All About Painting Daily Today

How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling: The Complete Guide

Sep 12

Have you ever had a ceiling made of popcorn? Are you thinking about taking popcorn off the ceiling? If so, don't feel bad. There are a lot of homes with this kind of textured ceiling. Textured popcorn ceilings may seem like a nice feature at first, but many people decide to get rid of them because they can cause problems and be bad for your health. This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get rid of a popcorn ceiling. We'll talk about the pros and cons of removing popcorn ceilings, how much it costs, and how to do it yourself or hire a service to do it for you.

What's a popcorn ceiling?

From the late 1930s to the 1990s, many homes were built with popcorn ceilings or other types of ceiling textures. People often referred to it as the "acoustic ceiling." Because the texture of a popcorn ceiling lets it soak up sound and cut down on noise.

When they were new, popcorn ceilings were nice because they made the whole room look modern. But it was used to cover up mistakes and bad work on the new ceiling. Before there existed popcorn texture, builders required someone on their team who understood how to properly tape out ceiling panels so that the seams between the panels didn't appear. Now, the surface was put on with a hopper and a spray gun, which made it easy to cover ceiling panels. It took less time and cost less money because of this.

It took less than an hour to spray a standard ceiling with a popcorn texture, but it would have taken 3 or 4 days with multiple coats of new drywall compound to make a smooth ceiling. The new look saves builders money, and most people liked it until it got in the way.

Asbestos Popcorn Ceilings

Sadly, many of the popcorn ceilings that are still around today have asbestos or lead paint in them. Asbestos fibers are dangerous substances. Asbestos is a general term for any of six fibrous joint compounds found in nature.

It was used a lot in building construction starting in the late 1800s, especially for making old popcorn ceilings. This is because asbestos makes things strong and keeps them from melting when they get hot.

This type of ceiling was often used to protect steel beams and columns from fire. This dangerous material was also used to make concrete, asphalt, floor tiles, pipes, sprayed-on ceilings, wood paneling, and walls.

It used to be a common part of popcorn ceilings, but in 1977, a hardware store stopped selling it. According to the research, asbestos contains a substance that is bad for your health. But for about another year, many companies kept using asbestos-containing materials they already had.

When a lot of asbestos fibers are breathed in, they can cause lung disease, scarring of the lungs, and even lung cancer. But asbestos isn't dangerous if you don't touch it and keep it locked up. Also, there are different kinds of asbestos. Some of the six kinds are much worse for your health than the others.

If you don't test a surface, you won't know if it has asbestos or not. You can't see it with your eyes. So, you'll need to take a piece of the popcorn ceiling and send it to a lab for testing.

Even though most homeowners are allowed to take down popcorn ceilings with asbestos, it is best to have a professional asbestos removal company do it because it can be dangerous to your health.

How to Get Rid of Unattractive Popcorn Ceilings

Hiring a Pro: Costs to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

It cost $1,000 to get rid of an ugly popcorn ceiling. The average cost of removal starts at about $120 and often goes up to around $3,000.

But the real cost of a project will depend on how hard it is and how much labor costs in your area. A quick search for "popcorn ceiling removal" in your area will give you a good idea of how much it will cost to get rid of it.

Costs of Labor

Basic work, like planning, setting up the area, scraping, getting rid of trash, and cleaning up, usually costs between $15 and $40 per hour. For a 500-square-foot room, it could take up to 20 hours of work, which would cost between $300 and $750 on average. Prices depend on who you hire and where you live.


Most of the time, getting rid of popcorn ceilings costs between $1 and $2 per square foot. Even though the process can be pretty easy sometimes, it can be harder if the popcorn ceiling material contains asbestos. Talk to a licensed professional if you want to get rid of popcorn ceilings in a safe and effective way.


is one way to get rid of popcorn ceilings. A contractor can scrape them off, lightly sand the surface, and then paint over them to make them look smooth. Hiring a ceiling painter costs between $1 and $3 per square foot for labor and materials. If you do this yourself with a scraper, primer, and new paint, the materials will cost between $30 and $200.

DIY Project: Getting Rid of a Popcorn Ceiling

Most homeowners think that getting rid of popcorn is a lot of work. For a small bedroom, it will take 2–4 days of hard work to remove the popcorn ceiling texture. For a bigger room, it will take 4–8 days.

Larger rooms with vaulted ceilings, like a living room or kitchen, will take longer. Not to mention a spray bottle, a wet scraper, a sander, a putty knife, a drywall knife, joint compound, drop cloths, joint tape, and drywall mud from Home Depot or a hardware store.

In the same way, it takes a few coats of paint and primer to get a smooth finish on the ceiling. The materials you need to take down a popcorn ceiling yourself cost between $274 and $1,382. As you might expect, this depends on how big your room is and how high your ceiling is.

For a more thorough way to get rid of popcorn ceilings, you may need a professional airless sprayer to cover the surface. Bring eye protection, dust masks, and all the plastic and tape you used to prepare the inside of your home.

How To Get Rid Of Popcorn Ceiling

  1. Home Depot or a nearby Lowes is a good place to get supplies and safety gear.
  2. Cover all the furniture and floors in the room or workspace with plastic, drop cloths, or masking paper.
  3. Use a spray bottle of warm water and a scraping tool to get rid of the rough texture. Start by getting it dry.
  4. Skim coat the surface of the wet popcorn with a drywall trowel to make sure there are no holes. To get the look you want, add more orange peel or texture.
  5. Sand the area and add as many skim coats as you need to get a smooth ceiling. Apply a primer that stops stains and two coats of interior paint to the ceiling.


So, if you're considering removing popcorn ceilings in your house, consider all of your alternatives and make the best decision for your family. It's a major task, but it can totally transform a room, and it's well worth it to have a beautiful, up-to-date area that you can enjoy for years to come.

However, removing the popcorn ceiling does not transform your ceiling into something fresh and lovely; it must be finished and professionally painted. So, if you want it done well, make sure your paint color choice complements the newly profiled ceiling! We recommend Sherwin-Williams for this since their top-of-the-line paints provide exceptional quality with the most recent design from specialists who understand how much work goes into making such a change effective without compromising style or beauty.

Imagine walking into your living room after removing the popcorn ceiling and seeing that gorgeous, fresh paint job. You'll be so proud of yourself for making such an important choice! So, what are you waiting for? Go to and take advantage of their great 25% off paints and stains offer.