Home Repair

Can I "mud" over textured bathroom walls?

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Our home is 27 yrs old and we just purchased. Anyway we are ready to start remodeling the main bathroom and on the walls is some kind of texture that looks like ceiling popcorn. The only problem is this stuff will NOT come off the walls, we have tried almost everything I think. Can we mud over this stuff? If so what kind of compound would be the best and what primer would be best to use in the bathrooms? Other than the texture, the walls are in great shape. Thanks!!
Good question, Maria!

It's all about adherence; will the mud stick to the paint that's over the textured surface. If there's no paint, it might stick very nicely. In addition we need to worry about how thick of a coat of mud would be needed to make the wall flat.

Just to be sure we're on the same page, are you talking about a surface that looks like sand is embedded in the paint, or are you talking about a "skip-trowel" surface where the mud was laid on thick and purposely left flat but unevenly applied? Is there paint over the surface, meaning was it applied after the material?

Finally, if you can post a picture, that might help!

Good luck.
Ok good idea..a picture. I'll go take several and post them but beware..this is one ugly bathroom! lol Let me see if I can kind explain the texture. The "bumps" on the wall isn't sand because they are too big. Its bigger like popcorn on ceilings expect not quite as heavily applied. The paint is a flat paint and if we scrap really really hard we can knock some of it off but boy does it take some elbow grease. I am not sure if the texture was applied before the painting or not. We just purchased this home in Feb. and are remodeling room by room. We just couldn't pass up the potential this house has. Will post pictures soon.

If you are planning on skim coating (mudding) the walls, you'll have to get the variation in the texture down to between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch at the most, and will have to get a good percentage of that paint off to get it to adhere. I'm thinking a belt sander at the moment, but I'm going to see if I can get TheGuru to weigh in on the issue.
Ok here's 3 photos I hope you can see the texture well enough. The reason I said the paint was put on after the texture was because at the top the had a paper border and when we pulled it down the paint didn't go all the way to the top. And I guess the texture could very well be sand...I've never seen sand used in a texture but the size of the texture seems too big to me to be sand?

Ron, if the TheGuru agrees a belt sander is the way to go, what grit paper and if the belt sander doesn't take all the paint off what should we use?

The small sizes don't do justice to the surface treatment's appearence.
Click each picture to see the texture in gory high resolution detail:

Source: http://www.geocities.com/yeahokcookie/bathroom.html

I hope the link to the photos works!
That's not the sand texture I was hoping for. Sad

I am waiting to hear back from TheGuru on the approach he'd take.
In the meantime, I made your pictures available in your post and in their full, glorious sizes.
I had to laff Ron! "Gory details" described the texture to a "T"..it'll give you nightmares! LOL

Yikes...now I'm really scared since it wasn't what you expected. I've never seen such a texture before.

Thanks for making the pictures available in the post. I couldn't figure out how.

And I'm praying hard theGuru can give us advice.
I looked at the pictures, and the texture is strange. Could be an additive to either joint compound or paint. I would try a small random orbit sander to see if it takes the texture off easily with 80 grit or so. Be careful you don't sand through the drywall paper. Sand just enough to get the wall reasonably smooth.
If it DOES sand off but takes a while you could rent (for about $50.00 at a Home Depot or other tool rental place) a Porter Cable 7800 wall sander. It looks like a 10" random orbit disk on a curved 6' pole and it comes with a vacuum system to eliminate 95% of the awful dust. This would shorten the sanding time by about 85%!! This would be my choice!

PS DO NOT use a belt sander...... It will do too much damage to the walls
Thanks so much to the both of you for all your help and suggestions. We'll give this a try and I'll let you guys know what the out come is.

Merry Christmas Guys!


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