Smoothing Textured Surfaces

This story shows how to smooth textured wall and ceiling surfaces.

Smoothing Textured Surfaces

There was a time when textured surfaces were all the rage. Contractors loved them because they covered flaws in drywall work. Homeowners liked the added textural interest they provided to the design scheme. But textured surfaces have one major drawback -- they collect a lot more dirt and are more difficult to clean than smooth walls.

If you have a textured wall or ceiling and you want to smooth it, there are several options. You can sand the surface completely smooth (which produces a tremendous amount of dust), you can sand off high spots and skim-coat the wall with drywall compound (still dusty and labor intensive), you can wet and scrape the surface (time-consuming and risks damaging the drywall), or you can install thin drywall over the old (a little more expensive but the most practical in the long run). If you choose any sanding method, rent a drywall sander. It comes with a vacuum that reduces the dust.

Smoothing a textured wall: Step 1

Prepare the room, covering the furniture, and pole-sand the walls with 100-grit sandpaper or a sanding screen. This knocks down the high points on the wall to a more consistent level. Be careful not to gouge the texture or the drywall.

Smoothing a textured wall: Step 2

Vacuum dust from the wall and spot prime any damaged areas with two coats of an oil-base primer. Let the primer dry. Thin premixed joint compound with water to the consistency of mayonnaise and apply it in sections, finishing each with overlapping vertical strokes. Lightly sand when dry.

Smoothing a textured ceiling: Step 1

Protect the floor with plastic sheets, taping them to the floor at the perimeter. Spray the texture with a solution of 1 cup of ammonia to 1 gallon of water and let it soak in for 15 minutes, keeping the section wet but not soaked.

Smoothing a textured ceiling: Step 2

Using a floor squeegee or the widest drywall knife you can find, scrape the softened texture from the ceiling. Let the surface dry, then smooth, sand, and prime damaged areas. Paint the ceiling.

Comments (1)

Can you paint over tile. I have tile walls and floor. If not, what other option is there to cover the walls aside from tearing it down?

10/23/2009 11:16:57 PM Report Abuse
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