3 Ways to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

Leave a Comment - 77


Bonita Vukich

Subject: Sanding a popcorn ceiling

I used an orbital sander to remove the uneven flower-popcorn design on my bathroom ceiling. Beware of the fine dust that goes everywhere & wear a mask! I like working on my place so all the hard work was worth it. I'm an old hand at patching so that was OK. I think if the flower pattern had been even, or if it had been just a regular cottage cheese look, I'd have left the ceiling alone though, as it does take an enormous cleanup effort. Bedroom ceiling next!


Subject: popcorn ceiling mess

Several years ago I originally hired a contractor to "fix" my popcorn ceilings where the tape was pulling loose and developing cracks. He just sprayed over the whole mess with more popcorn and repainted. Over time the original problem developed again but worsened. I recently hired someone else to take down the popcorn. He couldn't scrape it off so he used quickset to skim over it, but that took 3 coats to get it smooth. Afterwards he painted the ceiling. It looks ok but I am afraid that all that weight on the sheetrock will cause more problems.


Subject: Popcorn ceilings - A project that never ends

Yes, I hate popcorn ceilings, and now have done 3 rooms in my home with differing results based on my experience level when I did them. So lets be up front about this. Scraping the old is easy, painting the new is easier. For an average room, what I just listed takes 3 hrs at the most. The actual texturing of a ceiling by a non-professional, might and should take 3 days of your time and give you one heck of a cough and arm pain. Here is why. Mudding your ceiling takes a few hours, sanding it down takes several hours. Sanded too far, more mud (dry time 12-18 hrs). Sanded too little, more sanding, creating a fine dust that till go everywhere. Now I use a power mouse sander, so that speeds it up, but makes twice the mess.

In the end, I look at the ceiling, and am proud of it, but I also see that a professional crew charging me 300-500 for a one room job is a better deal because its taken me 15 hours of dedicated time, and ruined 2 weekends, and displaced the room's inhabitant for some time. Please Please Please, heed my words. There is no way that this comes to be cheaper than hiring someone to do it.


Subject: popcorn ceilings

I am with whoever said this: "It's only the foolishness of change pushed by interior designers who repeatedly call the ceilings, "the dreaded Popcorn" on home shows and in magazines. Oh shut up. And yes popcorn does tone down the noise in a home. I love that."

People need to get over this silly fixation and get on with their lives. GG. Pretty soon popcorn will be "in" again like wallpaper which was derided as dated a few years ago.


Subject: I really like my popcorn ceilings

I loved the 80's and I do not want to get rid of my popcorn ceilings to try to look 'modern'. Freshen up? Yes. Replace? No. If I want a new house I will buy a new house. But I love MY old house, popcorn ceilings and all!


Subject: Interior Designers...

Absolutely. These designers depend on the manipulation of fashions for their living. It is sad, and wastes so much of people's precious time and money. It is all a part of the big scam, though, I suppose. Without this nonsense our economic system would collapse, and while there could be benefits that would come from that, people are rightly terrified of it.

So, we play along...

John Aspromonte

Subject: Pop Corn Ceiling

I have found the best way to get rid of a Pop Corn or Hollywood ceiling is to find the studs and re sheetrock the ceiling. it actually saves time and money and looks better in the end since you are going to skim coat the entire ceiling anyway you might as well just do it the correct way and have a beautiful new ceiling without all the additional work.


Subject: Ceiling Drywall Sag

I have popcorn texture on my ceilings in a house built in 1986, I would love to remove it because it collects dust quickly creating a dust stalactite look. Big problem is a rather large portion of the ceiling drywall suffers from sag between joists, so removing the popcorn texture will leave a more visible wavy surface that won't be very appealing. In other words I would likely have to replace most of the drywall if I want it to look right, that's not really something I would look forward to doing.

Taperextraordinar at gmail

Subject: Smooth ceilings

If hiring a professional to finish your ceilings they should know that smooth ceilings doesn't just mean the texture but all the humps and bumps cracks shotty workmanship has got to go as well


Subject: Ceiling Drywall Sag

Some builders believe "a nail in nine saves time". I had a similar issue. You might make a couple 2x4 tees - 4 feet across the top and long enough to reach the floor - to lift the sag back up to the joists, then put in screws to hold in place, Then you can proceed with your remodel plans.

