Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Sanding Latex Paint off a Plaster Wall
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arlington1910
Sanding Latex Paint off a Plaster Wall

Hello,
I have room where a prior tenant had applied latex paint over a horsehair plaster wall without priming first. There are some adhesion problems - not so much on the vertical portions but on the sloped portions (this is in a third floor bedroom). And perhaps this person did not allow the wall to dry properly before applying the paint as well, who knows. Given that there had always been wallpaper on that wall and never paint, I'm not concerned about lead so my thoughts are that the only way I can deal with this is to sand the latex paint off. Would you suggest renting a drywall sander for this task? I've never used one before, so I don't know a ton about such devices. Would that be gentle enough for an old horsehair plaster wall? I wouldn't want to sand it by hand - it would be a horrible task not to mention the awful dust mess that would produce. I really just want to paint this room - I don't want to spend weeks removing 5 yr old latex paint lol, but I do want to do this properly as well.
What are your thoughts? Thanks!

ordjen
Re: Sanding Latex Paint off a Plaster Wall

Arlington,

Unfortunately, latex paints do not sand well. They retain a gummy quality which will merely clog your sandpaper. It will not feather out.

I would go over the entire walls with a flexible sprackle knife, trying to loosen what paint I can. I would also give the walls a sanding with a fairly course paper, either a 60 or 80 grit. After knocking the loose paint down, I would prime the room with an acrylic wall primer such as Behr's No.75 primer or Gripper by Glidden. I would not use a drywall primer. If additional areas lift, I would again spot treat these areas with sandpaper and re-prime. After the primer has thoroughly dried, rough areas may be spackled using drywall mud.

Sorry, I know of no silver bullet to cure your problem. It is messy, hard work!

arlington1910
Re: Sanding Latex Paint off a Plaster Wall

Hmmm, that's what I was afraid of. You recommend giving the walls a sandingg with an 60 or 80 grit paper, does that have to be done by hand or can that be done with some sort of sander? The reason I ask is I would prefer to not create a huge dust mess & a sander may be able to collect some of the dust. Is this to provide some adhesion for the primer?
Thanks!

ordjen
Re: Sanding Latex Paint off a Plaster Wall

Arlington,

I would hand sand rather than power sand. I would use the heavier grade paper because it tends to clog up less. The object is to try to find and break loose any paint which is not bonded well. I think any power sander would ultmately cause more dust.

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