Guide for Contractors [Updated 2024]

Cost to Remove Popcorn Ceiling

Looking to remove your popcorn ceiling? Check out our comprehensive guide for contractors! Learn about average costs, step-by-step installation instructions, and helpful tips for purchasing materials. Say goodbye to outdated popcorn ceilings and give your project a professional touch.

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Cost Breakdown

Item DescriptionQuantityUnit of MeasureUnit PriceTotal Price
Popcorn Ceiling Removal500Square Feet$1.5$750.00
Protective Plastic3Rolls$20.00$60.00
Labor Cost12Hours$50.00$600.00
Paint (if necessary)5Gallons$30.00$150.00

Estimate Assumptions

This cost estimate for popcorn ceiling removal is based on average market prices. The removal cost is calculated for an average room of 500 square feet, charged at $1.50 per square foot. Labor cost is based on an estimated 12 hours of work at $50.00 per hour, a rate that varies by region and contractor expertise. Protective plastic sheets are required to cover furniture and floors, calculated at a cost of $20.00 per roll. If painting is needed post-removal, this estimate includes 5 gallons of paint at a cost of $30.00 per gallon. Please note these figures are illustrative and actual costs can vary based on local market rates, material quality, and the complexity of the job.

Project Timeline

The estimated timeline for completing the popcorn ceiling removal project is approximately two days. This includes the set-up of protective coverings, removal of the popcorn ceiling, and repaint if necessary. The actual timeline may vary depending on the client's schedule, the size of the room, and any unforeseen challenges that may arise during the renovation process. It is advisable to discuss the timeline in detail with your contractor to ensure that it aligns with your schedule.

Removing Popcorn Ceiling: An In-depth Guide for Residential Contractors

Welcome to our detailed guide on removing popcorn ceilings, created particularly for residential contractors. In this blog post, we dive into the reasons why removing popcorn ceiling is an essential project to undertake, discuss alternatives, and provide in-depth construction guidelines. Plus, we'll share professional tips to elevate your popcorn ceiling removal projects.

Why Popcorn Ceiling Removal Matters

Removing popcorn ceilings is about more than aesthetics; it's an investment towards the property's ultimate value and well-being. Here's why this project is worth considering:

  • Redecorating Appeal: Popcorn ceilings, popular in the mid-20th century, severely date a home. Their removal modernizes and improves the overall look, adding value.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared with a full ceiling replacement, removing the popcorn texturing is more cost-effective while still delivering a significant improvement.
  • Maintenance: Popcorn ceilings trap dust and dirt and can be challenging to paint and clean. Removal eases maintenance needs.
  • Property Value Increase: Modern, clean, rejuvenated ceilings are appealing to prospective buyers in the real estate market. Removing popcorn ceilings can raise the property's value and attraction.

With these benefits, popcorn ceiling removal becomes a sensible choice for both short and long-term property management.

Alternatives to Popcorn Ceiling Removal

While removing popcorn ceiling tops the list, contractors should be aware of alternatives. This knowledge allows you to provide comprehensive advice to clients. Notable alternatives include:

  • Plastering: Skim coating with plaster can mask popcorn textures. However, it's messy, laborious, and the ceiling must be in good condition initially.
  • Ceiling Cover-Ups: Ceiling tiles, paneling, and bead-boards can cover popcorn ceilings. Although it’s quick and easy, these methods sometimes add unwanted thickness.
  • Complete Ceiling Replacement: When asbestos is present or the ceiling is in terrible condition, complete replacement might be the only safe option. This method is costly and time-consuming.

Each alternative has pros and cons. The best approach is assessing each property individually, considering client’s requirements and budget.

Step-by-Step Construction Guidelines

Removing a popcorn ceiling entails precision, care, and safety measures. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Preparing the Area

Begin by removing furniture and fixtures from the room. After sealing off the area with plastic sheeting to control dust and debris, collect relevant safety gear.

Watering and Scraping

Lightly wet a small area of the ceiling using a spray. Allow it to absorb moisture to loosen the textured material, then gently scrape off the popcorn texture with a putty knife, taking care not to damage the ceiling underneath.

Sanding and Priming

Once scraping is complete, sand the ceiling to create a smooth surface to work with. Subsequently, apply a primer to prepare for painting.


Finally, paint the ceiling with your chosen paint, ideally flat or matte, to hide any remaining imperfections.

Professional Tips for Successful Removal

For best results in popcorn ceiling removal, mind these pro tips:

  • Choosing the Right Tools: Invest in a quality scraper, sander, and quality paint. Your tools significantly impact project efficiency and outcome.
  • Dealing with Expected Challenges: Be ready for challenges such as stubborn textures, uneven ceilings, or potential asbestos presence. Use sanders for difficult textures and arrange for professional asbestos removal if detected.
  • Care & Maintenance Instructions: Advise clients on proper ceiling maintenance post-removal. Suggest regular cleaning and painting every few years.
  • Communication: Regular updates and dialogue with clients enhances their satisfaction and trust in your services.

These tips should ensure a high standard finish that meets your and the client's expectations.


As a conclusion, removing popcorn ceilings is an advantageous service residential contractors can provide. Reaping benefits like a contemporary aesthetic, ease of maintenance, and increased property value, it’s a cost-effective solution for most homeowners. Remember, the quality of each project depends on skilled execution, quality tools, and excellent customer service. With these in place, your popcorn ceiling removal projects will consistently yield satisfied clients and contribute to your business's success.

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