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Stairway Railing Ideas

Stairway railings serve more than a functional purpose -- they give stairs a visual presence and make a staircase a work of art. Find ideas for the perfect railing for your stairway.

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Beach Chic Porch Renovation

A family put a new roof over their heads by turning their back deck into a coastal-inspired covered porch. Learn how they made the big change from their existing porch to their new, cozy family hangout area.

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Give a Plain Mirror a Makeover

Take a plain mirror to the next level with these easy DIY embellishments.

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DIY Outdoor and Garden Projects

Sprucing up your outdoor space doesn't need to be a massive undertaking. Use these inspirational small projects -- including painting rocks to hanging new house numbers -- to instantly improve the look of a garden, patio, deck, or backyard.

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Add Storage Around Stairs

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Popular in Home Improvement

Dealing with a Popcorn Ceiling

Check for asbestos before replacing a popcorn texture ceiling.

Q: How do we get rid of a cottage cheese ceiling without messing up the rest of the room? Once it is removed, what do we do with what's left on the ceiling?

A: You need to be careful with that old popcorn ceiling texture because some contain asbestos. If your home was built after 1980, chances are it is asbestos-free. To be sure, send a sample of it to a laboratory for analysis. Those labs are listed in the Yellow Pages under "Asbestos-Consulting and Testing." To get a sample, wet a small area with a mixture of water and liquid detergent, and use a putty knife to carefully scrape about a square inch of the material into a bag.

If your ceiling does contain asbestos, you are better off leaving the texture alone and painting it. Another option is to add ceiling tiles over the existing textured ceiling. Armstrong has ceiling tiles that create the illusion of a tin ceiling depending on how you paint it. It can be installed directly with adhesive or attached to furring strips.

If you do decide to remove the popcorn ceiling and it has not been painted, first spray the texture with a mixture of water and liquid detergent to ease the removal and cut down on the dust and mess. If it has been painted, it will not absorb the water, so you will need to use a chemical paint stripper, such as Lemon Peel from FiberLock. To minimize damage to the drywall, carefully scrape the texture off, then sand and clean the ceiling. After the ceiling is clean, apply a drywall compound to create a nice smooth surface. When the drywall compound is dry, sand, prime, and paint it.

For more information on ceiling tiles go to www.armstrong.com.

For more information on cleaning ceilings www.fiberlock.com

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