Debbie Dion Hayes

What in the world is this mess, you ask? It is our ugly paneled den wall – see the tiny bit of paneling showing through – that has been coated with a joint compound plaster finish, then painted twice over time. It might have looked good if the grooves in the paneling had been filled in properly. But no, someone named me did not know better ages ago before I became a professional, trained, decorative painter. (On the right you can see where we began sanding off the joint compound.)

For years, life took over and we suffered with this ugly look (seen on the left with grey paint) until one day hubby and I could not stand it another day. No joke, it was a big, ugly, miserable mess which included removing the ceiling beams and repairing the ceiling.

However, we were grimly determined to do it. Yes, beer and wine were involved at times, after we quit for the day.

(If you are wondering why we did not replace the paneling with drywall, we considered it. But it would have entailed removing and replacing all of the trim, and hauling in drywall. It was cheaper to do it this way, and probably took the same amount of time.)

WHAT YOU NEED

PREP – painters tape, plastic, drop cloth, cardboard, face mask, goggles, gloves

TOOLS – wide putty knife, drywall hawk, heavy duty orbital sander (if needed)

SUPPLIES – drywall compound, various grits of sandpaper

1. PREP THE ROOM AND YOURSELF

Debbie Dion Hayes

Be sure to protect yourself! Wear eye protection and a mask. Even gloves if you want. Joint compound dust flies in every pore and crevice.

PREP THE ROOM

Prep is key, and cannot be skipped for a good quality result. Put drop cloths or old sheets over everything. Remove all small important stuff. Tape plastic openings without doors. Be sure to cover vents with cardboard or newspaper. Even turn off the HVAC so dust cannot get into the duct work. Keep the pets out while you work. Or, make sure they wear eye protection and a mask. LOL.

2. SAND, IF NECESSARY

We had to use a heavy-duty orbital sander to remove the layer of joint compound and get the walls flat again. This was a huge part of the project. Hopefully you can skip this step and filling the grooves will go much faster.

3. FILL THE PANELING GROOVES WITH JOINT COMPOUND

Put some joint compound onto the hawk. Load a wide putty knife with compound and drag it over each groove and low spot. Let dry. Sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Add another layer of joint compound. Let dry. Sand lightly. Continue until the grooves are no longer detectable. Again, a dusty, thankless job.

4. PRIME, PUTTY, & PAINT

At the stage in the photo above, run your hand over the walls and feel for grooves, bumps, or low spots. When there are none, you can paint a coat of quality primer. Let dry. If needed, putty the gaps at the ceiling at the trim. Let dry. Paint the walls your choice of color.

5. ENJOY YOUR FABULOUS NEW WALLS!

A Moroccan Beni Ourain rug softens a den full of red leather furniture.

Instead of paint, I opted to use Modern Masters‘ untinted Venetian Plaster and Protective Top Coat on our new walls. It is an advanced finish, but I will share it at some point here on the blog. A totally flat, luxurious, multi-step process, it is understated, pure white, and perfect for our dark den.

How To: Remove ugly joint compound textured walls and add a Modern Masters Venetian Plaster finish.

Are you ready to don your goggles and roll up your sleeves? GO FOR IT and send me your photos.

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4 thoughts on “How To Remove Paneling Texture Then Fill The Grooves

    1. We did consider it for sure. But it would have entailed removing and replacing all of the trim and hauling in the drywall. We figured we could do it cheaper and as fast going the way we did. Great question!

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