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Question DetailsAsked on 6/8/2015

How do you know if you need to totally replace damaged plaster/drywall, or if it's okay to skim and sand it?

Our walls are heavily textured, almost as if someone was preparing to tile them. We want walls smoothed out but are unsure if the room needs to be gutted down to the studs or if skim coating and sanding the existing wall is okay.

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Depends on how heavy the texturing is - sometimes skim coating it to cover it works well, other times it is more economical to at least "knock it down" partway if not wet and completely strip it off (which goes really quick if it was done with texturing cement or drywall compound, not so much so if true or latex modified plaster), but in some cases with a drywaller who really gets on it with big (10 or 12' sheets) just replacing the drywall is cheaper.


If you have glossy paint on the walls then skim-coatibng can be iffy - you can get areas that knock off easily if it is bumped down the road.


Whether you are up to removing the texturing yourself obviously greatly affects cost too.


Contact several drywall contractors to come out and give bids whichever way is cheapest for them - just be sure they account for any complications like radiators or such close to the walls, and be sure the same thickness drywall is used so you don't have to reset electric outlet box depths or put on spacers on the boxes.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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