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Top 7 Tips for Painting Textured Surfaces

calander Mar 24 , 2021 user-icon Nash Painting

Textured walls might not be for everyone, but this design choice does a great job hiding surface imperfections and making a room more dynamic. When it’s time to freshen up these rougher surfaces with interior house paint, however, you don’t want to tackle this project the same way you would for smooth surfaces. After all, a textured surface contains various nooks and crannies that can get in the way of achieving full, even coverage -- this simply speaks to the importance of using the proper tools and techniques for the task at hand. If you wish to avoid a harsh experience, follow these seven helpful tips for painting textured surfaces.

1. Make Repairs, For Starters

The preparation steps you would follow for any home interior painting project apply here as well. It doesn’t matter whether a surface is smooth or rough -- either way, said surface needs to be in proper condition for a fresh coat of paint. So, after you’ve done the preliminary work of laying down drop cloths, covering outlets, etc., carefully inspect your textured surfaces for signs of damage. These problems may be difficult to locate, as they won’t be as visible as they would be against a smooth surface. Still, if you notice any deep gouges, cracks, or holes, fill them with a proper spackle or compound, making sure the repair blends in well with the rest of the textured surface. Indeed, while you would typically sand down these repaired areas on a smooth wall, you won’t want to do this on a rough surface, or else the singularly smoothed areas may draw attention to themselves (note: some light sanding may be warranted for lightly textured surfaces).

2. Clean Your Surfaces

Once your textured surface is whole again, it’s time to give it a good cleaning. Once again, this process is a tad more difficult and delicate than it is for smoother surfaces. This is because rough surfaces trap more dirt and dust than smooth ones, and that the added friction afforded by textured surfaces makes scrubbing less manageable. First, dust and vacuum your rough wall to get rid of any clinging dirt and dust particles. From there, wipe the surface down firmly and slowly with a cloth saturated with soap and water to pick up any stubborn residue you may have missed -- make sure you get into as many of the surface’s nooks and crannies as possible. Finish the job with a damp (just water) cloth to eliminate any remaining dirt and soap residue.

3. Invest in a Thick Nap Roller

Now, it’s time to get ready for the painting portion of this project. Before you begin, make sure you have the right equipment at hand. A thick nap roller is your best friend for painting textured surfaces. These fluffy roller heads are adept at getting into those grooves, so you’re less likely to miss any spots along the way. For mildly textured surfaces, you might use a medium nap roller instead. Ultimately, you want to arm yourself with roller heads that match the grade of the textured wall -- the heavier the surface’s texture, the thicker the roller head should be.

4. Plan for Multiple Coats

As you stock up on the proper supplies for your residential interior painting project, make sure you purchase a suitable amount of paint. While painting over a smooth surface sometimes only requires a single coat, you’ll want to apply at least two coats when painting textured surfaces. Once again, it all comes down to coverage. No matter how thick the nap of your roller or how polished your painting technique, odds are you’ll miss some spots here and there. Applying a second coat will allow you to amend any of these errors and deliver a fuller, more even coat overall. Of course, more coats means more paint which means more money -- keep this in mind when budgeting for your project, as forgetting about that necessary second coat can set you up for a rude awakening when it’s time to buy your supplies.

5. Go Up and Down when Cutting In

Cutting in is a key technique in any interior painting project, and painting textured surfaces is no exception. Like normal, use a brush to paint the corners and a few inches of the surrounding surfaces, feathering the edges. When it comes to cutting in textured surfaces, the difference here is that you’ll want to move the brush up and down as you go, as this will help ensure that every groove is accounted for.

6. Wield the “W” Technique for Walls (finish in a downward motion)

The “up and down” technique for cutting in isn’t the only useful motion your interior painting services might employ when coating textured surfaces. Once it’s time to paint the majority of your walls using your roller, it helps to apply the paint in a “W”-shaped pattern -- begin with the upper left corner of the wall, then move down at a slight rightward angle before moving up again and repeating. Complete each pass with a downward motion before moving on. Incorporating this motion will make for more efficient and even coverage in the end.

7. Examine Your Surfaces and Touch Up with a Smaller Tool

If you follow all the previous tips closely, you should end up with a durable, evenly-coated textured surface. Still, there’s always room for error, even after applying two coats. With that in mind, let the second coat dry completely, then carefully examine the surface in good lighting to see if any spots could use touching up. If so, a smaller roller or chip brush are helpful tools for getting those smaller details just right.

Smooth Sailing for a Rough Job

There’s no denying that it’s easier and less expensive to paint smooth surfaces than textured ones. With the right knowledge, equipment, and technique, however, you can thoroughly coat your textured surfaces with minimal hassle. If you’re not the DIY type or simply don’t have the time or patience to tackle this project, you can count on the interior & exterior painting professionals at Nash Painting to get the job done right. Our teams are equipped to coat any and all paintable surfaces, no matter their shape, texture, or size, and our laundry list of happy customers across Nashville, Franklin, and Brentwood, TN, can attest to that.

To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!