How Long Does It Take to Remove Popcorn Ceiling?

After a Popcorn Ceiling is Removed
After a Popcorn Ceiling is Removed

Removing popcorn ceiling can be done within 30 minutes or up to 20 hours. It all depends on the method you use to get rid of the popcorn ceiling texture. The traditional method is to scrape and remove and then resurface your ceilings, and this is the longest method available. This is what will take up to 20 hours.

This is especially true if you hire a professional to remove the popcorn ceiling for you. By the time they get set up, finished the job, and pack up their equipment, nearly a full day has gone by.

At the same time, if you don’t really know what you’re doing, a simple DIY job to remove the texture could turn into 20 or 30 hours. It could take a lot of trial and error on your part.

Keep in mind that we’re not talking about 20 hours of physical labor. There is a lot of drying and waiting involved, cutting the actual work time at least in half. Those 20 hours are usually spread across a 5-day week, depending on how much texture you have to remove. If you’re only working on a single room, these times are obviously going to be much shorter.

Is Removing Popcorn Ceiling Worth It?

Removing popcorn ceiling is worth it. Popcorn ceiling gets dirty, it’s hard to maintain because it’s often cluttered with dust and spider webs, it makes a room look smaller and darker, and it’s just generally old and outdated.

Popcorn ceiling may also be filled with asbestos. Removing popcorn ceiling is definitely worth it because you can get rid of the asbestos time bomb in your ceiling. Popcorn ceilings don’t last forever. At some point, the texture is going to start cracking and peeling off. If it’s full of asbestos, this will become a problem.

Removing your popcorn ceiling now will save you additional money in the future and brighten up your home today. Plus, you can usually remove or cover popcorn ceiling at a very low cost.

How Difficult Is It to Remove Popcorn Ceiling?

It is not difficult to remove popcorn ceiling. However, it can be challenging. If your popcorn ceiling was mixed with lead paint, it can be an absolute nightmare to scrape off. Plus, sometimes the texture is just stubborn and doesn’t want to be removed.

To determine just how difficult it’s going to be to remove your popcorn ceiling, do a quick scrape test. Spray a small piece of ceiling with a water mister and then try to scrape the texture off with a knife. If it easily peels off, the rest of the ceiling will also come off easily.

On the other hand, if your popcorn ceiling is stubborn and doesn’t want to slide off when wet, you could be in for a difficult job.  

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling?

According to Home Advisor, it costs between $1 and $2 per square foot to remove a popcorn ceiling. That means that you’re looking at between $500 and $1000 per 500 square feet. This is the labor cost for removal when hiring someone to do the job.

But that’s only the start. Supplies can run upwards of $75, the removal of the debris can cost upwards of $150, and paying someone to fully retexture and paint your ceiling can be another $400 to $1000.

That said, if you’re going the DIY route, you will be paying significantly less. The only tools you need to remove your popcorn ceiling the traditional way are a putty knife, a water sprayer to wet your ceiling, and plastic to cover the walls and floor. Most people probably have these tools lying around, meaning DIY popcorn ceiling removal is absolutely free.

The only thing you would have to pay for if removing the popcorn ceiling yourself is the new paint to spruce up the ceiling!

How Do I Get Rid of Popcorn Ceiling Fast?

Scraping the texture off your popcorn ceiling is the most popular method of removal. Unfortunately, this traditional method takes the most amount of time. If you want to get rid of popcorn ceiling fast, completely removing the texture in under 30 minutes, you can try covering the texture instead.

The quickest way is undoubtedly with new sheets of drywall. Simply find your joists, bring in your drywall, and cut pieces to fit. Nailing new sheets of drywall to your ceiling won’t take more than 30 minutes or an hour.

Alternatively, you can try to cheat your way out of removing your popcorn ceiling. If you own a powerful shop vacuum, attach a 4” putty knife to the end. Next, soak your ceiling in water. You can scrape the texture off quickly with the putty knife while the vacuum automatically sucks up all the dust and loose texture.

Final Thoughts

Removing popcorn ceiling can be done in a myriad of ways. You can cover the texture with drywall, you can skim coat the texture to make it smoother, or you can spend a few days scraping the texture off and then resurfacing the old ceiling.

Either way, you can always complete this job yourself within just a couple of days and it’s not going to cost you a fortune. Removing popcorn ceiling is easy and affordable.


How long does popcorn ceiling removal take? | Popcorn Ceiling Solution


2021 Cost of Popcorn Ceiling Removal | Price to Scrape Per Sq. Ft. – HomeAdvisor

  • Gregory A Seely
  • Gregory A Seely

    Greg is a self taught home renovator and writer for RenoViso. His shares his experiences with Southern Living, Traditional Home and other publications.

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