S Stevens

Subject: Popcorn Ceilings

I live in a Condo built in 1995 and all the ceilings the bathrooms and kitchen. I would like to know if anyone has used the polystyrene tiles as a ceiling replacement?


Subject: Asbestos

I have seen popcorn ceilings from all over the west and we always use a testing laboratory before removal, someone like Forensic Analytical Labs out of CA. Be safe!


Subject: Asbestos Fear is Overkill

The people that really do need to worry about asbestos are the ones that work with it daily. If you have a one-time project, wear a respirator (not a dust mask) and get it over with. Otherwise you will be CLEANED OUT by these companies that have a huge scam going.

Dave Andrews

Subject: Asbestos worry

If you choose to do asbestos work yourself, 1) wear a respirator, 2)keep it wet, 3) Clean it up using a vacuum with a HEPA filter (Eureka, Hoover are recommended by EPA), and 4) keep the kids out until it is all cleaned up. Young Children, exposed during a single event can develop cancer or Mesothelioma very early in life (within 10-30 years after exposure). Death by Mesothelioma is not something I would put in the class of "get over it"!


Subject: Asbestos

I work in heavy industry as a project manager and I have personnally been involved in removing tons of asbestos. What is a hazard is the fibers released in the air. If they are contained in a solid such as plaster they are not a risk, BUT you will release at least some doing the work. The other issue is the cleanup and removing the dust from the room. The second method was developed specifically to entrap the dust and it is the method used by reputable contractors. Note that the average asbestos contractor only gets about $40 of every $100 he charges you. Land fill fees, handling, paperwork, mandated training, etc eat up most of it. Asbestos is all around you. The hard tile like siding used in 1940's and 50's homes was asbestos and most is still around. EVERY public water system from Washington DC to Boston has asbestos in it because it is a NATURALLY occurring mineral and it does not harm you to drink it. Asbestos hurts you when breathed in as dust AND combined with smoking. I have extensive training in handling the stuff and would not hesitate to remove it myself. I would not recommend it to someone who is a novice or has small children in the house. That said, I think the asbestos issues are driven mostly by people who want you to be afraid and saved by government or the lawyers who are always looking to sue. Government's competence was demonstrated on and massive destruction of schools to remove small amounts. A number of schools were torn down because of the panic when the form of asbestos had no risk for the kids. And do I need to sayh anymore about the legal snakes?


Subject: They arent a scam most times they are the NEW LIBERAL PASSED LAW

I know they seem like scams and I am sure there are many scammers out there.
But it is ILLEGAL to remove Asbestos yourself.
The Liberals in Maryland(and many other states) have made it so that you absolutely must hire a contractor for special asbestos removal. A Normal Contractor cannot do it.


Subject: Popcorn

We have scrapped many old ceilings using water & scrapping. I think there a 2 other suggestions before your next project: We use a neck brace for support, like you buy at a medical supply store, & it does help keep your neck relaxed/supported & don't forget goggles. The other technique is using a long handle (like a broom handle) on a drywall sander; the tool holds drywall sand paper which looks like netting; (it does clog after awhile, but its a lot easier than using a sander on the ceiling & can be washed to use again.) You just walk & hit the high spots on the ceiling.


Subject: asbestos ceiling

rather than remove asbestos ceiling popcorn it is legal to contain it by plastering over it with something as simple as drywall compound and skillfully smoothing it.

Rodney Payne

Subject: Response Action or Control Methods

I'm an approved asbestos instructor in over 20 states. E.R.E.R.0. stands for encapsulation, removal, enclosure, repair, and operations and maintenance. If you are disturbing more than 160 square feet or 260 linear feet, you need a permit from your local neshap authority. The action of plastering over the asbestos will cause the asbestos fibers to go airborne. This would be an illegal action if you were plastering over the asbestos for the control of fibers. If you are painting an asbestos containing for cosmetic purposes (ex.cigarette smoke stains), this would be considered a legal action.

Violating the CAA or CWA can land you in federal prison. Each charge can carry a penalty of 5 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.


Subject: Easiest

I lightly sprayed the ceiling then skimmed a wide scraper over the surface. This knocked off most of the popcorn and left the ceiling with a textured look. I painted it and it turned out really nice.


Subject: Removing popcorn

I bought a house with popcorn on the WALLS, throughout the house. Was like razor blades to the touch. I,too, scraped it off and painted them. A nice texture I call "the leather look".


