A popcorn ceiling removal cost averages from $700 to $1,700. It can be as low as $50 to $100 or as high as $3,000 for an asbestos popcorn ceiling.
Most contractors charge approximately $1 to $3 per square foot for a popcorn ceiling removal or $14 to $40 per hour. This amount would include scraping and disposing of the debris, planning, area preparation, and the subsequent
For example, if the process takes about 20 hours of work for a 500-square foot space, you can expect to pay between $300 to $750 as labor cost.
A basic new paint job on your ceiling would cost you around $75 to $130 on average. Remember that rooms with high ceilings can cost you an additional $50 to $150.
Also, most professionals charge $75 to $125 for furniture removal. It’s a good idea to remove the furniture yourself if you want to cut down on some renovation costs.
The total cost depends on the size of the room, the quality and age of the popcorn ceiling, the presence or absence of asbestos, if there is any painting work involved and your zip code.
You also have to include the cost of supplies, such as plastic sheeting, scrapers, a putty knife, drop cloths, painter’s tape, tools to gouge the ceiling, ladders, and protective gear.
If you have a ceiling containing asbestos, you will have to shell out more money. The removal of this dangerous carcinogen needs to be carried out carefully with all the proper safety gear in place. And disposal must be done
in batches to avoid health risks to anyone around.
Once you have established whether your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos or not through a testing kit, the next step is to remove it.
There are generally five basic steps to removing a popcorn ceiling:
Covering the walls and floor of the room with plastic sheets to avoid a mess.
Testing a small section of your popcorn ceiling for the presence of asbestos if you live in an older home. This test for asbestos is absolutely crucial if your home was built before 1980.
Spraying the ceiling with water through a garden sprayer in sections. You must avoid the areas around electrical fixtures such as ceiling fans and light fixtures. Loosen the ceiling with sandpaper instead.
Scraping off the popcorn ceiling material, once the water is absorbed completely. Use a putty knife or a scraper.
Smoothening and repainting the ceiling.
Your complete cost takes into account a number of factors, such as the total square footage of your ceiling, the scope of renovation, your zip code, local labor costs and the finishing details – just to name a few.
To get a general idea, check out the table below for an estimate on how the cost varies according to city and project size.
Size of Project
Average Estimated Cost (USD)
Small Medium Large
$299 $628 $1,615
Des Moines, Iowa
Small Medium Large
$325 $683 $1,756
San Francisco, California
Small Medium Large
$363 $762 $1,960
Removing a popcorn ceiling that has asbestos costs around $3 to $7 per square foot. The reason for the higher price is that asbestos removal takes longer and needs to be done really carefully. The ceiling has to be disposed
of in batches otherwise can be a health hazard. Moreover, workers have to wear safety gear at all times.
Asbestos testing kit costs about $50 to $100 on average.
Keep in mind that it requires more effort to remove a painted popcorn ceiling. You can expect to pay an additional $150 to $250 for a non-enamel painted ceiling. For example, if you have a 10’x10’ room with an enamel-painted
ceiling, removing it would cost you $300 to $600.
Replacing a knockdown popcorn ceiling texture will cost you anywhere between $1 to $2 per square foot in labor, materials and equipment. That comes to $500 to $1000 on average depending on your location and your ceiling
Replacing your popcorn ceiling with decorative tiles, ready-to-hang tiles or panels will cost you between $5 and $7 per sq ft. These are available at most home improvement stores.
In case you do not want to remove popcorn ceiling texture, there’s a way. You can cover it with drywall without disturbing it much. The cost of drywall will be around $1.50 per sq ft and a skim coat over it will be approximately
$1 per square feet.
A popcorn ceiling – also called a cottage cheese or acoustic ceiling – has the look and feel similar to popcorn, hence the name. Textured ceilings were hugely popular in the 20th century because the texture could hide imperfections
such as nail holes, screws and water damage spots. Today, however, popcorn ceilings have lost all their charm.
In fact, such an outdated ceiling lowers a house’s value on the market. It’s a big no-no to potential home buyers.
Since repairing or even repainting an aging popcorn ceiling can be expensive, it’s best to replace it altogether. This is especially necessary if the owner is planning to sell the house for a good return on investment.
Removing your popcorn ceiling can cost a lot more if you don’t plan your home improvement well. Acquiring a free estimate will help you create a realistic budget, do the right groundwork, and use the right methods and materials.
Naturally, you have to know the approximate cost to calculate what you can afford to spend. That’s also the best way to ensure that you don’t stumble across any unwelcome surprises during the execution of your project.
Getting an estimate through Kukun’s popcorn ceiling removal cost estimator is easy. Just follow the steps below to get your custom, personalized total cost in minutes!
1. Enter the size of property by choosing any of the following:
Small: 80 Sq.ft
Medium: 168 Sq.ft
Large: 432 Sq.ft
Custom: You can add measurements according to your specifications
Keep in mind that the scope of renovation involves scraping popcorn ceilings and getting them ready for a fresh coat of paint. This project doesn’t include priming and painting your newly smoothed-out ceiling. Know that minimum
charges may apply for small jobs.
2. Enter property details
Enter the full address to get the recoup value of your house aka ROI or just give zipcode to get just the renovation cost estimate.
And there you go! An estimate for your popcorn ceiling removal cost is ready!
With this estimate, you can analyze your finance options or hire a professional to get started on the work right away.
We are happy to offer you options for professional remodeling contractors who have worked in your neighborhood and who have been vetted by your neighbors and your city. You can explore the contractor's profile, check out their
online reviews, view all their previous permits, and then ask around your vicinity about whether you should hire them.
It’s very important that you plan your popcorn ceiling removal well in advance. Here are some tips to make the process easy, quick, and safe:
Set a realistic home remodeling budget. Always include leeway for some surprise costs – experts advise adding 20% extra to your existing budget.
Test your popcorn ceiling for asbestos.
Hire a professional to do the job. It’s important that you do not come in contact with asbestos.
Keep in mind that your contractor should have expertise in all areas of a popcorn ceiling removal.
Never try to follow a DIY project or home remedy guide for removing asbestos.
Check your local building code for any permit requirements. Removing a popcorn ceiling that has asbestos will require a permit.
Monitor the entire removal process.
Be sure to get a warranty or guarantee from your contractor.
Get a written contract from your contractor. The document should detail the complete schedule, deadlines for milestones and payment details.
Maintain a timeline in order to manage a seamless popcorn ceiling removal.
These steps will help you avoid unexpected hassles and issues and make your popcorn ceiling removal project go smoothly.