Removing Popcorn Ceilings: Everything You Need To Know

By | September 28, 2023

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Cost, Professional Services & DIY Guide

Popcorn ceilings can give a home a dated, uninviting look. Thankfully, this type of ceiling is relatively easy to remove and replace. But before you embark on this project, it’s important to understand the process and the associated costs. Here’s what you need to know about removing popcorn ceilings.

Determining Whether You Have Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings are textured ceilings that were popular in the 1970s and 1980s. They consist of a sprayed-on, stucco-like material that adheres to the ceiling and has a bumpy texture. To determine whether you have a popcorn ceiling, simply look up at your ceiling. If it has a bumpy texture, it’s probably a popcorn ceiling.

Preparing for the Removal Process

Before starting to remove a popcorn ceiling, it’s important to take certain steps to ensure that the process is done safely and with minimal mess. Start by covering the floors and furniture with plastic sheeting or tarp. You should also wear protective gear, such as a respirator, goggles, and gloves. Finally, it’s a good idea to turn off the power to the room and remove any light fixtures, smoke detectors, or other items from the ceiling.

Removing the Popcorn Ceiling

Once you’ve prepared the room, it’s time to start removing the popcorn ceiling. To do this, you’ll need a spray bottle and a chemical solution, such as DIF or DuroStrip. Both products are designed to soften the adhesive that holds the popcorn ceiling in place. Spray the ceiling with the chemical solution and wait for it to soak in. Then, use a putty knife or scraping tool to scrape the popcorn ceiling off the ceiling. Be sure to scrape gently to avoid damaging the ceiling.

Cleaning Up After the Removal Process

After you’ve scraped off the popcorn ceiling, you’ll need to clean up the mess. Start by vacuuming up any loose pieces of popcorn ceiling. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe down the walls and ceiling to remove any residue. Finally, you’ll need to repair any holes or cracks that were created during the removal process. This can be done with spackling paste or joint compound.

Cost of Removing Popcorn Ceilings

The cost of removing popcorn ceilings depends on several factors, including the size of the room, the complexity of the job, and the type of materials used. Generally, the cost of removing a popcorn ceiling is between $1 and $3 per square foot. If you’re looking to save money, you can opt to do the job yourself. However, it’s important to have the right tools and to take the necessary safety precautions.


Removing popcorn ceilings can be a daunting task. But with the right preparation and the right tools, it can be done safely and with minimal mess. Before starting the project, make sure to determine whether you have a popcorn ceiling, prepare the room for the removal process, and understand the associated costs. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can have your popcorn ceiling removed in no time.

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