Subject: Easiest

I lightly sprayed the ceiling then skimmed a wide scraper over the surface. This knocked off most of the popcorn and left the ceiling with a textured look. I painted it and it turned out really nice.


Subject: Popcorn ceiling adjusting not removing

The suggestion of lightly wetting and lightly scraping off the most protruding portions of the popcorn sound good. Done correctly it seems it would look similar to "knock down" (My favorite texture anyway). Does this allow you to roll paint on the ceiling or must it be sprayed?


Subject: Can't be bothered

I had never seen this type of ceiling until we moved to the southern region of the country from the northeast. I don't know if they have them up there or not. We came from a 100 year old house and it certainly didn't have this type of ceiling. This house was built in the 60's and every ceiling but the bathroom has the popcorn. I'm leaving my ceilings alone. Next owner can deal with it. I mostly ignore them. They are a dickens to paint though and I've done my share of that.


Subject: The trouble with popcorn!

I love the comment about the easiest solution to removing the popcorn ceiling was to SELL THE HOUSE!! HA!

Popcorn isn't necessarily ugly, but it has some aesthetic flaws, not the lease of which is house dust clings to them and vacuuming them can cause dings and unremoveable dust balls especially in corners

We have popcorn ceilings. I happen to prefer the look of a clean and smooth ceiling with a slight sheen. We had a large water catastrophe in the LR so the popcorn does hide the pieced repair... but, here in damp and humid South Georgia, the climate is slowly removing the popcorn for me in some of my rooms!


Subject: Southern states

Here in Georgia they use joint compound then use a mop to put a star burst
pattern on the ceiling. We just placed sanpaper on a mop and sanded it down.
But remember if you remove the popcorn or burst you better do all the rooms in the house. Otherwise that one room is going to look like an afterthought. Tech tip: Use Zinsers primer to paint your ceilings. It thas enough low sheen that a second coat of paint is not needed.


Subject: Try This

My shop vac came with a wide, flat nozzle that had a little lip on one edge. All I did was wet down the ceiling and then use the nozzle to scrape the popcorn off the ceiling which was then sucked into the vacuum. No mess on the floor, no dust, and the stuff was contained. Took only about 90 minutes to pull everything off of the ceiling of a 15x25 family room.

Mr Fixit

Subject: Remove everything from the

Remove everything from the room, use a garden type spray bottle and wet a large area, use the widest taping knife you can find and scrape the material off while someone holds a garbage can lined with a contractors trash bag under you. This is the fastes process and free. By wetting the material well you keep any asbestos dust from flying around and contain it all in the bag that can be sealed. Anyone can do this.


Subject: drywall over popcorn

Could you give me more detail of how you did this, how thick was the drywall, was it NOT necessary to apply adhesive, how did you find the studs?? I have thought of doing something like this but a guy put up a wood-look ceiling tile in one room and I thought it was going OVER the popcorn but he scraped it saying it was necessary as he wouldn't be able to find the studs and the adhesive would not hold.

Alan Lantz

Subject: 1995 Home and popcorn ceiling

It was a pain to do, but I ended up using a plastic ice scraper that had just the right angle and a long handle to keep that crap from falling down in your face. Once I had all of the popcorn off I smoothed it with a little sandpaper where needed and a little water to clear up some of the dust then I repainted most of it. Some of the white ceiling I left. Looks good to us !


Subject: popcorn ceilings

Have a Victorian home that had popcorn ceilings. Its was awful. Used spray bottles and scrapers then sanded and rolled the ceilings. They are beautiful and original looking now. The kitchen ceiling had enamel paint on it so couldn't scrape it, eventually will sheet rock over the mess. Best time I ever spent.

Daniel Raymond

Subject: Popcorn Ceiling

I would not recommend the paint method. The biggest hassle of popcorn ceiling removal is cleaning up the mess after it has fallen to the floor and now you have a massive mess of wet paint falling on the floor rather than just a powder. There is a tool on the market that combines a wide scraper blade with a hoop for hanging a plastic bag to catch much of the debris. I suggest it. I also suggest having a good shop vac and a helper using it so one person can do the scraping while the other gets the debris before it has a chance to spread.

When choosing what to replace the popcorn with bear in mind you will not have a perfect surface to start with. One possibility is to use a lightly textured sand paint. Others include bamboo, tin ceiling panels, etc.


