How Much Does Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost?

The average sqft cost to remove popcorn ceilings ranges from $5 to $9 per square foot. This includes all labor, preparation work, and materials to do the job right. No question, the intense amount of labor required will make up the majority of the cost you'll pay.

1. Popcorn Ceiling Removal Costs (Hire A Pro)

According to painting experts, popcorn ceiling removal costs range from $1,923 to $3,876 with an average price of $2,899 to hire a professional. The average sqft cost to remove popcorn ceilings ranges from $5 to $9 per square foot.

This includes all labor, preparation work, and materials to do the job right. No question, the intense amount of labor required will make up the majority of the cost you’ll pay. If asbestos is present, budget for a range of $50 to $150 per square foot for a certified contractor to properly remove it.

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2. DIY Removing Popcorn Ceilings

DIY popcorn removal is a major project for most homeowners. To remove popcorn ceiling texture yourself, it will take 2-4 days of intense labor for a small bedroom or 4-8 days for larger spaces.

Indeed, larger rooms like a living room or kitchen with vaulted ceilings will take longer. Not to mention, you’ll need to purchase a scraper, sander, putty knife, joint compound, drop cloths, joint tape, and drywall mud from a nearby Home Depot or hardware store. For tall ceilings, you’ll need to buy or rent a ladder as well.

Likewise, you need a few coats of paint and primer to ensure a smooth ceiling finish when you’re done. The total cost of materials to remove a popcorn ceiling yourself ranges from $274 to $1,382. As you can imagine, this all depends on the square footage of your room and ceiling height.

For more extensive popcorn ceiling removal jobs, you may need to purchase or rent a professional airless sprayer to coat the surface. Don’t forget about eye protection, dust masks, and all of the plastic and tape wasted prepping your home interior.

In case you’re still up for removing popcorn ceilings yourself, take the following steps to get the job done.

3. Cover Popcorn Ceilings with Drywall or Wood

The third option you have is covering your popcorn ceilings with new drywall or wood paneling. From a cost and time standpoint, this job likely requires hiring professional dry wall contractors or painters that do carpentry.

The average cost to hire a professional to cover popcorn ceilings with new drywall ranges from $10 to $20 per sqft or $2,849 total.

Removing popcorn ceilings sucks. But living with an ugly popcorn ceiling for most homeowners sucks even more.

Whether you’re looking for popcorn ceiling removal costs or DIY removing popcorn texture from ceilings, we cover 3 tips to help you make the best choice.

We’ll also run through what to do about asbestos ceilings. Not to mention, when to cover popcorn textures with drywall or wood paneling.

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What Is a Popcorn Ceiling?

Also called “acoustical ceilings” because the thick texture of the product absorbs sound waves, popcorn ceilings resemble large curds of cottage cheese. Builders applied the surface with a hopper and a spray gun, making it a quick fix for camouflaging ceiling panels.

When new and fresh, popcorn ceilings were attractive, and they gave the entire room a modern look. Best of all, the texture hid poor workmanship, such as an inability to hang drywall panels evenly or finish them with a smoothly taped surface. Before the advent of popcorn texture, builders needed someone on their crew who knew how to tape out ceiling panels skillfully to keep the seams between the panels from showing.

Asbestos Popcorn Ceilings

The best starting point when deciding how to remove popcorn ceilings is determining whether asbestos is present. If your popcorn ceilings contain asbestos, you should hire a certified asbestos abatement contractor. Another option is covering the ceilings with drywall or wood paneling.

Unless you are a certified contractor, removing popcorn ceilings with asbestos is not a DIY project to take on yourself.

For context, Asbestos popcorn ceilings are a style of dimpled drywall texture popular from 1945 to the early 1990s. Most popcorn ceilings applied in older homes prior to 1990 contain asbestos. This dangerous material was found to cause mesothelioma cancer when disturbed. Even sanding, painting, patching, or scraping an asbestos ceiling creates dust that’s harmful if inhaled.

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