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How to remove texture from walls

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Hey there! It’s been awhile since I posted any progress on the office. But let me tell you, the process to remove texture from the walls was terrible but I got it done!

If you follow us on Instagram you saw that I posted a sneak peek of the almost completed office. I thought I’d break down the steps into separate posts and then pull it all together with a big reveal at the end….ooooh, drama and suspense. I love it! For this post, I’m going to talk about how I removed the texture from walls, from the initial skim coating to sanding and painting. If anyone else is crazy like me and wants to know how to do it, this is the post for you.

Remove Texture From Walls By Skim Coating

In the last post, I described a little of what was involved to remove texture from walls but I thought a more in-depth discussion was in order. Let me just say, Project Remove Texture From Walls took longer than expected. Getting things the way I wanted them was time-consuming. And the sanding was a nightmare. At one point, the room looked like this:

Remove Texture - Sanding dustYeah, that happened. But let’s start at the beginning.

The room originally looked like this. Not good, not bad. Just your basic extra bedroom with a happy little stencil courtesy of Alex. Adventure is out there. Indeed. If only I had known then what an adventure it would be.

Remove texture - Before

This was the only room in the house with this kind of texture and for that, I am eternally grateful. I never want to remove texture from walls again. After Googling around a little and watching this video I had a pretty good idea of what needed to happen to get rid of it.

As for materials, I just picked up some lightweight joint compound at Lowe’s. This is a link to the exact stuff I bought. I ended up using about 2 1/2 buckets of the stuff. At about $14 for 4.5 gallons, it’s not terribly expensive. I also purchased a knockdown knife but honestly, I had better luck with a taping knife like this one. How you choose to get the joint compound on the walls is entirely up to you. The video demonstrates using a paint roller and that may very well work for some people. For me, it was messy and frustrating. Then again, this whole piece of the project felt that way to me.

The process I used was basic if mind-numbingly repetitive and boring.

I had an extra five-gallon bucket that I used for mixing. I’d fill it about a third of the way full, add a cup of water and mix it with the paddle bit attachment for my drill. You want it to be about the consistency of pancake batter. Not soupy but not so thick it sticks to the mixer without dripping a little. Then I just starting spreading the mixture on the walls in about 3-foot sections, making sure that the edges were feathered out. When I was working on the next section, I’d overlap the edges from the previous section, making sure that everything was as smooth as possible. In the corners, I’d work on one wall, let it dry and then go back and do the other one.

Keep in mind, the more “textured” your walls, the less those first couple of coats will make a difference. But persevere! Around the third coat, I finally started to see light at the end of the tunnel. It took me around five coats until I was happy. Add in drying time between coats and that pesky day job of mine and this part easily took me a week and a half to finish. This is what the first wall looked like after the first coat. You can still see the texture and Alex’s message slightly.

Remove Texture - Skim Coating Progress

After the walls were as smooth as I could get them it was time for sanding.

Yuck is all I can say about that part. The dust-filled picture at the beginning was taken shortly after I started this step. What a way to spend a Saturday! At least I had a lot of time to catch up on podcasts and listen to music. Really, the sanding step is pretty simple. This is the pole sander I used. I grabbed some 220 grit sanding screens and went to town. I went over it twice and from every angle, it looked pretty good. After a good wipe-down on the walls, I vacuumed off as much as I could get before painting.

Once the first coat of paint had dried I realized there were still some spots that didn’t look so hot. After pouting for a bit logically deciding how to best proceed, I went back over all the walls lightly with another coat of joint compound.  I found it was easier to see the areas that needed attention once the paint was on the wall even though it might not be “best practice”. After another light sanding (egad, more dust!) and another coat of paint, things were starting to look up.

All the trim and doors in this room are white so when I was choosing paint colors the idea in my mind was something light and airy. After agonizing over paint swatches and samples I finally landed on a very light green on the walls. I used Delicate Mist by Olympic using the Olympic Assure paint in a semi-gloss finish. I’ve used this paint before in Aislynn’s room and I was really happy with it. It’s reasonably priced at around $20 a gallon and it goes on easily. For the ceiling, I wanted to change things up a little bit from your basic white. I kept within the same “Aquas” collection from Olympic but went with more of a light blue tone called Meadowsweet Mist that was slighter darker than the walls. The contrast with new white crown molding I installed was exactly what I was looking for.

In the next post I’ll go into installing the crown molding and restoring the baseboards but here’s a sneak peek at the walls, ceiling, and crown…what a difference!

Remove Texture - wall ceiling contrast





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