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Painting Textured Walls: To Paint or Not to Paint

by | Feb 26, 2024 | Interior Painting

Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may or may not have walls that have texture on them. On the West Coast, we tend to have a lot of texture on our walls and don’t have a lot of smooth walls.  The most popular texture on our walls is what we call orange peel texture. It has small bumps similar to what you would see on an orange.  Painting textured walls is usually much easier than painting smooth walls.  

The Challenges of Painting Textured Walls

What are the challenges of painting textured walls?  Well, you should always apply a good primer coat to any walls that have new texture on them to help seal in the texture and protect it from coming off the walls.  If your walls were painted previously you don’t usually need a primer coat and you can just apply two coats of paint instead.  

I would estimate that 80-90% of homes in Portland have some type of texture on them.  If you decide to use a paint with a very high sheen it can make the texture stand out more and also show imperfections in the walls.  Lower sheens will help to hide imperfections in the texture and drywall.  You do not have to use flat paint on textured walls but semi-gloss can be too much sheen.  

Textured Walls Painting Techniques – Tips for Success

As professional interior painters, we recommend using a good-quality roller cover to apply the paint on textured walls.  Normally a ½” or ¾” nap will do a great job applying the paint to textured walls.  If you are painting walls without texture you want to use a much smaller nap roller cover such as a ¼” or ⅜” to apply the paint as it can show roller marks if you do not.

We recommend using a good brush to apply the paint as well.  Using cheap brushes and roller covers always makes your job much harder than it needs to be and can cause it to look really bad.  In most cases, you can apply two coats of paint and it will cover just fine if the walls were painted previously.  Never stop painting in the middle of a wall as it is always better to keep a wet edge.  If you need to take a break you should wait until you finish the wall you are working on to avoid overlap lines.  

Choosing the Right Textured Wall Paint

At Absolute Painting we have some great interior paints for painting textured walls but there are many great choices you can choose from and most good quality paints will do just fine.  We use a lot of Sherwin Williams Super Paint in a velvet sheen as our first choice to paint textured walls.  We also use Rodda Ecologic washable flat paint and some other paints from Benjamin Moore that works great.

Preparing Textured Walls: Do You Sand Before Painting?

We do recommend making sure that walls are clean, dull, and dry before painting.  In most cases, you only need to clean the walls if they are really dirty, greasy, or contaminated with some other substance.  If the walls are a high gloss sheen you might want to scuff sand them and apply a primer coat to ensure good adhesion with the new paint.  

If you see imperfections in your textured walls we recommend trying to fix them before painting.  You may need to fill holes, sand and apply additional texture.  This sounds easy but we see a lot of homeowners make the walls look worse by doing this themselves so consider hiring professional interior painters to help if you are not comfortable with repairs and texture.  You can buy aerosol cans of different types of textures at your local paint and hardware stores and orange peel is by far the easiest to apply.

FAQs: Painting Over Textured Walls 

Painting textured walls is much easier than painting smooth walls.  Knowing what products to use and the best way to apply them is a huge help. Absolute Painting has been doing texture repairs for many years when we are painting walls.  

Expert Advice: When to Hire a Professional for Textured Wall Painting

If you decide to hire a professional to help you paint your textured walls we recommend looking for a company that does high-quality work and has a lot of experience with it.  They can walk you through the process and help you choose the best paints and sheens and make the job much easier.

Transform Your Space by Painting Textured Walls

Painting textured walls can look amazing when they are all done.  Consider your level of expertise when doing this type of work and decide if you think you should hire a professional or take on the project on your own. If you’re in the Portland metro area, we’d be more than happy to help!

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