This TikToker Removed Popcorn Ceilings Using Just Hot Water

published Aug 14, 2023
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Mature Adult Female Painting Ceiling White With Paint Roller
Credit: Getty Images/eyecrave

Removing popcorn ceilings is a tale as old as time for homeowners the world over, especially if your home is older and you run the risk of disrupting asbestos in the process. So if you’ve got popcorn ceilings and you’re dying to get them out, TikTok has discovered that hot water is all it takes to remove them, and it’s so satisfying to watch.

TikTok user @cashmere_baby is in the process of renovating their 1980 California home, saying “hasta la vista popcorn” and “hello smooth ceiling” to their dining room area, and they’re showing off the removal process for followers on the viral video app.

“Hubby sprayed hot water evenly every 15 mins up to 3 or 4 times,” they wrote, noting that they covered the overhead lights with blue painter’s tape for protection and that covering the floors in a large area would also be helpful since it’s a “MESSY job.” After spraying the hot water, a wide putty knife or drywall taping knife is able to glide easily over the surface of the ceiling, removing it with ease.

Commenters love how “satisfying” the video is, and it quickly racked up 4.5 million views on TikTok within a matter of days. If you have the dreaded popcorn ceilings and want to remove yours, Los Angeles-based contractor Justin Krzyston told Apartment Therapy back in 2020 that you’ll want to be sure to have it professionally tested for asbestos prior to any painting or removal.

Once you’re given the green light, you can get started, being sure to remove as much of the room’s items as you can ahead of time, and cover the floors and walls with drop cloths and tarp. You’ll also want to open any windows, turn off the electricity and your HVAC system, and close and cover all vents and electrical outlets with plastic.

Then you can work in small sections, spraying with hot water and gently scraping the textured part away. Of course, you can always call in the pros to take care of it (and you absolutely must if your sample tests positive for asbestos), but this is one DIY project that you can tackle on your own with pride, and you, too, can say “hasta la vista popcorn.”