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Old 07-09-2011, 04:14 PM   #1
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Replace Drywall or Sand Walls Smooth


I'm debating if I want to replace the drywall in my house or just sand the walls smooth and make it look more modern inside. My house was built in 1977 and I'm just curious how easy it would be to sand the walls? They have texture to it and I've been told it makes the house look its age. Just debating on what I should do to my walls, either replace them, I'm assuming it would be a few hundred each room, not including the ceiling, if I just replaced the walls. Each room is around 12x10, except master bedroom, living room and kitchen.

What would you do? I have about 10 days when I come home for R&R and should have around 15 days when I come back from this deployment, so I'll have time off and some cash to spend on the house.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Assuming your walls have paint on them, you'll drive yourself insane trying to sand them smooth. In contrast putting up new drywall would also be a time consuming unnecessary task. My professional recommendation would be to sand the paint a little just to roughen up the surface and then skim coat the walls with a lightweight compound. As long as you sand the walls before you skim you'll achieve the same smooth results as new drywall in half the time and cost and not to mention the mess.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #3
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Arey,

Isn't it strange how many people simply would not be able to understand your avatar statement?
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:39 PM   #4
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Assuming your walls have paint on them, you'll drive yourself insane trying to sand them smooth. In contrast putting up new drywall would also be a time consuming unnecessary task. My professional recommendation would be to sand the paint a little just to roughen up the surface and then skim coat the walls with a lightweight compound. As long as you sand the walls before you skim you'll achieve the same smooth results as new drywall in half the time and cost and not to mention the mess.
What kind of lightweight compound? Any recommendations on a sander, or just hand sand?
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:58 PM   #5
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The question that needs to be asked is how much texture are we looking at.

This will determine what the next step is, if its deep texturing then I would re drywall, ligt texturing may be a different story.

Either way skim coating is not an easy task for an inexperienced person,

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Old 07-09-2011, 11:00 PM   #6
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I can have the wife take a picture of the wall and ceiling. You'll have an update later today.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:18 PM   #7
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Arey,

Isn't it strange how many people simply would not be able to understand your avatar statement?
What do you mean?
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Agreed that skim coating isn't easy for an inexperienced person however, it is easier to get the hang of than re drywalling and finishing a whole house.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:30 PM   #9
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I have seen various types of texturing, some looks like the look you would have in an old wine cellar, very rustic, very difficult to change to smoothness.

I would rather put up 1/2 x 4x 8 sheets of drywall over trying to skim coat, just my opinion. I guess to each his own, I find taping a finishing a drywall joint more easily accomplished than sanding, skim coating, sanding, skim coating, sanding skim coating and chances are the results won't be as nice.

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Old 07-10-2011, 12:01 AM   #10
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Decisions, decisions. The drywall in my laundry room, when I took an old shelf down, it seemed to crumble, so I figured why not just replace the whole house, one room at a time, I can use my spare toom or even the laundry room as a "learning tool".
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:24 AM   #11
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My house is 1968 vintage and it had a slight sand texture on the walls. Not a design, just as if sand was mixed into the paint. I sanded the walls first with a sanding screen and then with regular 100 grit drywall sanding sheets. That took care of the bulk of the bumpies and it does not look near so dated.

Another option over sanding and new drywall is to hang wallpaper liner paper, prime with an oil primer, skim out the seams, sand and then prime and paint the wall as usual. I run a bead of caulk around the top at the ceiling line and at the door casings. You would also need to caulk at the baseboard, but I choose to pop the baseboards off and reinstall after the oil priming is done. The liner wallpaper has good body to it to cover lots of trouble areas. If you have large damaged spots in the walls I would skim those first before hanging the liner paper. Dont forget to size the walls prior to hanging the paper. This is the least messy way to get a nice smooth wall IMHO.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:47 AM   #12
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Another thing to keep in mind...

Texture is nice because it helps to hide imperfections in the wall.
If you take the wall down to a flat surface every little hump and wave will be more obvious - even more so depending on your paint choice, lighting fixtures, etc.

Just something to consider.

I would have to agree with the others. Skimming the walls would be easier and would fit your time constraints. Re-rocking your house is a big undertaking for a 10 day R&R.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #13
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Another thing to keep in mind...

Texture is nice because it helps to hide imperfections in the wall.
If you take the wall down to a flat surface every little hump and wave will be more obvious - even more so depending on your paint choice, lighting fixtures, etc.

Just something to consider.

I would have to agree with the others. Skimming the walls would be easier and would fit your time constraints. Re-rocking your house is a big undertaking for a 10 day R&R.
I'll have help with the wife :D But, what is skimming, is there like a How To? Once the wife wakes up, she's taking pictures of the texture on our walls and ceiling.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:39 PM   #14
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You can probably rent a drywall sander from your local big box store. I would sand the walls with that. It has a vacuum that goes with it to keep the dust down. Made by porter cable. I would definitely sand the walls. I wouldn't keep them smooth. The others are correct in saying that every little imperfection will be seen depending on light and paint. I would retexture everything. A nice knockdown or heavy orange peel is pretty good to hide stuff. Pick your paints carefully. The brighter and glossier the paint the more imperfections come thru. I always try to go eggshell in all rooms except for kitchens and bathrooms. In Las Vegas and every home built has either knockdown or orange peel. These are new homes being built. Wont look dated
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:54 PM   #15
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Skimming is loading the whole wall with compound and then wiping it off again with a large knife or trowel. The way I do bigger jobs like a whole house is have one guy (or wife) thin down some compound with water maybe a cup and a half per bucket and roll the whole wall with a paint roller while you go behind and wipe it off. I don't know how thick your texture is but you may have to put it on thick the first coat. Then after it's dry scrape down the ridges and sand just a little,a few light passes with a pole or the machine with 220 grit. Then do it again but pull your coat tighter almost trying to wipe it all off. I use a 20" trowel and it goes pretty fast once you get the hang of it.

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