Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost in 2021

How Much Does Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost?

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The common pricing for popcorn ceiling removal is $1-$2 per square foot, and some 20% more if you want the ceiling repainted. Read on for more information about the costs

Many old homes come with popcorn ceiling (also known as cottage cheese or textured ceilings) pre-installed, and many homeowners find them dated or just not very aesthetically pleasing.

The good news is that the popcorn ceiling is relatively simple and inexpensive to get rid of, whether you hire a professional or handle it yourself. You can also cover a popcorn ceiling without removing it, which is practical and less messy. 

Estimating the different costs of your popcorn ceiling removal is a good start. 

Why Removal makes Sense

Popcorn ceiling used to be popular among home builders because it was inexpensive and abundant, but this was over 40 years ago.

Today a popcorn ceilings can actually lower the value of your property if you choose to sell it. Most homeowners finds them dated, not particularly pleasing to the eye, and in some cases they become flaky.

So it’s more a question of when and how rather then if.  

Typical Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost

What is the Typical Cost to Remove Popcorn Ceiling?

A contractor will typically charge $1000 to $2000 for popcorn ceiling removal, depending mainly on the size of your home. A common pricing is $1-$2 per square foot of ceiling, and up to $2.5 if you want the ceiling painted. 

If you handle it yourself, then you’ll only need to pay for materials and tools, and maybe some paint if you want to give the ceiling a new coat when you’re done. The typical cost is $100-$250, depending on the specific tools and materials you choose.

So you can definitely save a pretty penny handling the job yourself. You should keep in mind, though, that removing a popcorn ceiling, while not a difficult process by any means, can be very messy. If you’re pressed for time or just don’t want to handle the arduous cleanup yourself, then hiring a professional might be your best bet.

There is one important caveat that you should be aware of, however.

The Asbestos Factor

If you have a home that was built before 1978, then it’s best to hire a professional. Popcorn ceilings made prior to 1978 typically contain asbestos, which is a very dangerous substance.

Asbestos was banned for the creation of residential domiciles, but found its way into ceilings made all the way up to 1986 because contractors still had some in stock. If you have an older home, the absolute first thing you need to do is have professionals test for asbestos. This is for the safety of yourself and your family.

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Cost of Supplies

This list is not only for do-it-yourself homeowners evaluating the cost of the project. You will be helped by the prices in knowing more about the costs if you are planning to have a contractor do the work for you.

Each tool and supplies are used in a different method.

Price Guide for Popcorn Ceiling Replacement

We create a table to show you the cost of popcorn ceiling removal at different room sizes. This chart can be simply used to understand the amount you will spend to hire a painter for popcorn ceiling removal and replacement.

Pricing Chart for Popcorn Ceiling Removal

During the quoting process, your contractor must measure your home accurately. Getting the dimensions right will make sure the quote is more accurate.

Alongside obtaining measurements, the contractor must provide you with a detailed estimate for popcorn removal, texturing, and painting.

The cost can quickly increase, especially if you have no experience with popcorn ceiling removal. I suggest you hire a licensed and insured general contractor to perform your popcorn ceiling removal for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Removing popcorn ceiling can seem like quite the process to someone who has never done it before. If you have any questions about popcorn ceiling removal, check out some of these common questions from DIYers just like you:

How much is the cost of popcorn ceiling removal?

There are many factors that determine that cost of removing a popcorn ceiling from a house: 

  • square footage to be removed,
  • height of the ceilings,
  • if the ceiling is already painted,
  • location of the house, and
  • warranty length

You should be ready to pay about $1.15 to $2.25 per sq-ft for the removal of the popcorn ceiling in Kansas City. You should get ready to pay about $2.00 to $2.50 per sq-ft if you want to apply a new texture and paint. Note that drywall repair is not included in this pricing. 

Is it right to remove the popcorn ceiling?

Any realtor out there will tell you that having popcorn ceilings in your home will not sell it faster. If you look at this from the selling aspect, you can definitely agree that it worth it as your house will look more attractive and less out of date when you apply the beautiful texture.

The best time to remove the popcorn ceilings in your newly purchased home is before you move your furniture in. This way, you have not many obstacles to face and less clean up to do after the task. Looking at this from an updating angle, your ceilings will remain cleaner and brighter when you remove the popcorn ceilings.

You may be seeing cobwebs or dirt that hangs to the popcorn kernels on your popcorn ceilings.

Can I tackle popcorn ceiling removal on my own?

A lot of patience and relevant tools are required to handle a popcorn ceiling removal and texture application. If wrongly done, you may end up damaging the drywall or have a surface that doesn’t blend with the newly applied texture. The worst that could happen after applying the new texture is to peel off or flake immediately. This is certainly one of those domestic projects you may want to consider hiring someone to handle. 

Will popcorn removal leave a mess in my space?

YES. If not properly done, it may result in one of the messiest domestic tasks you will ever handle. Experts have come up with an effective and simple process to reduce mess with their years of experience and many successful projects. You should still schedule timing for dust and clean up right after completion of the project.

The removal process involves dust. Dallas Paints usually performs a general clean up after project completion using a vacuum machine and dusters. You may still see little dust after our departure. We suggest you do another vacuuming the next day after the project completion. 

What technique is the easiest to remove popcorn ceilings?

Grab a garden sprayer to apply moisture to the ceiling and soak for about twenty minutes. This will enable easy scrapping with no dust flying around when removing the popcorn ceiling. Make sure the misting is done lightly to prevent the water from damaging the drywall or loosening the tape.

Is home value increased after removing the popcorn ceiling?

About $25,000 to $35,000 would be added to the value of a large estate executive structure when popcorn ceiling removal is done as estimated by Schutte. He further estimated that about $2,500 is added to a home of about 1,400 sq-ft, which costs about $200,000. This is almost equal to the amount a homeowner might invest in the project. 

How long scrapping a popcorn ceiling takes?

An approximate of 20 hours may be required to scrape, remove, and replace a popcorn ceiling or about 500sq-ft area traditionally.

Couldn’t I just paint over the popcorn ceiling?

Yes, you could. It is incredibly easier to handle the paint job after scraping off the popcorn, but it is entirely possible to paint over it without removing it if you wish. If you intend to do this, make sure you paint in one direction and don’t roll back and forth, because this could make the popcorn flakes begin to peel and flake off, creating quite the mess for you.

What tools will I need for popcorn ceiling removal?

To easily handle the popcorn ceiling removal process yourself, make sure you have some of the essentials. These include plastic sheeting and drop cloths, painter’s tape, a water pump sprayer or mister, some rags, a putty knife, and a scraper.

How does removing popcorn ceiling increase my home’s value?

Many people these days see popcorn ceilings as dated and would prefer a more modern look in their homes. If you ever plan to put your home on the market, removing your popcorn ceiling and refinishing it could boost your home’s value.


Before beginning any home improvement projects like popcorn ceiling removal, it is always good to make sure you have the budget allocated to get the job done. You can save quite a bit of money by doing it yourself, or you could choose to hire a professional painting contractor for the job. Most contractors are happy to provide free estimates, so weigh your options and your budget carefully to decide the best course of action for you.

No matter how you do it, once finished, your ceiling will look brand new, fresh, and modern.

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