When we bought the house we had/have popcorn ceilings throughout. The ceiling in the living room really need some cleaning. Instead of trying to paint the dirty ceilings, we decided to tackle the project of SCRAPING! It really was not that bad. Once you wet the popcorn the stuff just shucks right off. We had to scrape the living room, then the dining room and kitchen, which led to the laundry room, so that needed to be scraped. Then we scraped down the hall to the bedrooms and stopped there. We did not scrape in any of the bedrooms. The project was big enough without adding rooms. Also, the popcorn in the rooms was in really good shape as it was.
Scraping popcorn took a good 10-12 man hours with Matt and his dad doing a lot of the work the next day, after Matt, our dads and I scraped for a good 5 hours the first night. We tackled the project the day after we signed the mortgage. We got started about 8 pm and scraped till nearly midnight.
After the scraping Justin Robinson, My sister in law's husband came over and mudded the entire ceiling! It looks BEAUTIFUL! Justin does this professionally and we were HUGELY blessed to have his talents available.
I don't have a picture of the finished ceiling on hand, but you will be able to see it pictures of the living room later on. Keep and eye out!