The process of removing spackle from a ceiling is time-consuming and may take two or more days to complete. Ceiling spackle installed before 1979 should be tested for asbestos before removal to avoid any risks to your health.
Prepare the room
Ceiling spackle removal is messy. To avoid damage, move furniture to another room and cover the floors with plastic tarp. Use a window fan to provide ventilation to the room while the ceiling spackle is being removed.
Determine if the ceiling spackle is painted
If the spackle is painted over, sand or scrape the spackle using a sander or a stiff bristle push broom. This removes some of the paint and makes removal of the spackle easier.
Spray and remove the spackle
Spray the spackle with ample amounts a water to soften and loosen the material. A garden hose with a sprayer head is quickest, but a spray bottle also works. Let the spackle soak for a few minutes before scraping it with a drywall knife, ceiling texture scraper or putty knife. Remove the spackle quickly. If you let it sit more than 20 minutes, it will dry out and re-harden. Once most of the spackle is scraped off, let the ceiling dry. Sand off the excess spackle using a pole sander.