Posts Tagged ‘textured wall’

Getting Smoothing Compound to Dry – Fast

August 23, 2017

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Many homes here in Houston have textured walls.  The texture will show through wallpaper and look bad, and it also prevents good adherence to the wall (because the paper wants to stick to a smooth, flat surface, not to the tops of bumps on the wall).  So I smooth the wall by troweling on a smoothing compound (drywall joint compound), which is similar to plaster.

Once it’s dry, it can be sanded smooth, then sealed and primed, and then it’s ready for wallpaper.

The trick is getting the compound to dry as quickly as possible.  Here I have three fans blowing full force on the wall.  These really speed things up.

Helpful, too, is having a ceiling fan.  And very important is having the air conditioning cranked down cold, and the house fan set from “Auto” to “On,” meaning that it will be constantly circulating that dry, air-conditioned air through the room.  It’s pulling moisture out of the wall and pulling humidity out of the air, and helping the wall to dry.

Stubborn spots can be hit with the heat gun.

Water-Colorful and Fun Flowers on a Bedroom Accent Wall

November 17, 2016
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It was hard getting a full-wall shot of this wallpaper install, because the wall was so darned tall – nearly 12 feet high! But you get the idea.

Originally, the wall was painted navy blue, like the other three walls in this master bedroom. The wall also had a flat-screen TV plastered in the middle of it. The husband, of course, loved the huge TV. But the wife persevered, and got him to agree to have this colorful and playful wallpaper cover the wall. Now, as to whether or not that TV will go back up on the wall remains to be seen ….

I smoothed the textured wall, which you can see on the right side of the first photo. The next day I hung the paper. The paper is by York, in the SureStrip line. It is a pre-pasted product, on a thin non-woven backing, and is designed to strip off the wall (relatively) easily when you want to redecorate. It is a lovely product to work with, clings tightly to the wall, seams are nearly invisible, and should hold up nicely for many years.

This is a 1955 home with mid-century modern flare, in the Spring Branch neighborhood of Houston, and the clients were a busy family with school-age children.

From Pimply to Smooth

November 2, 2016
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Today I prepped two accent walls, to be ready for wallpaper tomorrow. The first step was getting rid of this fairly heavy stipple texture.

To do that, I take a putty knife and knock off the highest bumps, then trowel on joint compound, which is something like plaster. Once it’s dry, I sand it smooth, vacuum up the dust, wipe dust off the wall with a damp sponge, and then apply a penetrating primer to seal it and prepare the wall to accept wallpaper.

The second photo shows how nice and smooth the wall is. And, not to toot my own horn, but I am much better at it than most painters or handymen, so no need to hire one of them to smooth the walls – I will most likely have to redo at least part of it anyway. 🙂

Why do the walls need to be smoothed? First of all, the bumps showing under the paper just look bad. Slipshod and uncaring. Second of all, if the wall is textured, then the wallpaper can only adhere to the tops of the bumps, which is not very secure at all. When the wall is nice and smooth, and properly primed, there is a sound surface for the paper to come in contact with and hold tightly.

Priming a Newly Smoothed Wall

November 4, 2015
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My previous post talked about smoothing a textured wall, so that the new wallpaper would have an intact surface to hold on to, and so that ugly bumps would not show under the new paper. I did the same thing today, in a large powder room with 10′ high ceilings, in a new home off Fannin, south of Loop 610 in Houston.

Once the walls were sanded and wiped free of dust with a damp sponge (rinsed frequently) (a crucial step, because any dust left on the wall can, when paint or primer or wallpaper is applied, delaminate, which means to pull away from the wall, which results in curling or loose seams on the wallpaper).

Anyway, once the walls were wiped and then dried, I rolled on a primer. While I use different primers for different situations, when I have newly floated walls, as in this case, I like to use Gardz (see photo). Gardz is thin and watery and soaks into porous surfaces, such as the thirsty joint compound in this newly smoothed wall. Then it dries very hard and solid, binding everything together, and doing a super job sealing the surface.

It also lends a wonderful surface for wallpaper to adhere to.

In the photo, the areas that are white are unprimed, and where the Gardz has been applied but has not yet dired, you see grey. When the Gardz dries, it will be clear. The surface will look a little irregular, because you see white areas where the join compound is thicker, and the paint color where the joint compound is just thin enough to skim over the high points of the textured wall.

Dont Hang Wallpaper Over Textured Walls – Here’s Proof That It Looks Horrible

November 7, 2013

Digital ImageDigital ImageThe previous installer did not bother to smooth the walls before hanging the wallpaper. The texture shows under the paper, and it looks horrible.

In addition, the bumps prevent the paper from sitting securely on the wall, so some of the seams are popping open (2nd photo).

Generally, textured walls cannot simply be scraped smooth. They must be scraped and then “skim floated” with joint compound, then sanded, wiped free of dust, and then primed.

This give an absolutely smooth surface for the paper to hold on to, and that looks much better, too.