How to Remove Wall Texture
LESLIE: Our next caller’s from Minnesota, where you can find The Money Pit on KARL. Elaine, what’s happening at your money pit?
ELAINE: Well, I bought a house three years ago. And the bathroom has a problem. Evidently, they had used some kind of a product that you put on the walls and use a trowel and spread it around and it’s very, very hard.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Ah, textured walls.
LESLIE: Like a Venetian plaster?
ELAINE: Yes, yes. That shiny …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Is it shiny?
LESLIE: Yeah, that’s Venetian plaster.
ELAINE: OK. Now how do I get it off.
TOM: Ah. Well, that’s the tricky part. (laughing) It’s difficult to take off. If we could make it not shiny for you; if we could suggest some ways that you could make that, say, have more of a patina look or a flatter look, would you be interested in that? Or do you just want to get rid of the texture altogether?
ELAINE: Well, I would prefer to get rid of the texture. But what I’m looking to do is either paint it so it looks like it’s a drywall type paint or something that would look smooth where I could paint it and it looks good or wallpaper it.
TOM: Because, Leslie – well, you can’t wallpaper because it’s too rough. But Leslie, I’m thinking a faux finish on that might look decent. Because the problem is trying to get rid of it. It’s very, very difficult. You’d have to literally sand it off the walls or you’d have to remove and replace the walls or you’d have to put a second layer of drywall on top of that.
LESLIE: Well, Venetian plaster isn’t a heavy texture. I mean it’s a lot of material that goes into it and then it’s all – I mean you should see – if you saw the process, you would be so much appreciative of the look. Unless you just don’t like the color or you just don’t like the way it is, you know, you really sort of …
ELAINE: It’s so rustic looking. It’s just not me.
LESLIE: It is very rustic looking. But it goes on with little like six-inch trowels and you’re hand is back and forth, back and forth. And you’re just really rubbing this on. And then once it’s all on there, you burnish it. You sort of wax it and make it really shiny so it has this wonderful smooth texture to it but it has a degree of aged areas and, you know, differences in colors and differences of sheen. [Differences of sheen as where you along to it] (ph).
I would say prime it; especially if you’re not into the sort of faux finish look. Prime it with an oil based primer since it is for the bath. This way, you’ll get good quality adhesion and you know it’s going to stick. And then, that should do the trick. If you’re dealing with some rough areas, I say sand it first. Get like a medium grit or a medium fine grit sandpaper and give it a nice rubdown in the areas where you see the roughness; where you sort of see the trowel marks. I know it’s probably going to be a lot of places all over that bath. But once you get everything down, then prime it and then you can paint it any color you want.
ELAINE: Well, it’s – some of those where they troweled are pretty deep, so I’m wondering what type of sander should I use.
LESLIE: It might be better to fill it out.
TOM: (chuckling) Yeah, exactly. You know, the bottom – the bottom line here is, Elaine, the texturing is easier – is a lot easier to put on than it is to take off. And so to try to get rid of that now is a lot of labor or sometimes it’s so much labor that you’re better off just recoating those walls with a thin layer of drywall and starting from scratch again.
So those are pretty much your options. If you do want to recoat it, you could do that. But if you want to just take some of the rough, some of the trowel marks out, you could sand it out. That’s why I was trying to opt for a more cosmetic option for you. But if you absolutely can’t stand the look of it, you’re probably better off putting a second layer of drywall on top of it. You could use 1/4-inch thick drywall so it doesn’t have to make up a lot of wall thickness but at least give you a clean wall look to start with from there.
ELAINE: Alright. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re welcome, Elaine. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.