Subject: Popcorn ceiling

I have mainly used the water and scraping method. But recently tried a different method that was easier but you still have a mess, so put down plenty of plastic. I just scraped the ceiling knocking off the popcorn. Applied the mud and sanded. I have done about 70% of my home and this was quicker. I think I will try using 1/4 inch sheet rock next, but you need two people to do that. I wish I had not made the ceiling smooth because using a little texture would be a lot quicker. My smooth ceilings look really nice, but you do not know where the flaws are until you paint, so you will most likely have to sand after you paint and repaint.

Marta Leonard

Subject: Popcorn Ceilings

I see NOTHING wrong with popcorn ceilings....adds acoustical value, covers a lot of problems...no need to skim coat the ceiling...sand, etc. I say leave them alone...just repaint.

Rich Neusse

Subject: Popcorn Ceiling

I'm with Marta Leonard on this. In North Texas clay soils, slabs move and small or medium ceiling cracks show easily in smooth flat ceilings. My wife who I love very much is fighting me to remove the popcorn. We will sell next year and move to the country. At that time the next owner can easily have this done if it is a big deal to them. It's only the foolishness of change pushed by interior designers who repeatedly call the ceilings, "the dreaded Popcorn" on home shows and in magazines. Oh shut up.

And yes popcorn does tone down the noise in a home. I love that.


Subject: Popcorn ceilings

Our 1977 home has popcorn ceilings WITH SPARKLES. We have taken some of it down and are reluctant to get into that mess again. Beside, all of our grandchildren love it that Grandma's ceiling has "stars.". We plan to let the next owners take care of it!

Steve White

Subject: Just annoyed

I feel very annoyed by being told what is ugly as this article does right from the start.


Subject: Popcorn Ceilings

You are so right! I hate popcorn ceilings but it is my opinion and my taste. I'm tired of so called experts telling me what color looks good on me. What we all should wear, buy, eat, and do. It is peer pressure, no more than an opinion and we all treat it like it is the gospel.
We watch people on TV express an opinion and we jump on the band wagon.


Subject: Popcorn ceilings

I see you feel annoyed by this article. I think it was just stating an opinion ...............of lots of people. And of course, we all have our own opinions...which is what makes this world so interesting. That includes opinions about lots of things, infact........we all have our own opinions about EVERYTHING. So perhaps you were just taking someones opinion too PERSONAL??? Just my opinion.

Karl Williams

Subject: popcorn ceiling

Before you scrape. The popcorn Is there because the builder didn't want to pay to "finish" the joint compound to a smooth surface. After you get the popcorn off you will have an ugly ceiling to repair. At least two coats of "mud" and a lot of overhead sanding. Just the thought of this causes me to adore popcorn ceilings.


Subject: Laminate instead!

Encapsulating asbestos is perfectly acceptable and safer to do. 1/4" sheetrock is light enough that holding it overhead while someone shoots screws in is easy.


Subject: popcorn

You are exactly right. I've done exactly that myself. I don't know why this option was not included in the article.

Phil Painter

Subject: Encapsulating asbestos

Encapsulating asbestos is the least expensive and fastest way in the long run.
Remember, if you scrape off the popcorn, the ceiling will still have to be retaped and repaired as necessary, and then repainted. A professional could do this in 2 days. It would take a novice at least a week.

Houston Byers

Subject: Popcorn Ceiling removal

I found using a mister(pump sprayer sold Lowes for misting plants ideal for $10 is ideal for lightly spraying ceiling popcorn. Wait 5 minutes respray lightly. With putty knife scraper drawn with the blade pointed away from you, you can draw blade lightly. This will roughen the surface of the ceilings popcorn.Work an area as large as you can comfortably reach on ladder. Redrawing the blade a second time, 5 minutes later will remove the bulk. Immediately after this step, in the same area PUSH the blade this time and the original sheetrock will be left with the remainder of the remainder of the stucco covering. This original exposed ceiling of sheetrock is as smooth as the day it was hung. Now its ready to apply new surface. Easy,quick.Makes mess on floor.


Subject: On The Other Hand ...

If anybody notices my popcorn ceiling I always tell them it was done by a famous or infamous local celebrity so I don't have the heart to replace it.

brad roon

Subject: popcorn lid

Wetting the ceiling prevents the "asbestos" from actually becoming an issue as long as it is wet. Technically, it is the African asbestos that caused the huge lung issues. The lung issues in American/Canadian asbestos were actually less than the lung damage in the fiberglass insulation industry, and THEY have protective respirators and such.
Tarp and drape room, spray, and use a long handled scraper. i like about 8 inches wide. Removes a lot quickly and doesn't decrease the psi you can apply too much.

