Use TikTok's Genius Vinegar Hack To Remove Popcorn Ceiling In A Snap

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It may come as a shock to you that, at one time, popcorn ceilings were a fad — just like farmhouse kitchens and open-concept living spaces. When they first came about, builders loved the idea of popcorn ceilings as they hid imperfections and were relatively low cost. Of course, that fad has come and gone, and today, popcorn ceilings are seen as a must-go for many homeowners. If you are in a home with popcorn ceilings and want them gone, instead of preparing for a huge renovation process, you may actually be able to remove your popcorn ceilings using one simple ingredient: vinegar.

TikTok user @jhc_properties shows how spraying hot water and distilled white vinegar onto your ceiling makes the removal process super easy. Vinegar helps to break down the paint, making removal much more seamless. In the video, they use a paint sprayer to ensure that every surface is covered with the solution and a scraper to then manually scrape off the popcorn ceilings, revealing a smooth surface underneath. The TikTok makes it look quite easy, but more is involved than a simple spray-and-scrape.

The true steps to remove popcorn ceiling with vinegar

Before you get started, you'll want to make sure the ceiling is free of asbestos. You can do a scrape test using a kit you send to a certified lab ($10 at Home Depot). Once you are sure the ceiling is free of asbestos, gather your materials. Distilled white vinegar, which can be found at Walmart for under $4, is the most important item in the process. You will also need a mudding knife or scraper (this one on Amazon for $18 is used specifically for popcorn ceilings), a tarp to cover your floor and furniture, a paint sprayer, and a mask to keep yourself from ingesting any of the solution, dust, or scraps from the ceiling.

Once your materials are together, your tarp is laid out, and your furniture is out of the way, you can get started by combining your vinegar with water -– the solution recommended via TikTok is 90% hot water and 10% distilled white vinegar -– and putting it into your paint sprayer. After spraying the ceiling and letting it soak for a bit, begin scraping off the popcorn using your scraper. Once it is removed — to make your ceiling look fresh and clean — you'll want to add a topping compound, like this option from Lowes for $22. Then it's time to prime and paint.