Should I sand my walls or just redo the sheetrock?

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We bought a house and the walls in the basement were stuccoed by what I would believe was a five year old. It is very thick and its not level. Its so "pointy I have actually cut my hand on it. I am trying to get advice on wether I should try shaving/sanding the wall or spend extra money and put up new drywall.
q should i sand my walls or just redo the sheetrock, basement ideas, diy, home maintenance repairs, wall decor
q should i sand my walls or just redo the sheetrock, basement ideas, diy, home maintenance repairs, wall decor
q should i sand my walls or just redo the sheetrock, basement ideas, diy, home maintenance repairs, wall decor
  35 answers
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Mar 02, 2014
    I think I'd either mud it to smooth it out, or put up drywall. One advantage is adding insulation and sound proofing. Scraping it off would be a huge mess.
  • This stucco is what appears to be a normal thick layer of water proofing paint that was applied by a roller. Its cement based so trying to remove it will prove difficult at best. Although its difficult to tell exactly what or why this was done. One method of water proofing is done by applying a layer of asphalt paper on the wall, followed by wire mesh that is stucco coated. Sort of a drainage system. This is the very old school method of water proofing. However from the limited amount of view, I am making the assumption that the seller is masking a water issue in the basement and did so by applying a thick layer of water proofing paint. My suggestion if you have just moved into the home is to do nothing will the walls. If you have small children that hang out down there, they will learn quickly not to run or play against the walls. However my reasoning about not doing anything is that water proofing paint really never stops water from coming into the basement, Its a short term masking method of putting a Band-Aid on the wrong side of a leak. If water is going to be an issue here you will being to see evidence of is within a few months. Not so much as water but unexplained staining of the walls near the bottom. Water proofing paint like any other paint has pigments in it. These pigments make for a food source for mold to develop. If moisture is indeed present the wall areas will begin to darken in short order. So what I am saying is wait for a while on this until your really sure your not having any issues. Basement dampness is a sure sign that something is wrong in basement land. I have seen hundreds of attempts by sellers to mask and hid water issues only to find out later that indeed that there is something going on. Keep also an eye on cracks on the foundation walls. Look for bowing walls. All signs that something is being hidden here. Normally water proofing paint is not applied that heavy unless something is being covered up. Of course all of this is based on that what were seeing is a cement wall that has been textured painted. If you can provide some additional photos further away from the walls to get more of an over all shot of what were seeing, I may be able to provide additional information. Good luck on the new HOME!
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    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
      @Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com Is there any thick paint or primer what would fill in some of the small indentions. I am just about done with my first wall. It is so freaking dusty though lol. Its coming along a lot better and is looking pretty nice and even.
  • Candy BluGnu Candy BluGnu on Mar 02, 2014
    I don't know if your budget can 'do' new drywall, so you might consider re-shooting with a hopper, maybe 2 or 3x's to get a softer texture. If it is on the ceiling, you would need to find out if it would take the extra weight or come crashing to the floor.
    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
      @Candy BluGnu I could afford to do new drywall but I am getting to the point where I am going to put more money into the house than I will get out of it. I have already redone both bathrooms, backsplash and counter tops in kitchen, new deck and new fence.
  • Carole Alden Carole Alden on Mar 02, 2014
    Looks like a room I had to deal with. So hard it might have been cement. I ended up making another wall and sheet rock. Atl east I had more insulation and a smooth surface to work with.
  • Patty Morgan Patty Morgan on Mar 02, 2014
    Can you put the sheet rock on top? I wouldn't sand it, it will get in the air and really make more work. I painted on walls like this and it really eats up your brushes too.
    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
      @Patty Morgan I don't believe it would be level enough. I would have to tear out the existing sheetrock and then put up new.
  • SANDY HOLLY SANDY HOLLY on Mar 02, 2014
    I feel your frustration, my son in law put these walls ALL over my house!!! I mean every room. I HATE it and all I can do is paint over it for now. Good luck!
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 02, 2014
    Since you say this was put over sheetrock, this is probably texture paint which is kind of like an indoor stucco used to cover up damaged walls (they probably did not want to or know how to "float out" the sheetrock. Sanding will fill up the duct work in your home with dust and could be a long difficult process. I would cover it with beadboard on the bottom up to about 5' high and put a narrow ledge (if it is in your budget) and leave the texture paint on top. We actually put in beadboard up to the level of the sink, added a chair rail and then texture paint on the top in a half bath because I refused to have any more sanding messes...to old to go there...let the next owner deal with it! I LOVE MY HALF BATH. This is great in small areas. If you lessen the amount and paint it a pretty color, it won't be bad at all.
    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
      @Jeanette S That looks really nice. I wouldn't mind doing something like that but it would still leave me with a problem of un level texture. If you look at the second and third picture you can see what I am talking about. Its almost like they put the "texture" on and then took a piece of tape off while it was still fresh on the walls.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 02, 2014
    You can easily fix this by getting a small stiff brush and tapping on some texture paint. I assume you are going to pick a more attractive color. And it will be above eye level. But then beadboard comes 8' tall...use it ceiling to floor.
  • Top Shelf Painting Top Shelf Painting on Mar 02, 2014
    More work to level it, re-sheet rock
  • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
    I have decided to work with what I have. The "texture" is coming off easy. So far I like what I see. I am taking a puddy knife and knocking the texture off first. I am then going to sand the walls down.
  • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
    Here is what it looks like so far
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    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
      @Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com I am just using my orbital sander. Its not doing to bad of a job. I am thing about making them as smooth as I can and then having someone come in and spray a layer of orange peel texture.
