Check out what our happy customers have to say on Social Media

  • Thumbtack
  • Angie\\\'s List

clean walls

  • Things to Consider Before Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

    Things to Consider Before Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

    Popcorn ceilings. You love them or you hate them! It’s all personal preference, although homeowners are shifting away from this style. There are countless videos on the internet that show how to easily and quickly remove a popcorn ceiling. But we warn that this task should not be undertaken on a whim. Most people opt to remove a popcorn ceiling mostly due to aesthetics, yet there are other factors to consider. We’re sharing the most important details to consider before removing a popcorn ceiling, as well as discussing popcorn ceiling removal costs.

    What is a Popcorn Ceiling?white popcorn ceiling

    Also known as a stipple ceiling, stucco ceiling, or acoustic ceiling, it is a ceiling with one of a variety of spray-on or paint-on treatments. These treatments deliver a final product that appears bumpy, which is why they are often referred to as ‘popcorn’. They became especially popular in residential homes between the 1930s and 1990s. Why? Primarily because they were cheaper. Due to the final appearance, homeowners did not need to do any repairs or smooth the ceiling prior to application. Imperfections were simply covered up, a huge headache for future homeowners. It does also have some sound-deadening properties, although this wasn’t much of a selling point. The downfall of popcorn ceilings actually began when it was determined that asbestos had been used as a binding ingredient. Once this material was banned in the U.S. in 1978, many popcorn ceilings were removed and never replaced.

    Before You Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

    Whether or not you’re dead set on removing your popcorn ceilings, you should have all of the information about this decision. Here are a few things to consider before you start the process of removing a popcorn ceiling.

    • What Lies Underneath

    As mentioned, popcorn ceilings peaked because they were affordable in comparison to performing repairs. This means that by removing a popcorn ceiling you may unveil a shoddy-looking ceiling or previous repair jobs. Unless you plan to then perform the necessary repairs, or continue on looking at a hideous ceiling, it may not be the best idea to remove the popcorn. And if you start the removal process then change your mind, you’ll pay the cost of reapplying this specific style.

    • Refinishing Your Ceiling

    Let’s say that you remove your popcorn ceiling and do not find anything that requires repair. Congrats, you’re lucky! But you’re not done. This ceiling can not simply be painted. It actually needs to be redone with a modern finish, depending on the look you would like to achieve. If you do not have your ceiling refinished then you will be left with a ceiling that no longer resembles popcorn, but is far from smooth.

    • Change to Lighting

    One of the lesser-known impacts of a popcorn ceiling is how they affect the lighting in a room. Due to the bumpy surface, light hits all of the nooks and crannies, therefore creating harsher shadows. Why does this matter? Once the popcorn ceiling is removed, you may notice a slight shift in the color of your walls. Usually that they are brighter, making a room appear bigger. For some people, this is no big deal, but for others, it may mean repainting numerous rooms.

    • Risk for Asbestos

    Depending on the age of your home, there is a significant risk that asbestos may be present in your popcorn ceiling. For this reason, we do not recommend that anyone attempts to remove a popcorn ceiling without first having the material tested. Should you proceed with removal on your own, you put yourself and others at risk of inhaling a dangerous cancer-causing carcinogen. Simply put, removal of asbestos without a professional is also illegal. Play it safe and consult a professional first! 

    • Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost

    This point is not so much about why you should not remove a popcorn ceiling, but why you should not remove a popcorn ceiling yourself. The bottom line is that the cost of popcorn ceiling removal is very reasonable. But aside from cost, professionals will be able to protect your home from the dust created during the removal process. Without proper ventilation and partitions/coverings, you’ll be left with a huge mess. And trust us, this type of dust is not easy to remove from any furniture.room prepared for popcorn ceiling removal

    Ready to update the ceilings in your home? At Helix Painting, our team consists of caring, passionate, service-oriented professionals, who strive to make your home renovation experience easy and low-stress. Learn more about our residential services here, or request a free estimate to get started!

