How to Remove Textured Paint

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Paint roller and pan
  • 3-inch paint brush
  • Drywall knives
  • Paint scraper
  • Stiff putty knife
  • Sanding pole
  • Finishing sander
  • Ladder
Materials Required
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Paint stripper
  • Steel wool
  • After wash
  • Joint compound
  • Sand paper
  • Respirator
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles

Before You Begin

The instructions to do the project are listed below. Not interested in doing this job? Find a painting contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right by clicking Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with local prescreened contractors.

  • Step 1 : Prepare the room

    Remove all the furnishings in the room and use canvas drop cloths to protect the floor. Apply painter's masking tape to the tops of all trim around windows and doors to protect it from paint stripper. Set up the ladder in one half of the room. Move across the room as you remove the textured paint.

  • Step 2 : Apply a gel-type chemical stripper

    Apply a gel-type chemical stripper

    Wear old clothes, chemical-resistant rubber gloves, goggles and, if using a toxic stripper, a tight-fitting paint respirator. Pour the stripper in a paint pan and use a roller to apply a liberal coating over half the ceiling. Use a 3-inch paint brush to apply the stripper in corners. Use only one or two strokes to spread the stripper. Don't roll it out, as you would paint. Allow the chemical to work for the time specified, which can range from a few minutes to 24 hours, depending on the product. The finish is ready to be removed when all or most of it is visibly bubbled and wrinkled. However, if after waiting much more than the specified time the paint has not bubbled, test to see if it is softened with a scraper.

  • Step 3 : Remove softened paint

    Remove softened paint

    To remove softened paint, use a stiff putty knife. Work slowly and carefully to avoid scratching or gouging the underlying surface. Scrape the gunk into an old coffee can or onto a heavy layer of newspaper. Then, try a medium-grade steel wool (grade 0 or No.1) or an abrasive green scrubbing pad to remove stubborn paint and from areas where the scrapers were ineffective. Rinse the pad often, in water or solvent, as recommended by the manufacturer. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until all the textured paint is removed.

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