In the past, before drywall became the standard, it was common for walls in the home to be covered with some kind of plaster. Although the look was popular, over time the plaster began to age, crack and crumble off the walls, ruining the charm of the older home.
There are a few ways to go about smoothing textured walls, but it’s recommended that you use a professional painter with the right expertise for the job. When removing a textured surface, the professional painter will be sure to take all the necessary measures to avoid lead, asbestos, and dust from infiltrating your home.
The first step requires a lot of sanding. The plaster needs to be smoothed out and filled in with a joint compound – called skim coating. This technique works for smoothing textured walls of all types, including those popcorn ceilings from the 70s.
Another easy way to smooth out a plastered wall is to spray water on the surface to loosen the texture so it can be scraped off easily.
If the walls have sustained water damage or are showing significant cracks, it might just be easier to cover the surface of the wall with ¼-inch drywall or remove the existing wall entirely and replace it prior to painting.