It can be quite challenging for those painting for the first time on any surface.
But textured walls add an additional challenge that many find even more daunting.
However, while textured walls are not as easy to paint compared to flat walls, they can be done if you use the right paint and techniques.
The truth is that textured paint was once considerably more popular compared to today.
Its uneven surface gave vibrancy and originality.
Plus, there is the practical function of hiding any signs of drywall installation.
It was also cheaper and faster to simply apply textured paint which is another reason why it was so popular a half-century ago.
You’ll still see textured paint used in many commercial structures and homes.
But today more people are opting for the smooth, clean look of paint without texture.
Still, there are countless places that have textured paint and the decision to paint over them can be a tough one.
How to Paint Textured Walls?
Do you spend the necessary time and effort to remove the textured paint or can you paint over it?
The answer is that you can paint over textured paint if you want to keep its unique appearance.
In fact, the process itself is not all that difficult if you know what to do.
And you can improve the looks considerably with the right paint and techniques.
While hiring a professional painter is the best bet to get what you want, you can do the job yourself if you are up to the challenge.
What follows are the steps you will need to take in painting over textured surfaces.
Be sure to follow the directions both here and on the paint that you use for the best results.
Step 1- Preparation
You will need to start by cleaning the surface first.
One reason why the textured surface is not as popular anymore is that they attract dirt, stains, and grime.
Start by brushing away any loose dirt, debris, and cobwebs before washing the walls.
Then, use a combination of water and light detergent to loosen and remove any stains, dirt, and dust particles.
Once clean, rinse the walls with plain water so no detergent remains and let it fully dry before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2- Protection
You will need quite a bit of paint which will probably create quite a mess on the floor.
Start by taping off the trim and baseboards.
Now, remove all furniture, furnishings, and items that can be moved from the room.
Next, place drop cloths on the floor and on any items that could not be removed.
The only rule of thumb is if there is a space within the room you do not want to be painted, then cover it with drop cloths or seal it off with tape.
Step 3- Primer
Adding a solid coat of primer according to the instructions on the can will help you properly cover the textured surface.
A deep pile roller will be needed as it will cover the surface as evenly as possible.
The deep roller will help ensure that any small cracks, imperfections, or openings are properly covered.
One issue that you may face with the texture itself is how it may grab some stray fibers from your roller.
Once you have completed priming the surface, look for any loose hairs or fibers that came off the roller and remove them from the walls.
Step 4- Painting
Once the primer has dried and you have inspected the walls for any loose material, now you are ready to paint.
You can use the same deep pile roller as before.
Plus, you should add plenty of paint just like with the primer to ensure full coverage.
You will need to be careful around recesses as they can be tricky.
However, while you should keep a generous amount of paint on the roller, having too much will create a mess.
Plus, even when using plenty of paint the first time, chances are that you will need to add a second coat.
So, apply the first coat thoroughly and with an eye on adding a second coat to get the finish that you want.
Step 5- Finishing Up
Once you have completed the first coat, let it dry and see if a second coat is needed.
If so, apply the second coat as you did the first.
Then, step back and see if there are any areas that need touching up.
Since the surface is textured, the angle you look at the wall may hide what is truly there.
So be sure to look at the surface from one side of the room, then walk parallel to the other side of the room.
What colors look best on textured walls?
When painting over textured walls keep in mind that dark colors such as Burgandy, gray, bright reds, or navy blues are most likely the best options.
Dark color paints will often need only one layer that can be put directly over the primer.
Can You Paint Over Textured Vinyl Wallpaper?
If you have anaglypta or textured wallpaper, it can be painted over just like any drywall.
In fact, textured vinyl wallpaper offers a perfect way to add texturing effect to surfaces that can be painted over.
In addition to providing your own touch, the wallpaper can also hide imperfections such as plaster.
For older homes, textured wallpaper should be strongly considered left underneath the new coats of paint.
Painting textured vinyl wallpaper is no different than painting over most surfaces.
You will need to follow the instructions…
1- Prepare the Area
You’ll need to put down the drop cloths and cover all surfaces that you do not want the paint to touch.
In addition, apply painter’s tape to trim, baseboards, and any surface that will come near the paintbrush that you do not want to paint.
Also, remove all outlet or switch covers so you can paint underneath.
A latex primer will work quite well over the textured wallpaper.
You can use a paint roller for the job but keep a brush handy for any areas that do not get any paint.
3- Smooth Motions
You’ll need to paint in long, smooth motions with the roller.
Be sure you have enough paint on the roller to ensure that the textured surface gets properly covered.
Smooth motions will allow the paint to seep into the wallpaper itself for an improved effect.
Once you have completed the first coat with the paint roller, switch to a paint brush and cover any area that did not get enough paint.
Remember that it is easy to scuff the wallpaper, so press lightly with the brush.
5- Let Dry & Add Second Coat
Once the first coat has dried, apply the second coat in the same manner as the first.
This should cover all areas evenly and even lighten the appearance of the paint a little.
Let it dry and touch up where needed with the brush.
What are textured walls?
Textured interior walls are simply a wall with texturing added like orange peel, popcorn, skip trowel, knockdown, stucco, or swirled patterns.
It’s a very cost-effective way to hide wall imperfections and also the signs of drywall installation i.e., the taped seams where the sheets of drywall meet.
Plus, the character it adds makes your ordinary walls look less “boring” when the light reflects over bumps and create different shadows.
Can you skip trowel over paint?
Typically, the texture and patterns can be added by spraying but can also be done with a soft brush, roller, or by using tools like a comb, rag, or sponge.
However, painting over the skip trowel finish can be many times tricky, especially if you are using a paint roller for the job.
Unlike spraying and brushing, paint rollers are not very good at covering all the divots and valleys in the finish.
And for this reason, the process can be difficult and time-consuming as well.
Can you put wallpaper over textured walls?
Putting wallpaper directly over textured walls will leave an unattractive finish with a kind of bumpy wallpaper.
A better idea is to smoothen your wall by skimming it with a thin layer of the joint compound across the surface.
Once you have skimmed and allowed the wall to dry, you can seal your wall with a primer and then hang a wallpaper.
How can you get rid of unwanted textured walls?
At times, if you feel bored with textured walls or if the texturing has started wearing off, you may need to remove it and get them replaced with something else.
Besides skim coating and smoothening the walls, there are two other options you may go with if you want to redo your textured walls.
- Replace your old textured drywall with a new drywall
- Cover the old textured walls with materials such as wood
The Bottom Line
Painting a textured surface is challenging, but it is not impossible.
In fact, if you take the right approach it can be done in a reasonable amount of time.
You should use high-quality paint, take your time, and apply a generous amount to ensure full coverage when painting a textured surface.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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