Paul Graham

Subject: popcorn ceiling

Who ever noticed ?
The stuff covers a lot of sins in the joint compound.
Take it off ? Ha ! Go ahead if the look is so horrible.
Just remember the, "Law of diminishing returns".
Go about the task of smoothing that ceiling so reflected light won't highlight the joints and bulges. It isn't so simple as throwing a coat of paint on.
Well one could, it will show every flaw so under the right light you see the seams or a lovely rolling hillside plaster covering them.
The average room only takes a few days of overhead work. If you want to do that yourself try holding a small lamp in one hand a sponge sander in the other over your head from 8am until noon. Hey, you are almost 1/4 the way there. Oh don't put your arms down the work stops then.
Taking it off isn't bad, fairly easy. You are just scraping. The hours of overhead sanding to proper smoothness is no joke. Hey, perhaps your ceiling won't need so much.
It is why they use popcorn paint in the first place. It looks fine and hides flaws, saving work. It's just time and money.
Asbestos ? knock off some nubs for a test but that hasn't been acceptable in paint for a long time. All home decorating comes with a date.
Just get rid of the shag carpet, that gets dirty.

Gary Vaughn

Subject: removing a popcorn ceiling

I got into some hard to get off. I attached a piece of metal into my reciprocating saw, screwed it to a 1/2" piece of PIP pipe ( put a slot in both ends and put the metal in the slots ) then screwed a scraper to the other end. It's quick, strong and flexible, and held at the correct angle, won't gouge the sheet rock.

John Gould

Subject: Removing popcorn texture

I have been removing this type of texture sense the 1960's. I learned early that I did not like the dust so I took a garden sprayer and wetted the intire ceiling and after 30 mins, I sprayed more water. Not enough o damage the ceiling. The I use a 10 and 6 inch drywall blade. Falls off in large sheets. I have done this by myself in very large homes and businesses. Do not use small knives like a putty knife. Those will dig into the drywall. I cover all the walls and floor with painters plastic that comes in large rolls and thi, . 2 mil. Now, if the ceiling has been painted before, you have a different problem. Qute dusty. I have did these. The popcorn will come off easy except at the drywall taping joint. I am completely covered, masked and use a special tool w/a bag attached. If you have the money, bring in the pro's.

charles territo

Subject: stucco removal

as a painter for 28 yrs, I recommend the 1st method. As a home owner, hire a contractor.Sorry to say most home owners mean well, but.....? There is an old saying, "GOOD INTENTIONS DON'T MAKE GOOD DEEDS!' That might have been for home owners trying to remodel their homes. BTW, the 2nd choice, DO NOT try home owners, with no experience with st. rem. attempting the 2nd choice is not a good idea even for experienced painters. The point of this is cheap, low cost removal, so buying paint, roller and tray could run over $25-$30! Why do that? spray a section, 2-3 times, as your about to start scraping, spray 2nd section, scrape 1st sec., then 2nd sec., spray again. Keep doing this and before you know it your done and will have spent no extra money to do this simple and easy task!!

Local Dad

Subject: Try this

A small suggestion...

Sand the sharp corners on your scraper (a nice 6' wide taping knife works best) before you get to work. Round them right off! Less gouging of Sheetrock paper, no skimming!

Peter Stewart

Subject: Popcorn Removal

Use a plastic scraper...not a metal one. Metal scrapers can easily gouge the drywall and/or the "mud" if you're not careful. They're a lot cheaper and when they get dull you can toss them in the recycle bin with no remorse.


Subject: The old saying still holds true.

If it aint broke, why fix it. I think it's beautiful, adds acoustic benefits, and if you use a professional paint sprayer when you repaint, it will always look nice and new.

I've seen ugly unmaintained ones, and they look nasty, but that's the owners fault for not maintaining it with a good professional paint sprayer. If you smoke, then stop, you may be the cause of the ugliness, so go look in the mirror. You could go and remove your lungs while you're at it, OR just maintain it.


Subject: Aesthetics aside, they become friable over time.

and making dust to the point where you can't repaint, your options are limited. And if it's asbestos popcorn, and it's making dust...you really can't just ignore it.

