Tag Archives: heavy orange peel texture removal

How to smooth texture on walls

As many of you know I’ve been working on project master bathroom for the last two weeks.  Its been a messy, not so fun job but its really coming together.  The most recent tasks at hand was to sand down the textured orange peel walls that we were left with after our professional bathroom remodel.

Orange peel walls are that bumpy type of texture similar to that of popcorn ceilings, below is a close-up BEFORE shot.

orange peel texture

Our goal was not to remove all the texture and have to start all over again.  We just wanted to sand down some of the existing texture to achieve a softer look.  If you are looking for a tutorial on how to completely remove all texture and re-mud, you may find this site more helpful.

We started our sanding process one way and ended with another so I’ll address both in this post.

1. Use plastic and tape to seal off everything that will not be sanded.  This means all furniture, doorways, seals around doors, cabinets, and a place often forgotten any/all exposed a/c vents. (sorry for the poor quality photo)

sanding down texture

2. Make sure you wear safety goggles and masks.  This is not the place to cut corners as you will have dust everywhere and it can really be harmful without this protection.

3. Sanding.  This is where it can get tricky and we tried both routes so I’ll give my suggestions as to what I think makes the most sense and why.  We were told to start with a drywall sander and 120 grit paper so we had more control over the amount of texture we were removing.  I believe our problem is that our walls had been previously painted and primed and we were not making much progress with that option.  If you are working with bare textured drywall, this is probably the better option for you.

We decided on using our electric sander which really sped up the process and cut through the painted texture we had.  I suggest a 100 grit paper as it still chipped away at the heavy orange peel texture, but still gave me more control in how much I took off.

You walls texture will almost transverse, meaning, the previous high chunky pieces of texture will break off down to the drywall, leaving the more subtle texture as the new bumpy surface.

4. Vacuum and clean. We had a good amount of dust and debris  but not an insane amount so I was comfortable using my home vacuum to gather much of it.  If you have a shot-vac  I recommend using it.   Wipe down everything and prep room to paint.

5. Prime and then prime again.  This is vital to making your walls look finished. As I mentioned, you will be essentially breaking off some of the really chunky texture pieces and I found that with each coat of primer all these areas smoothed out gave the walls the look I was trying to achieve.  I primed a full two coats, waiting 4 hours between and I think I could have even done a third had I had the patience.  Here is a shot of what my walls looked like after the 2nd coat of primer.

sanded down texture

And with some test coats of paint

sanded down texture

6. Paint with as low of a sheen as possible.  I know there is a lot of talk that you have to use a semi-gloss in a bathroom, but I’ve had much luck with an eggshell and recommend it to further reduce the textured look of your walls.

I can not begin to tell you how happy we are with this job. I wish we had taken the time to do this years ago.  Its far from perfect but its come so far and I recommend it to anyone  detests their chunky textured walls as I did.

Do you have a texture preference?  Are you happy with your existing texture job?  Ever think about sanding down your own?