You can remove popcorn ceiling texture by lightly wetting the material and gently scraping the ceiling with a scraper tool. Popcorn texture installed before 1979 should be tested for asbestos before removal.
Popcorn texture removal creates a mess, so clear the room of furniture before starting. Plastic sheeting covering the walls from ceiling to floor seals off the room and protects the walls. Waterproof drop cloths protect the floor from the falling texture material.
A garden sprayer filled with warm water and a few tablespoons of dishwashing liquid works well for saturating the popcorn material. Spray the ceiling in a 5-foot section with enough water to loosen the popcorn without saturating the drywall material.
After 10 to 15 minutes, the popcorn material scrapes off easily with a scraping tool. Scrape carefully along the ceiling to avoid gouging chunks from the drywall. If the popcorn material doesn't come off the first time, spray more water on the section and wait another 10 to 15 minutes. A smaller putty knife works well along the edges to control the scraping.
Once the popcorn material is gone, check the condition of the ceiling. Possible repairs include hammering in nails, fixing drywall joints and sanding the ceiling.