  • How to Get Crayon, Pen & Marker Off of Walls

    How to Get Crayon, Pen & Marker Off of Walls

    child drawing on wall

    Kids bring all kinds of joy to life, but they also introduce some unique and stress-inducing messes. One, in particular, being writing on your clean walls. There is nothing that catches your eye quite like a random bold smudge of color! And although beautiful in its own childish right, we understand that it’s not a piece of artwork you plan on framing. Today, we’re sharing how to get cray, pen, and marker off of your walls, without damaging the paint. Plus, tips on how to prevent permanent staining or discoloration.

    Before You Get Started

    Removing a child’s wall art is not for the faint of heart! It takes some surprisingly simple products, but a whole lot of elbow grease. So we recommend mentally preparing for a whole lot of scrubbing or investing in a tool that will do it for you. Additionally, don’t jump straight at the unsightly marks. You must test any products, especially chemicals, on a discreet portion of the wall first. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing more unattractive damage.

    Household Tricks to Clean Marks Off Your Walls

    Some of the best ways to remove marks from your walls are already tucked away in your cabinets! Try out one of these popular household tricks for removing crayons, markers, and pens!

    • Baking Soda – Apply a small portion to a soft, damp cloth and gently scrub. It has the perfect amount of grit to remove crayon, without scuffing up your wall. After you are done, wipe the wall down and allow it to dry.
    • Magic Eraser – If you don’t already own a magic eraser, then you will after this! A soft piece of melamine foam with a cleaning agent, they are a highly rated product that makes removing dirt and grime a breeze. To use it, just wet it a little (wring it out) and gently scrub the wall. 
    • Baby Wipes – Ideal for water-based inks, like washable markers, baby wipes are a popular choice amongst moms. But a warning! Baby wipes can smudge color and cause staining. DO NOT WIPE, BLOT ONLY!
    • Toothpaste – You read that right! Non-gel toothpaste can be applied to a mark and wiped off after a short period to remove some marks. Some claim that it works best in combination with baking soda. Just don’t scrub too harshly.
    • A hairdryer – Especially useful for crayons, the heat from a hairdryer will help make waxes melt and easier to clean. Once warmed, simply use a damp cloth with mild soap to wash it off.
    • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) – To remove the ballpoint pen and magic marker ink, apply rubbing alcohol to a damp cloth. Then gently dab the marks until they disappear, before wiping them down with a clean cloth.

    Can’t Remove the Marks?

    Unfortunately, it happens. Some marks are simply too tough to remove and will have to be covered instead. If you’re tempted to swipe on a quick coat of paint, however, stop! You can not paint directly over crayons, pen, or markers. These can bleed through the paint over time and will come back to haunt you. Instead, apply a coat of primer and allow it to dry completely, before spot painting.

    Create More Room for Creativity

    If your child has a habit of drawing on your walls, it might be time to stop fighting their creativity. Instead, give them a specific area to draw via chalkboard paint. Applied like regular paint, over a primer, chalkboard paint can be applied to a small area or an entire room. It can even be used on cabinetry and other flat surfaces. If you choose to go this route, consider letting your little one take part in the painting process. This will help them better understand what the area is for and establish clear boundaries. In the end, you’ll deal with a lot more messes, without hindering your child’s desire to draw.

    Protect Your Walls

    Once you’ve fully relished the chore of removing a child’s art from your walls, you won’t want to do it again. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to make this unfortunate circumstance less painful in the future. Namely, stain-resistant paint. While we can’t prevent kiddos from going to town on your walls, we can make the clean-up much easier. Stain-resistant paints have a higher sheen, think satin, semi-gloss, or gloss. This type of paint helps to seal surfaces, making them less porous, and therefore easier to clean in the event of a mess. If you plan on painting again soon, opt for this type of paint. If you do not plan on painting any time soon, you can invest in a topcoat or sealer. Versus putting it in any and every room in your house, just cover the areas where your kids may be left unsupervised. Like a playroom, basement, or their bedrooms.

    Need help adding a new color or an additional layer of protection to your walls? At Helix Painting, our team consists of caring, passionate, service-oriented professionals, who strive to make your interior painting experience easy and low-stress. Learn more about our interior painting services here, or request a free estimate to get started!