How to Remove Textured Paint from your Walls

White textured paint on the wall.
What You'll Need
Scraper or flathead screwdriver
Face mask
Safety gloves
Trash bags
Caulk compound
Putty knife

Textured paint was once very popular in homes, and many people decided to install it on walls and ceilings. Unfortunately, as times change, so do trends; textured paint has fallen out of fashion and is not likely to return. You may have some old textured paint walls which you have finally decided to get rid of, or you may have moved into a new home only to discover this horror once you removed cabinets or paneling. If rather than cover over the textured paint with drywall, you wish to remove it completely, you can consider doing so on your own. Getting this job done doesn’t need the assistance of a professional if you have some basic home improvement skills. All you have to do is follow a few simple guidelines to get the project done quickly and easily.

Step 1 - Get Prepared

The first step is to get prepared. Take off as much as you can strip away comfortably just using a traditional paint scraper. Textured paint can contain asbestos, so you will need to use a face mask and safety gloves if you're unsure, just in case. If you do find asbestos, stop what you're doing immediately and call a professional to have it safely removed.

Take all of the paint you remove and place it directly into the garbage in a sealed bag. Don't allow it to sit around on the floor for any length of time.

Step 2 - Pick the Right Tools

Next, you will have to remove the remaining textured paint. This is a lot more difficult than getting rid of ordinary paint due to the nature and ingredients of the substance. Some retailers may suggest you use a sander, as you might with any other paint-removal job, but this would be a mistake for two reasons. First, the sander will cause a huge mess, and you will be cleaning away fragments of textured paint for years to come. Secondly, some forms of textured paint, such as Artex, contain asbestos. You may not be sure whether your paint does or not, but it is not worth the risk of using a sander and dispersing it into the air. Instead, use a steamer, which can be rented from most home improvement stores.

Step 3 - Use the Steamer

Operate the steamer as instructed in the manual, and then remove the dampened paint using your scraper or the flat head of a screwdriver. It should peel off easily enough, although you can try steaming it again to make it come off more easily. You should be able to clean an entire wall within a day if you work hard.

Step 4 - Plaster Over the Wall Instead

If you don't fancy the task of removing the textured paint, you can instead cover it with a caulking compound. Fill the lower areas with the compound to help even out the highest parts of the paint, and then leave it to dry. Cover the entire wall with a layer of plaster, and proceed as though it were fresh drywall.

Whichever solution you choose to use, this should ready your wall for any new treatments you're planning. If you do any damage to the wall in the process, spackle over it, let it dry, and sand the area smooth before painting or otherwise.