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painting/evening out plaster wall texture

Yeesh! Where to begin. I believe our (first) home is a 1950's home w/ plaster walls. I started picking at some 'curdled' glossy paint in the hallway and 'plastered' back over it w/ joint compound. My initial intention was to sand smooth the joint compound and go on my merry way of priming/painting. Come to find out that a leak from our bathroom sink got in the wall (explains the curdled paint). The leak has since been fixed, but now I have a water stain on the joint compound (not sure if it has totally dried and set up).

I have seen 'spray on' texture and thought about 1) priming the walls (which have a high gloss paint), 2) spraying on the texture to even things out, then 3) painting the desired color.

My concern is getting too many layers on the wall and having it fall off . . .this happened in the nursery after only priming. If we didn't have little ones in the house, I'd just sand over the whole thing and start over w/ joint compound, etc., etc., except we're concerned about lead paint. Lead testing in the nursery came up negative.

HELP!!! Thanks in advance for reading this monster and for any input.

Re: painting/evening out plaster wall texture

Yes, you have a "challenge" ahead of you with the texture. I've had some experience with this and trial and error is going to be the way you'll have to go, I'm afraid. There are a dozen different textures on walls and ceilings these days.

Since you have a high gloss paint on the existing surface, I would certainly prep this with one of the paint on mixes. The ones I've used are easy and go on like water but they've got something in them that gives the surface something that the next paint layer will bond to.

Next, go to a Home Depot or other place that sells spray on texture and look at the picture on the can. Pick the one that matches yours best. Some, you can just spray on and then paint when dry. Others, you spray it on, let it set for a few minutes and then wipe (very lightly) the texture with a wide putty knife (6" or wider). Don't press too hard or it'll just smooth out the texture and you'll have to do it again. Let it dry until it's dry to the touch.

Now you can re-paint. Matching the texture will be the hardest part.

Good Luck.

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