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How To Smooth Textured Walls

Whilst textured walls were once used as a way to add personality to a home, or even hide imperfections, if you have just moved into a home that is full of ‘em, it is no surprise that you may want to cover the lot.  However, the thought of getting rid of them might prove daunting, and rightly so. You could just hire a professional to do the job for you, or, you can do it yourself. Whilst it might be time consuming and a little messy, if you have the knowledge and know-how, you will be able to do it with as little mess as possible. That being said, it may prove a little tricky - but not impossible. In this article we shall take a look at how you can smooth out a textured surface on a while without resorting to calling a professional.

Preparing For The Job

textured walls and how to smooth them

Before you can smooth out a wall, you will need to prepare for the job. This means covering whatever is necessary to avoid any unwanted mess. In fact, this job can get rather messy, so make sure to cover the flooring, furniture and remove objects off the wall. If you don’t have any material to cover objects, then remove them out of the room if possible. This way, nothing will get dirty!


What You Will Need

preparing for remodeling  - how smooth textured walls

Next, you will need to make sure you have the necessary materials:


  • Spray bottle
  • Sandpaper
  • Wallboard knife
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles & a mask 

    Step 1: Soak The Wall With Water

    spray bottle - how to smooth textured walls

    Using a spray bottle, soak the wall with water in an even fashion. You may need to do this in sections, so prepare for it to take a while. Depending on the thickness and how textured the wall is, it may take a few more sprays before it is fully soft.  Wait around 15 minutes to let the water soak through. You will know when it is ready to move onto the next step because once you put your fingers on it, you should be able to remove the texture. If it isn’t, spray some more. If it is ready, then move on to step 2.


    Step 2: Scrape Away

    To begin scraping the wall, start at the top. It is best to use a ladder to reach this area, but make sure you are stable if you are quite high - you’re going to be up there for a while! Use a drywall taping knife to remove any soft bits, but do it gently. You can do this by holding it at an angle whilst scratching along the wall to remove the textured bits. The trick is to use quite long strokes, but just make sure that they are gentle too. If you find that a part of the textured wall won’t budget, spray it with water again and wait for it to soften. Start the process again and make sure it is completely smooth before you attempt to scrape it away.


    Step 3: Scrape In Smaller Sections

    It might be tempting to try and scrape a huge bit off, but you will have more success if you work in small areas. You will find that you need to keep moving and that the hours will pass. Even so, it is worth it and you will get to the end, no matter how much it probably doesn’t feel like it right now. When you think you have done all the areas, go back and check every single detail of that wall. Any areas you have missed will create an uneven and bumpy finish. This is another reason why it is best to work in sections. This way, you have a better idea of what bit of the wall(s) you have done, and you will be able to complete sections properly without accidentally missing areas.


    Step 4: Time To Sand

    Now that you have scraped off the textured wall, it is time to sand the rest. Whilst another time consuming job, it will all be worth it to make the final wall completely smooth - or at least as smooth as it can be. When doing this job, you need to be prepared. That means wearing gloves, goggles and a mask. Lots of particles will be flying into the air, so it is better to be protected. Just like before, work in sections to ensure you get a smooth result. You can even use a flashlight to check to see if you have missed any areas. Once this step is done, you are finished!


    What About The Skim And Paint Method?

    skim and paint method - how to smooth textured walls

    The above method might take a while to do, but the skim and paint method will not only take longer, but needs a lot more skill to do it. To put it simply, here is what it entails (without going into full detail):


    • Add a drywall specific primer to the wall. Once done, skim the topcoat.
    • Use a premixed drywall joint 'paste'. It should be thick like peanut butter. Put it into a mud pan and using slow movements, apply it as a coating onto the wall.
    • If you find that the primer is a little glossy, sand it first to help the paste stick better.
    • Let the compound dry overnight, and if needed, apply a second coat the next day. You may need to do this a few times.
    • Once you are done with the coats, sand it.
    • Lasly, coat it with a primer.

      Final Thoughts

      Not everyone likes a textured wall, despite it being used as a way to hide imperfections, or to create a unique wall effect (think of 1990s). So luckily, there is a way to remove it easily and simply with just a few tools. Whilst you could call a professional, you can also save some money by doing it yourself. So, if you find that you want to remove textured walls, then follow our simple advice above.


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