Popcorn Ceiling Removal: Cost and Process 2024

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Popcorn Ceiling Removal

According to House Digest, popcorn ceilings were first introduced in the 1930s for 3 main reasons. 

First, popcorn ceilings were a very cost-effective way to finish a ceiling when building a home.  Second, popcorn ceilings hid drywall imperfections, and finally, they reduced noise.  

After about 50 years of popularity, homeowners opted for a cleaner and more modern look; in 2024, having a popcorn ceiling can be considered a deal breaker when selling a home.

If you are considering removing your popcorn ceiling yourself or hiring a company such as Klappenberger & Son,  here are some best practices and costs.  



Before Popcorn Ceiling Removal Can Start Check For Asbestos

Popcorn Ceiling removal

According to NIH, asbestos was used in popcorn and other sprayed textured ceilings from 1945 to 1980.  Removing a popcorn ceiling with asbestos puts these fine particles in the air, which causes serious damage to the lungs.   

Most hardware stores sell asbestos test kits. The kit includes a prepaid envelope to send a sample to the lab.  The lab responds via email in 3-5 days.

If the results come back negative, you are ready to start the popcorn ceiling removal process at your earliest convenience.  Unfortunately, if they come back positive for asbestos, you will need to hire a contractor who is licensed in asbestos removal.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal is Messy

Popcorn ceiling removal is messy whether you sand off or wet and scrape. 

First, you will want to clear out the room and protect the flooring. 

If you have crown molding you will want to protect that as well.

Eye protection is a good choice when scraping things above your head, if you are sanding, you’ll want a fitted respirator.

The preferred method is to wet the surface with a pump sprayer and allow the water to do the work. 

It’s recommended to have the water sit for 15-20 minutes before scraping, but that’s a minimum. 

Popcorn ceiling removal is easier when the water has had plenty of time (30-60 minutes) to absorb. 

It won’t cause any damage or create mold issues. 

spackle repair after popcorn ceiling removal

Popcorn Ceiling Removal is Completed

Now that the popcorn ceiling process has been completed, it is time to repair it.

Whether the popcorn ceiling was removed by sander or scrapping, the entire ceiling will need two skim coats.  

This part requires the most skill.  If you are not skilled in spackling, this would be a good time to call a professional.  Why?

Firstly, it’s important to note that someone with little experience is about 3-4 times slower than a professional drywall finisher.  So, even if you are paying a professional $80, their efficiency can free up your time for more productive activities.

Secondly, spackling is an art and a skill.  In my opinion, it is the most underrated skill in construction. 

Not only will a professional complete the task more swiftly, but the end result will also be superior, requiring less sanding and enhancing the overall appearance of your ceiling. 

popcorn ceiling removal will always include spackling

Prime, Spackle As Needed And Paint

It can be difficult to see imperfections after applying a couple of skim coats and sanding.  But don’t worry a coat of primer will show more imperfections that will require additional spackling. 

Tip:  Add chalk powder to the spackle before spreading and you will be able to see the area much easier when it dries. 

All spackle needs to be sanded.

Tip:  Sanding with a vacuum attachment collects most of the dust rather than drifting everywhere including your lungs. 

What The Cost For Removing A Popcorn Ceiling?

The cost of removing a popcorn ceiling depends on variable factors, as the chart below indicates.  

No matter what the circumstances are, you can bet on two things.

First, it’s mostly labor and requires little tools or materials.

Secondly,  all the work is above your head and can be a pain in the neck.

Chart on how much does it cost to remove a popcorn ceiling

Painting Ceilings and Popcorn Removal

We provide dependable, high-quality ceiling services for homeowners throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C, and Miami / Fort Lauderdale. 

Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Removing popcorn ceiling and other texturing requires a multi-step approach.  And it is not any fun or easy to get a smooth finish on the ceilings.

Underneath the textured ceiling is drywall that was never spackled completely.  Let our popcorn ceiling removal experts do the work while you do something much more enjoyable. 

Ceiling Fan Installation and Repair

In addition to painting and removing popcorn ceilings, we also provide basic electrical services.  Could this be the perfect time to add some new lighting, beams, or a ceiling fan?  Answer yes!

The Professionals at Klappenberger & Son Are Experts in Popcorn Ceiling Removal

popcorn ceiling removal in bedroom

Popcorn ceiling removal requires skill, patience, and precision as well as expertise and the proper tools and techniques. Our team is highly trained to remove textured ceilings efficiently to give your home a more updated, modern look.

Popcorn ceiling texturing is an involved process.  The removal of the textured ceiling is not difficult; however, the spackling is.  The removal process is simply to dampen the ceilings and carefully glide the blade across the ceiling. 

The Process

Firstly, removing or protecting contents that cannot be moved is step one.  Secondly, protect the floor.  And finally, we spackle the ceilings, sand prime, and paint.  

Customer Reviews for Our Handyman Ceiling Services

Want to know what it’s like to work with us on your professional handyman project? Just ask our happy clients!

Reid Mountjoy
Reid Mountjoy
Google Reviewer
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I wanted my older house to feel like it was fresh and new, but retain the colonial charm. Klappenberger & Son far exceeded my expectations on making it feel that way, and the quality of the work is fantastic. The crew had a good division of labor and skill sets to do everything I needed, and they were run very efficiently by both Alex and Wilson the on-site project manager. I could not give a higher recommendation for Klappenberger, and will definitely use them again.
Mary Anne K.
Mary Anne K.
Home Advisor Reviewer
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I wish there were more than five stars to rate this company. This was a perfect experience for us as the homeowners.. The price was fair, the job was done perfectly and quickly. I have only praise for this organization.

It Just Makes Sense to Call Us for Removing Textured Surfaces and Painting Ceilings

At Klappenberger & Son, we pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop and developing relationships with customers.  If you live in Maryland, Virginia, DC, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, we would be happy to give you a free estimate.   

Additional training and regular reviewing of best practices are what keeps us consistent and our customers happy!  

The Process

Our 30 plus years of best practices ensure both consistency and quality. Also, our training program gets everyone singing out of the same hymn book.


We itemize, so you can pick and choose what you would like us to do.

Our Team

We get it right the first time because our techs are trained and have a minimum of 5 years of experience!


The #1 reason problems arise is poor communication, and that is why we provide contact information plus daily updates.