How do I remove a popcorn ceiling?

For some reason, when my house was built in 1991, I had every ceiling popcorned. Now it is dirty from the fans and I want it all gone. There was a small amount on the ceiling of the bay window, so I removed it. It took almost two full days to remove the popcorn, sand and refinish the ceiling. There has to be an easier way... how do I remove the popcorn?
Submitted by sheilaworkman

The popcorn ceiling was very much of the early 90’s along with pickle stained wood.  Maybe it will come back into style but I’m with you (and many others--I promise you're not alone!), it is just a big dirt collector. Like any surface removal, you have three basic choices: scrape (or pry off), sand, or dissolve.  None of these are great.  Scraping can dig into the ceiling, sanding can be very dusty and tedious and a chemical that would dissolve the finish would be even more nasty. In situations like this I have rented a dust-collecting power sander from the local tool rental shop.  This made a terrible task only mildly tiring and really did a nice job of containing the dust and debris.  You still will probably have to skim coat the drywall in areas before re-painting but less than if you tried the other options.

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Wet the popcorn ceiling first then scrape in . I used a metal dust pan to scrape and a squirt bottle to wet the popcorn. Put down plastic on the floor. Keep wetting the popcorn and scraping off onto the plastic. Wrap up and dispose. You will have to sand and paint afterwards.
Submitted by valgonamoe