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I'm not sure if this question belongs in the painting forum, or the drywall forum but, I'm trying here first.

In a house I purchased two years ago I have, what seems to be, wallpaper paste that was not removed prior to painting. The result is: painted walls that have multiple textures under the paint that are not common to a home. I'm trying to determine what the best course of action is.

Rocking over with 1/4 isn't an option in all areas because of a stair railing, a knee wall, corners where door casing pretty much butts up to adjacent walls, and so on.

Tearing everything out would work. It would obviously get me to a smooth surface and possibly give me the cleanest look. But, if there's a cleaner method, I'd like to know what it is.

I once had an old timer drywall guy tell me about a trick he sometimes used on rough walls. Joint compound thinned down and rolled on with a heavy nap paint roller.

I had another old timer recommend using a 12" flat trowel (I've been a tile guy for 20 years and I have a few flat trowels for skimming floors/walls and doing mud work) and skimming the surface.

I'm a tile guy, not a painter or drywaller, so I have some skills. Do any of the above options seem possible? Are there other tricks that I could use in this situation?
 

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Dozens and dozens of threads on here about skim coating. Here's ONE example:

http://www.diychatroom.com/f101/what-skim-coating-158291/

Basically you thin down joint compound with water to a pancake batter consistency. You can use a paint roller to roll the mud onto the walls. Then use your trowel or a broad knife to smooth it out. Allow the first coat to dry. Once dry, remove any ridges you created by sanding or using your broad knife as a scraper. Apply a 2nd coat. Allow to dry. Then use a sanding sponge, a pole sander, or whatever sanding method is comfortable for you. Sand the compound so it is smooth. Wipe down/vacuum dust. Apply a drywall primer and you are ready for paint.

That's about the only option you have at this point. There's no way to remove that paste once it has been painted over.

Keep reading on here. Like I said there is tons of info on here about skim coating. Also check out the many youtube videos about skim coating.
 

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Skim coat with the 12" trowel and the ultra lite mud in the bucket with the puke green lid. The thinned down paint roller method is for wall with minor flaws or that are almost smooth and you just want to even it out.
 

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Disregard my post above. Wasn't processing that walls were painted already. (It's early.) I would recommend skimming coating as suggested by previous posters. You'll still have to do some sanding though to smooth everything out.
 

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paper hanger and painter
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I'm re-painting a bedroom right now and had to deal with the same problem. Simple solution. Water, paint brush. towel for drying and a wide spackle knife. Here's a link to a Youtube video that help me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ3xyOuLnKk
Let's hope whoever put up the wallpaper prepped the walls with sizing properly. Good Luck.

if they prepped the walls with actual sizing, then you are screwed,
twice
 
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