I would consider using wall mesh with fasteners and "hot mud" (the drywall compound that you mix yourself, from powder, not the stuff in the tubs). And if you want texture again, they still sell textured paint.


Subject: Popcorn Ceilings

I have an apt with popcorn ceilings... and really, I could care less if they were popcorn or not.. When I buy a house.. I'll leave them, if they happen to have them... doesn't bother me.. I don't stare at my ceilings.. ya know?


Subject: Did this myself...

...house was new enough so I didn't have to worry about asbestos.
Scraped over 1000 sqft of ceiling. I used the water method, I think the paint method would get very expensive. The scraping wasn't the hard part - that was easy, tho messy. The bigger job was re-skim-coating the ceiling (and subsequent sanding and dust everywhere) to get the ceiling looking good enough for a clean paint job... Be sure to take that into account... I'm glad I did it, and the result was good, but the work was huge...

Teressa Campbell

Subject: Re: Wait

Great advice Kate! Dish soap would be a great option as well! How wide of a scraper did you use? Thank you for your great comment!


Subject: Wait

Add a little dish soap to that water and use a garden sprayer. Spray it once, wait a bit and then spray is again. Then scrape. Much better results and less work. The soap helps it adhere to the ceiling. Use a wide scraper, saves a lot of work. We did a lot of rooms this way and it went well.

John Gould

Subject: popcorn

I have been removing these sense the 1960's. Same as you. I am a painting/drywall contractor retired at 77. I can still do this. If the ceiling has been painted prior, different problem.

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My sister-in-law uses brite white toothpaste and rubs it into those small holes. No prep, no sanding.

I've used wall liner (it applies like wallpaper only thicker) to cover a multitude of "wall sins" over the years. In my opinion it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. It doesn't look cheap or tacky, it's inexpensive, non-labor intensive and not messy to install.

I used it for the first time about 15 years ago to cover a faux brick tile on my lower kitchen walls that couldn't be removed. It was either tear the wall down or take a chance on $40 worth of wall liner. It did the job beautifully and lasted. Since then I've used it to cover paneling, a badly gouged wall after a kitchen remodel and a wall that looked like a pegboard after floor to ceiling shelving was removed.

Friends and family (and realtors!) have been amazed by the transformation after applying this simple inexpensive product. 


Remember, you not only have to remove the popcorn texture, but also redo the ceiling in some other texture.

Price will depend on several factors:

1) how much the contractor you choose hates removing popcorn or textured ceilings - some charge $1 or so/SF extra just because they hate it. There are even some who bid total drywall replacement cheaper than removing the popcorn, so you have to first find contractors who are happy to do that work, or your prices will be out of the realistic range

2) if the popcorn predates about 1990, then it could likely have asbestos in it, which doubles or triples the price, and in many cases uncapsulating it with a spray coating and then removing the drywall entirely is actually cheaper than all the protective measures necessary if it is scraped off. 

3) whether the popcorn is primarily gypsum and vermiculite (comes off REAL easy) or was the plaster of paris variety, which takes a fair amount of soaking to soften it enough to scrape off

4) what type of finish you are replacing it with - if a textured ceiling, slapcoat, knockdown finish or paneling, not real problem. If you want to go with a perfectly smooth ceiling (generally a bad idea as any variations in the drywall on a ceiling surface really shows up dramatically), then it will demand a lot of care in preparing the scraped surface, and a complete surface drywall compound skim coat to smooth out the scrapes and gouges from the removal process.

5) what underlying conditions are - if there is a lot of furniture to move around (should go to adjacent rooms) or cover and work around, high-quality rug or hardwood floor to super-protect or such, will drive cost up.

I have seen costs run from as low as $0.60/SF to $1.25/SF (for removal only). Generally, remove and recoat with a surface texture of some kind (anything but smooth) and paint will run you about $2.50-3.50/SF.

Now the bad news - if asbestos containing, can run from $5-10/SF. Many homeowners in that situation go the other legal route - have it encapsulated with an asbestos-rated sealant by an asbestos contractor, then paint it and leave it for the next homeowner to decide what to do about it. Some contractors encapsulate it and then put a 1/4" thick drywall layer over it - this usually looks like a disaster unless it has a VERY rough textured finish on it, because putting drywall sheet over a rough surface like popcorn invariably means a wavy surface commonly looks like a gently rolling ocean surface.