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Front Page - Friday, January 16, 2015

Do It Yourself

How to repaint over faux painted walls

Once upon a time when I was painting my daughter’s room I thought it would be a great idea to paint the bottom portion of the wall under her chair rail with three different colors using a sponging technique. We used the technique of plastic wrap instead of a sponge, which left us with amazing walls for a little girl’s room. It appeared as if a tie-dye machine exploded on the bottom half of the walls. 

However, even though she loved this room, never once did I stop to think about how much work it would be to reverse the process. Now, after looking at the walls for the last seven years and adding another little girl to the bedroom it is time to do something different.

The main problem with faux painting is it leaves a texture on the walls. Painting over the faux painting with multiple coats of new paint will not take care of the texture; it will make matters worse though. Reversing this technique is not necessarily fun, but with the right process and time, you can regain smooth walls in little time!

Items needed:

• Sharp metal putty knife with 4 to 6 inch blade

• Palm sander or vibrating finishing sander

• Primer

• 120 grit sandpaper

• Patching compound 

• Cleaning rags

• Eye wear

• Face mask

• Drywall compound (optional)

First, take the metal putty knife and scrape off as much of the texture as possible. This will cut down on the sanding process. Be careful to not dig into the drywall with the scraper and always scrape away from your body.

Once you have removed as much of the texture as possible, pull out the sander and start sanding the walls. Make sure to have plenty of sandpaper on hand, as it will need to be changed frequently to prevent clogging. Always make sure to keep the sander moving horizontally and then vertically until the wall is smooth.

Test the smoothness of the walls by running the palm of your hand across the wall. Once the desired smoothness is acquired, use warm water and rags to thoroughly clean the walls. 

After you have finished this step, apply the first coat of primer. Painting the first coat of primer will allow any of the imperfections of the walls to show thru. When the primer has completely dried (this is very important, if the primer is not completely dried the paint will not adhere as well over time) use the putty knife and patching compound to fill in any holes. 

If there are still some areas that have the texture, use the drywall compound to add a light skim coat to that area. Using a fan will allow any of the compound to dry a little quicker; however, do not move forward until everything is completely dry.

Next, sand any of the spots where patching compound or drywall compound were used. Clean the areas very well afterwards to remove dust and then spot prime those areas. I prefer to add an entire second coat of primer to my walls, but this is not necessary. I also like to over prime the first time, to make sure I will not need to repeat any of the process.

With everything patched, sanded, and primed, your walls should be in great shape and ready for the new paint. To make sure everything turns out smooth the first time do not take shortcuts, it will lead to aggravation and wasted time.

A lot of work is required to obtain a smooth finish on your wall, so make sure to do it well. With a good quality paint color of your choice, the walls are waiting to emerge with new life. Enjoy, the faux paint is now history!

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.