Popcorn Ceiling Removal: What's the Process and How Does it Add Value?

calander Aug 12 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Popcorn ceiling removal in a house

Popcorn ceilings are a telltale sign of a property’s age. These rough finishes fell out of fashion a while ago, and not merely for aesthetic reasons. Popcorn ceilings are notoriously difficult to clean due to their coarse texture. Moreover, the popcorn ceilings inside properties that were built during or before the 1980s may contain asbestos, a highly toxic substance. If you’ve been putting off popcorn ceiling removal for some time, it’s worth considering the many benefits of tackling this project. When performed properly, removing your popcorn ceilings can add value to your property in more ways than one.

What to Know About Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Peeling Apart the Popcorn Ceiling Removal Process

So, what does popcorn ceiling removal involve, anyway? For starters, it’s crucial to have your ceiling assessed for asbestos by an EPA-certified inspector, especially if your property was constructed before or during the 1980s. If your inspector finds traces of asbestos, you will need to seek remediation services. Otherwise, you’ll have the go-ahead to continue with popcorn removal. But before the actual ceiling removal process begins, you must thoroughly prepare the room -- this is often a messy process, after all.

Anything inside the room that isn’t fixed in place (i.e., furniture, decor, etc.) should be moved out of the room. Cover any features and items that have to stay put with plastic sheets. Floors and walls must also be covered to facilitate cleaning and prevent major messes. Once the room has been thoroughly cleared and covered up, the removal process can get underway.

The easiest way to remove a popcorn ceiling involves spraying the material with a light mist to soften it up and scraping away the material one section at a time. Ideally, the dampened particles will stick together so that each section peels away with minimal dust. It’s best to hold a pan underneath as the process goes on to reduce the potential for messes. After every inch of popcorn material has been scraped away, the underlying ceiling must be patched up, as gouging and scratching is a common occurrence during this process. After the ceiling has been repaired and primed, it can be painted to look fresh and modern.

How Long Does it Take to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling?

One of the reasons people put off popcorn ceiling removal is because they’re worried about how much time it will take. Fortunately, the whole thing doesn’t take too long when compared to other types of renovations. When performed by pros, it takes about 20 hours of labor to scrape away a popcorn ceiling in a standard-sized room. Of course, the precise duration of this process will vary based on the size of the room and ceiling, the amount of stuff inside the room, and so on. When you factor in preparation, cleanup, and breaks between working hours, popcorn ceiling removal usually takes about 3-4 days in all.

How Professional Popcorn Ceiling Removal Adds Value to Your Property

If you’re hesitant to have your popcorn ceilings removed for any reason, it may help to discover how investing in this project can add value to your property. First, eliminating those old-fashioned, rough ceilings helps improve your indoor air quality -- even if asbestos isn’t an issue, it’s worth getting rid of popcorn ceilings to minimize dust and debris inside your home or business. Additionally, replacing your ceiling’s popcorn finish with a smooth paint job will improve your space’s lighting, making it brighter and more attractive. Ultimately, these practical and aesthetic advantages will give your property’s value a boost, which is an even bigger deal if you plan on selling or renting your place -- read our blog, “Condo, Apartment and HOA Management: Your Tenants are Tired of Popcorn Ceilings,” for more on this topic.


Is it finally time to phase out your popcorn ceilings? If so, Anderson Painting can help. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!