Q. Can I remove a popcorn ceiling with water after it’s been painted?
A. The fact that the popcorn finish has been painted means that it was probably primed with an oil-based primer. If it had been coated with a water-based primer, the water would have probably melted away the texture during the painting procedure. The fact that the ceiling has an oil-based coating means it won’t be nearly as susceptible to melting from application of water, as is usually the case with popcorn removal projects. Plus, removing wet popcorn ceiling is already a messy job. Whereas you may get lucky and achieve some effective penetration of water through the oil-base, it will likely take even more water than usual, meaning even more mess. An easier, cleaner approach to changing the look for the painted textured ceiling may be to cover it with thin drywall or ceiling tiles.