Paint, stains

Published on December 5th, 2014 | by Henri

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Removing textured surface from wall

Q.  One of our rooms has a wall that has been textured looking like stucco. We would like to get rid of that texture and leave it just plain, and paint it. Which is the easiest and best way to remove that texture?

A.  Unfortunately, there is no easy way to remove texture from a wall. If the texture is very heavy (you say “like stucco”), I really have no better suggestion than removing the wall finish and replacing it. But if the textured finish is more like a swirl made with a trowel, a skim coat of drywall compound might be applied over it by an experienced drywall finisher.

If the textured finish is light, sanding it off is another option. But before you do that, make sure the compound does not contain asbestos (as it did prior to 1980) and the paint does not contain lead (as it did until 1978). And even if the materials were applied more recently, keep in mind that sanding will create an awful amount of dust, so be sure you wear a dust mask.

Another option, if having a smooth wall is very important to you, is to apply a new layer of 1/4-inch-thick drywall over the existing. It’s a special order, but it is much lighter than the standard 1/2-inch or 5/8-inch. It will also require redoing any of the trim work.

If the texture of your wall is very rough and of uneven depth, the end result may not be very satisfactory. It may be best to remove the existing wall finish and replace it with new drywall.

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