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As a seasoned industry tradesman and skilled professional in the field of wall textures, I have encountered a wide range of questions and challenges related to textured walls and ceilings. Texture is an essential element in interior design, providing character and depth to a space. However, there are times when the need arises to transform or repair these textured surfaces. In this in-depth article, we will delve into the world of wall textures, addressing questions like, “Can textured walls be smoothed?” and exploring the nuances of various textures, their costs, and the techniques employed by professionals in the field.

Can Textured Walls Be Smoothed?

One of the most common questions I encounter is whether textured walls can be smoothed. The short answer is yes, textured walls can be smoothed, but the process requires skill and attention to detail. The method used to smooth textured walls depends on the type of texture in question. Some textures are easier to smooth than others.

The Most Expensive Wall Texture

Wall textures come in various forms, and their cost can vary significantly. The most expensive wall texture tends to be intricate and labor-intensive designs like Venetian plaster or custom hand-troweled textures. These textures often require a highly skilled artisan to create, which drives up the cost. Additionally, materials used for specialized textures can be expensive.

How Professionals Texture Walls

Professionals in the industry employ several techniques to texture walls. The choice of technique depends on the desired texture and the surface’s condition. Some common methods include:

  1. Spray-On Texture: This method involves using a spray gun to apply a mixture of joint compound or plaster to the walls. It creates a variety of textures, including popcorn and orange peel.
  2. Trowel-On Texture: Skilled tradesmen use trowels to apply joint compound or plaster to the walls in a controlled manner. This technique is often used for creating custom textures.
  3. Stenciling: For more intricate designs, stencils are used to apply texture in specific patterns or shapes.
  4. Venetian Plaster: This technique involves applying multiple layers of plaster and burnishing to create a smooth, marble-like finish.

Fixing Water-Damaged Ceiling Texture

Water damage to ceiling texture is a common issue homeowners face. To fix water-damaged ceiling texture, professionals typically follow these steps:

  1. Identify the Source: First, it’s crucial to identify and fix the source of the water leak to prevent further damage.
  2. Remove Damaged Texture: The damaged portion of the texture is carefully removed without damaging the underlying structure.
  3. Repair and Patch: Professionals will patch any holes or damaged areas with joint compound or plaster to create a smooth surface.
  4. Reapply Texture: Depending on the original texture, professionals will reapply the texture to match the surrounding areas.

Why Is the Texture Falling Off My Ceiling?

Texture falling off the ceiling is often a result of poor adhesion or moisture-related issues. It can occur due to subpar installation, improper drying, or water damage. To address this issue, a professional will typically need to remove the loose texture, repair any underlying problems, and reapply a new texture.

Should I Remove Ceiling Texture?

The decision to remove ceiling texture depends on personal preference and the condition of the existing texture. Some homeowners prefer the look of smooth ceilings, while others appreciate the texture for its visual interest. If the existing texture is in poor condition or outdated, removal and replacement with a new texture or a smooth finish may be the best option.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Textured Walls?

The cost to remove textured walls can vary depending on the size of the space, the type of texture, and the labor involved. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $1 to $3 per square foot for the removal of textured walls. This cost may increase if there are additional complexities, such as asbestos-containing textures that require special handling.

Can You Skim Coat Over Textured Walls?

Skim coating is a technique used to create a smooth surface over textured walls. It involves applying a thin layer of joint compound or plaster to the textured surface and then smoothing it out. Skim coating can be an effective way to transform textured walls into smooth ones. However, it requires skill to achieve a flawless finish. It’s essential to properly prepare the textured surface before skim coating, ensuring it is clean and free of loose material.

Is It Better to Texture or Smooth Walls?

The choice between textured and smooth walls is a matter of personal preference and design style. Textured walls add depth and character to a room, making them ideal for rustic or traditional interiors. On the other hand, smooth walls provide a clean and modern look, suitable for contemporary designs. Ultimately, the decision should align with the overall aesthetic goals of the space.

How Much Does It Cost to Texture a Wall?

The cost of texturing a wall can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of texture, the size of the wall, and labor costs in your area. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $1 to $3 per square foot for wall texturing. Custom or intricate textures may cost more due to the additional labor and materials involved.

Can You Plaster Over Popcorn Ceiling?

Plastering over a popcorn ceiling is possible, but it’s a labor-intensive process that requires careful preparation. To plaster over a popcorn ceiling:

  1. Prepare the Surface: Remove any loose or damaged popcorn texture. Scrape it carefully to avoid damaging the underlying drywall.
  2. Apply a Base Coat: Apply a base coat of joint compound or plaster to create a smooth surface. This may require multiple coats and sanding between layers.
  3. Texture as Desired: Once the base coat is smooth, you can apply the desired texture using techniques like troweling or spraying.


Transforming and maintaining wall and ceiling textures is a skilled profession that involves a deep understanding of various textures, materials, and techniques. Whether you’re considering smoothing textured walls, changing the look of your ceiling, or applying new textures, it’s essential to consult with a professional who can provide expert guidance and ensure a high-quality finish. The choice between textured and smooth surfaces ultimately comes down to personal style and the desired ambiance of your living space, but with the right skill and knowledge, a skilled tradesman can help you achieve the perfect look for your home.