Thursday, 6 June 2013

Home Improvements: How to Get Rid of Textured Paint

Did you ever wonder about how to get rid of textured paint? It's likely that you haven't unless you've come across the situation we are in.
Hello, Dolly! That is a lot of pink, no?
The upstairs of our house is flooded with a very punchy salmon colour. That can be primed and its gone quite easily. But then they really got funky and did painted stripes down both sides of the wall. When we did our original viewing of the house we snickered at the odd wallpaper choice. It wasn't until we were there for the home inspection that we realized it was painted on. I think it fooled us into being wallpaper because of the precision of the stripes and feel of their final coat of paint. It is a pale pink rolled over the stripes to achieve a textured feel.

Pink overload? Naw, but its got some serious bumps.
After consulting some paint specialists we came to realize the only way to paint over it and have the wall look normal is "to use elbow grease and take time to prep the wall before painting". I secretly hoped there was a product that we could easily just paint on and then roll paint right over and no one would be the wiser.  Apparently the best way to do this is to get a sander and feel your way down the wall as you go to make sure its pretty well even.  Our biggest trouble areas weren't necessarily the overall textured look, but the stripe lines where they painted would surely show through when it came time to paint over.

Time to Prep? You betcha! Enter the power sander Mighty Mouse and the shop vac I've named R5 because it should be in the same family of droids as R2-D2 in Star Wars.

Our Shop Vac's distant relative.
I assembled my tools and a ladder (and tunes, although that proved futile because of how noisey my team was) and got to work.  One great thing about this job is that it can be done by anyone who is visually challenged. In fact, your hypersensitive touch due to lack of eyesight would help this situation because it involved a great deal of running my hands along the wall as I went to find places I missed. Here is my crackshot team!

Meet R5 and Mighty Mouse.
My team and I spent a good 1.5 hours sanding away the wall evenly (god I hope it's even - time will tell when we get to painting it). The best way to check your work is to run your hands along the wall and for goodness sake don't go crazy and sand a bump into the wall.

I used a 120 grit sandpaper and had the shop vac going right along underneath to control the dust. I think that worked marvellously because there was very little clouds flying as I went and nothing on the floors.  Although my arms got quite tired and by the end my hands were going numb.

I thought originally that it would look very different when I finished the hallway but sadly it looked the exact same. What is important is that it felt very smooth to run your hand across which will make all the difference when we get around to painting.

Finished hallway - darn, looks the same. How's that for job satisfaction?
The last step will be to go over the wall with a damp cloth to remove the rest of the sanded paint dust that the shop vac didn't pick up.

All told it will be totally worth it to not have a bumpy wall with ghostly stripes that looks oddly out of place. It was a loud job between the buzzing an the shop vac running. I don't think my hand felt normal again for a few hours! We are looking forward to seeing those stripes disappear and will post as we make progress! We are heading up tomorrow night to tackle some painting as the topsoil here is all shovelled out - yipee!

Yup - thats a lot of dirt. (Colour difference is two days of work)
Thanks for stopping by and enjoying another post about our smoother Happily Hectic Household!


  1. ohhh, I bet your hands are still vibrating. That happens when you use a whipper snipper for an hour at a time. Good Luck with all the renos.

  2. Recommend you paint a test patch with the Hawthorne Yellow (and maybe primer first) to ensure the texture doesn't still bleed thru. If it does, you'll have to get back to sanding I'm afraid. Big Job!

    Jack's Grampie

    1. Our next step is the definitely prime the wall and do test patches before going over it fully with paint. But feeling it compared to the other walls leaves us pretty confident I did a good job

  3. Thank you for giving the information. We usually do cleaning of our walls ourself only. We only call our home inspector twice a year during Christmas and before summer to thoroughly inspect our house.
    certified home inspector

  4. Oh, Michelle, I feel your pain. Our home had brown shag carpeting throughout AND various shades and tints of salmon as well. We discovered that the textured walls were indeed wallpaper, but applied directly on sheet rock. Just an FYI, wall paper doesn't peel off sheet rock. So we have had to paint OVER all of the wall paper. My only mistake was not taking pictures of the before and after...

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