  • Patty Morgan Patty Morgan on Mar 02, 2014
    It looks like it is on top of cinder blocks. If that is the case it would have mess wirer to hold the surface. If it is the basement and a structural foundation, I would let the professional look at it. Also Home Depot or Lowes are great to talk with to see what ways you can cover the surface.
  • Cindy Moore Cindy Moore on Mar 02, 2014
    Depending on the weight capacityand how much work you want to put in it...I'd just put wood over it. Get some bead board and paint it, stain it - whatever. Barnwood is good for a rustic look. Or break off all the stucco and then install wood over for less weight.
    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
      @Cindy Moore So far shaving and sanding the walls is working pretty well. I know I am not going to be able to make the walls look like new but anything will be better than what it currently looks like.
  • Candy BluGnu Candy BluGnu on Mar 02, 2014
    The walls would have to be conditioned to allow the 'mud' to adhere to the existing finish. I've been out of the construction biz for too long to recommend a conditioner, but your paint company, ie. Sherwin Williams should be able to point you in the right direction, and very possibly remove the sanding factor all together. I hope this helps.
  • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 02, 2014
    I have scraped and sanded one of the walls and it is looking pretty good. Only thing I am questioning is in some spots its really smooth and some spots it looks like a knockdown texture.
  • Janet Smith Janet Smith on Mar 02, 2014
    Sand it as smoothly as possible and then have it retextured. I did that in my last home and it looked really good when finished. But the dust is terrible. I put box fans in the windows blowing out to help pull the dust outside and taped heavy plastic over the doors of the room and I still had dust all over my house. I had the AC vents cleaned afterwards and the dust cleans up pretty easily.
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    • Sheila Sheila on Mar 04, 2014
      @Anthony Goad Did you look into getting 1/4 inch drywall? Its pretty inexpensive and will save you a ton of work.
  • Patty Morgan Patty Morgan on Mar 02, 2014
    I never saw that before on sheet rock. Post pictures when you get finished. I love seeing the before and after shoots.
  • Opal Opal on Mar 03, 2014
    Yikes, what a messy job! I feel for you, I can't wait to see the finished product.
    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 03, 2014
      @Opal Yes it is messy. I have been cleaning as I got. Makes the dust factor allot easier.
  • Packrat Packrat on Mar 03, 2014
    You can get a texture roller made for paint roller handles, at building centers. I think Walmart sells them too. I rolled on drywall "mud" let it set for a couple of minutes and then did a knock down with a drywall knife (applicator). Just do a random roll on of the texture- going different directions & go in different directions when doing the knock down, too. I have done this to walls in my home just because I like the look. Paint it with a roller for rough surfaces and it will look great. Doing it yourself will save money and its easy to do.
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    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
      @Debbie Machmer Hey Debbie, I used a taping knife and held it at an angle while scraping the walls. Once I scraped the walls I then took an orbital sander and lightly went over every inch of the walls to knock the high points down. Once sanded I rolled on a coat of mudd. Once that dried I put on a second coat with the taping knife. The only thing I am doing different with the rest of the walls is I am not going to roll them. Its easier for me to just use a knife to smooth it out.
  • Charline Charline on Mar 03, 2014
    A good sheet rocker can float the wall and make it smooth. Ask around and tell them what you have.
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    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
      @Sheila You are correct. It would be about as cheap to hang new sheetrock. I am happy with the way its going so far.
  • Sheila Sheila on Mar 04, 2014
    get a sheetrock sponge or a tile sponge and use water. It comes out smooth and there is no dust. My husband did commercial drywall for years, and I don't even use sandpaper on drywall anymore, except when taping.
    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
      @Sheila I have to use a sander because I have really big lumps and highpoints that I have to sand down.
  • Sheila Sheila on Mar 04, 2014
    For an orangepeel finish, the easiest way is to use a long nap paint roller and some watered down drywall mud. For a knock down look, you have to have a hopper and air compressor and know what you are doing or it will look bad.
    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
      @Sheila Yeah I would texture it myself. I am smoothing the wall out. I am just about done with wall 1. That is exactly what I did for the first coat.. I used a roller and watered down the mudd.
  • Liz H Liz H on Mar 04, 2014
    We have that type of finish in our living room on top of lath and plaster (old house). You can "wash" it off. No dust.
  • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
    There is no way to wash this off. It is thick and hard. Has to be scraped and sanded. For my first time skim coating its coming out really nice.
  • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
    Ill submit a pic of the first wall tonight.
  • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
    1
  • Debbie Machmer Debbie Machmer on Mar 04, 2014
    I tried this quite awhile ago. The base plaster is very sound, the texturing is another layer and what I want gone. Some areas lift up, others are tight. I was hoping you'd have a technique I haven't tried!! No intentions of mudding over only to fill any gouges I put in the plaster. You've inspired me to give it another whirl. :)
    • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
      @Debbie Machmer Its has not been to bad. I had been putting it off for quite sometime and decided I was sick of seeing them!
  • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
    First finished wall
  • Anthony Goad Anthony Goad on Mar 04, 2014
    Just needs prime and paint now!
  • Catherine Westergaard Catherine Westergaard on Mar 07, 2014
    We have textured walls in our whole house, but in our case the texture is done with stucco, like you do on the EXTERIOR of a house and it looks like they did it with an icing knife for cakes, kind of gloppy and thick, with lots of knife ridges. Its a small 2 bedroom built in 1958. I wanted to try smoothing it out as the dust and dirt lays on the little edges, but the stucco just breaks off and leaves holes (there are places along the bottom of the wall where we'll have to repair a little). We're going to be selling in the next year and its going to take some work to make it look good. Sure would like to get a hold of the idiots who did our house, lol! Glad your job came out so nice!
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