How do I fix a textured wall?


The chair rail in my dining room is a shiplap design. The wall above the shiplap is a textured swirl pattern; I assume it's plaster or something used around the 1940's. I hate the two patterns together and want to smooth the upper wall but I'm not sure what the best method would be to get rid of the swirls.

  8 answers
  • Rose Broadway Rose Broadway on Nov 12, 2018

    Bev, I was going to send you some info on skim coating, but I see there are several different ways to do it so I'm send you several videos to choose from. Hope this does the trick!

    • Bev Bev on Nov 13, 2018

      Thank you! I'm thrilled to see that there are better ways to deal with the problem rather than having to sand the entire room.

  • William William on Nov 12, 2018

    Best, messy, and labor intensive would be to wet down the plaster swirls and scrape them off. Another option would be to sand the swirls with a sander. Also messy and labor intensive. Final solution would be to plaster over the walls and smooth them out.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Nov 12, 2018

    Hi Bev,

    I'm Linda. I've never done this but I found a video that might work for you. It depends on the actual material that is making the swirls. To me it's worth trying unless you can skim coat or want to try that method. Take a look at this video and see what you think. Wishing you the best.

    • See 1 previous
    • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Nov 13, 2018

      Hi Bev, I am thinking that this would be a great project to post to Hometalk. Just take some pictures as you go, then click on "Post Project", at the top right of the computer screen. You can try the different methods and post how they worked for you. It's really easy to post a project. Once you click on the link, the Hometalk system will guide you through the steps.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Nov 12, 2018

    You need to sand, sand, sand. Then skim coat it. Lots of work, but will be worth it.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 04, 2021

    Hello Bev,

    You could board over the wall or if you wanted it to be removed, you might have to call in a specialist because the mix used could contain Asbestos. So be careful disturbing it!

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jan 31, 2021

    You can sand it and then use a skim coat and then paint it again until you're satisfied

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Feb 09, 2021

    Hi! Plaster that old, you should consider not disturbing it, but, instead smooth it out or cover it. There is a risk of asbestos and lead with older walls, which is a significant concern, if disturbed. I used liner paper on some rough old walls, successfully and didn't have to remove the plaster or sand it. Good luck and stay safe!

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