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Question DetailsAsked on 6/6/2013

how do you remove a popcorn ceiling and how much will it cost

Remove popcorn ceiling & paint it white.

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1 Answer


Point one - if the apartment or house was built before about 1982, and very likely if built before 1979, the popcorn texturing may have asbestos, which puts a whole different light on the subject. For asbestos ceiling texturing, cost can run $8-15/SF for removal, disposal, and refinish.

If not asbestos containing, then you can do it yourself or hire it done. Costs start at just under $1/SF up to $2.50/SF for removal, plus about $1.50-2.00/SF to patch drywall damage, sand, prime and paint.

You can reduce your total cost if you go with another textured ceiling finish (textured, knockdown, etc) rather than smooth, because the popcorn removal and drywall patching does not have to flawless and minor gouging of the drywall does not matter in that case.

Some contractors, depending on their personal preference, may actually bid cheaper to remove the drywall and replace it totally, because that is less back-breaking and can actually be faster if you want a flat, smooth ceiling finish.

One thing to pay close attention to - there is a reason most ceilings are textured, other than in kitchens where they collect grease too easily and are actually scrubbed for cleaning. Getting a drywall ceiling perfectly flat is almost impossible - you will always have a few nail dimples showing, uneven ceiling joist levels, swaybacking of ceiling joists, etc - and a flat, smooth ceiling really accentuates these flaws. Also, because you are looking down the length of it from not far below it in a parallel view, surface irregularities show up more dramatically than unevenness on walls or floors does. In a small room like a kitchen this can be acceptable , but for large or long ceilings like living rooms, dining rooms, and halls it can really look a lot worse than it is, so most people end up with some kind of surface texturing treatment to conceal the visual effect.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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