewrrr

  • Posts: 1
Re: Popcorn ceiling sanding
« Reply #45 on: October 11, 2017, 01:48 PM »
Just used the Festool sander to remove a popcorn ceiling in a large  vaulted ceiling.
Worked great! Got almost all popcorn into the vacuum with a bit on the ground and some tight corners needing hand scraping. Went a bit too deep in a few spots so had to spakle and resand, but nothing compared to what I'd have to do if water hit the joints.
Used 80, then 120 grit. Went through 3 plastic disposable bags.
First time using anything like this and will be using it frequently now on many future jobs. Definitely the way of the future.