Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Texture is overrated

According to some smart interior design books there are five design elements:

  1. line

  2. form

  3. space

  4. color

  5. texture
Frankly, when it comes to walls and ceilings, texture is way overrated and a serious pain to get rid of. Ceilings I can deal with, but textured walls ... not so much. Here at the Ugly Duckling, we have to deal with some textured walls, namely the wall of our staircase, the upstair's hallway and the dressing and master bath aka the former upstair's kitchen, reflective of the design choices of the '80s when the Duckling was, once again, turned into duplex.

I don't mind the textured ceilings so much. It's sort of a sunburst design, and since our ceilings are painted a bright crisp white the texture is hardly noticable.

The walls ... ehh. It's not bad bad. It's just ... I don't know. Weird. Like furry wallpaper. Or green wall-to-wall shag carpeting. Painted Woodlawn Colonial Grey, it's, again, not bad bad but skimcoating it definitely made it onto our project list quite early. Little did we know what we were talking about though our contractor mentioned it'd be "quite a pain in the -you-know-where".

I figured before tackling a big area like our stair case I could practice my skimcoating skills on a small piece. Like that area above our current entry door.
Since that door had been the door to the upstair's unit opening up directly into the enclosed staircase, it had also received the knock-down texture treatment. After we restored the original floorplan, ripping out the wall separating the staircase from the room that was then a bedroom and is now a vestibule again, we had clean smooth drywall for most of the walls except for a small rectangle right above the door.


Here's a close-up of the transition between textured wall and plain drywall, just to make it really obvious.

Super awkward.

Husband wasn't perturbed by it one bit but it kept nagging me. So, after finishing the trim work in the dining room, I decided to move into the vestibule next and to tackle that odd textured rectangle. Better to get over and done with the drywall dust.

The process is rather simple and straightforward: load your mud pan with drywall compound aka 'mud' , slather on and smooth it over. Let it dry. Rinse and repeat.

The 'rinse and repeat' part surprised me. Sure, several thin coats are better than one thick one, but I was simply amazed about just how many coats and how much mud I needed to skimcoat this small area nice and smooth.

Here's an in-progress shot where you can see the white areas of already filled-in texture and the darker grey areas of the raised parts that aren't covered yet.


This also meant that each coat needed its own drying time and it wasn't something I could just finish up in one afternoon or evening. So you're being treated to two entries for a project that measures 2 feet by 3 feet. Hilarious, isn't it?

Needless to say I did put that waiting period between drying coats to good use in the entry hall. Unlike many other couples, we started with the bedrooms and worked our way into the public rooms (usually the master bedroom seems to be last to get any kind of update). I'll update you over the next couple of days to show you what's been happening in the entry hall here at the Ugly Duckling.

1 comment:

  1. I totally sympathize - we've got textured walls in our house and I just finished detexturizing our bedroom. I actually sanding the texture down before skim coating, which was hell, but made the skim coating part much easier (our texture was really knobby, so I can't imagine how many coats it would have taken to cover without sanding first). Good luck with this - I completely understand how awful it is, but the results are worth it :)