Removing Textured Paint From Walls
LESLIE: Don in Tennessee finds The Money Pit on the Discovery Radio Network. And what can we do for you to help you with your sticky paint situation?
DON: Hi, Leslie. I don’t know for certain if I’m going to take it down or not but I’ve got that paint that’s got the sand into it on two sides of a stairwell going up the back staircase.
DON: And we’re thinking about downsizing to a (audio gap). I (inaudible). Is there an easy way to get that off?
TOM: Have you tried to scrape it off? Have you tried using a paint scraper?
DON: I haven’t touched it.
TOM: OK. Well, when you have textured paint like that, it’s easy to put on and very difficult to remove. Generally, you have to use some sort of a paint softener or paint stripper to try to get it loose enough to peel that stuff off. And while, for the most part, you don’t have to use a paint stripper on walls, when it comes to a textured product, where the actual texture – be it sand or some other abrasive – is actually suspended inside the paint, it’s necessary to liquefy the paint to be able to get that off. The other thing that you could try to do is to sand the surface. And you may have to experiment a little bit here, Don, to see how much abrasion that can take without causing any wall damage. But it’s possible that you could get it – especially if it’s not sand, you may be able to get it smooth enough where you could put an oil-base primer on top of that and no longer see the texture.
DON: Oh, OK. If I sanded it down far enough.
LESLIE: Right. If you’re able to do so. Otherwise, you’re going to have to use a paint stripper to really get into that and just re-liquefy it. Because there is actual sand in there. I mean you can feel it in the wall.
DON: Oh yeah, you can feel it in the wall and if you’re not careful, you’re walking down and you could …
LESLIE: You scrape yourself on it.
DON: Yeah, you could put your hand against the rail a little bit too far and you’re scraping the skin off your knuckles.
TOM: (chuckling) Yeah, I don’t know why somebody would want to texture a wall with sand. It doesn’t make much sense to me but …
LESLIE: And you know what? It’s not the easiest stuff to put on either.
LESLIE: If you don’t use the proper roller – even when you cut in, you can’t just cut in with a regular brush. You have to cut in with a special roller; otherwise, it gets two different textures and two different looks. So, for something that’s such a pain in the butt and really causes scratched up knuckles and shoulders and anything that sort of rubs against it, it’s going to be a big pain to get rid of.
TOM: Don, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.