wall patches have noticeably different texture from rest of wall

civ_IV_fanMarch 9, 2011

I live in an old house with plaster walls. We recently moved in an POs did lots of patching, from little holes to long cracks. In each of these, I can tell a dramatic difference in the paint texture of the wall compared to the patch. The wall has the complex, slightly bumpy texture that most rollers cause while the (mostly small) patches are TOTALLY smooth in terms of paint texture.

Why is this? I would like to do more wall repairs but I am hesitant to do so if I will create a large, unnaturally smooth-looking area. The contrast is striking.

I should add that existing patches look like one layer of compound followed by minimal sanding.

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(I'm not sure I can follow the previous "hugely helpful", i.e. totally worthless post...but here goes!)

Obviously, you're the victim of "moron repairs" people!

You'll probably have to sand their repairs down a little more...closer to flush.
* Usually, people get too much spackle on the repair spots.
* When sanding seems more even, remove all dust.
* Get a Spray-texture can at your paint store. There's a dial on the back side of the outlet so you can control the droplet size---shake well/often!!
* Usually use can about 2'-3' away from wall. Do a couple quick practice-sprays on cardboard. Move can in quick/random little spiral motions when actually spraying. This prevents texture from forming "emphasis-lines" that may appear if you just moved your pattern left-to-right.
* If I was doing a vertical crack, I'll often have slight overspray TWO FEET away from the actual crack. This de-emphasizes the actual line.
* Since repairs may be extensive, I'd prime the whole wall AFTER your texture-repairs are completely dried.
* I'm pretty good at it! I cannot find my repair areas in my lower bath I painted last December '09.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 9:25AM
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Faron - thanks for the post! No doubt this is best left to professionals. But if I had professionals fix every quirk that bugged me in a 100 year old house --- i'd be out of money quick. I just am trying to do the best job I can with the resources at hand.

I am wondering if I overstated the texture. It isn't a "textured wall" but it has enough texture (mostly from paint rollers I suspect) that the patches do really stand out. Wouldn't spray-texture be more like a popcorn ceiling (what I would call HEAVY texture) or can it provide a light, nearly unnoticeable texture like old walls have?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 9:51AM
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I had a contractor patch walls and press WAY too hard with the roller with almost no paint, leaving a perfectly smooth surface. I primed over it twice and painted two coats of paint (with the right amounts of paint and primer), and it restored the roller texture. You can't see where the patches are anymore. We have plaster walls too.

If I were you, I'd sand those areas flat, patch as necessary, prime, and paint. Make sure you use a roller with a decent nap, not a smooth roller.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 1:07PM
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Yeah, if you can find a way to fix this, please let me know. We see it all the time in old houses when repairs are done to plaster walls that have been painted many, many times over the years. It is not so much a texture on the wall, but just really huge roller stipple. Modern day paints flatten out much better these days so simulating that old stipple can be very difficult. I actually had this problem in my own house where it was so bad, I just skim coated everything...yes, lots of labor there, but I don't know another way. You could try a 1" roller nap (says for heavy texture on the package) also, but novice painters can get into some trouble with a nap size that large so try some inconspicous areas first.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 8:36PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Try some of the faux finishing forums. They have an arsenal of products and methods to thro at issues just like this.

Don't know if someone would be willing to share their "secret sauce" for correcting the plaster wall texture issue or not but it's worth a shot. I know finishers are successful at correcting this very thing. All it takes is time, the know-how and the right product and tools.

I believe the texture you're wanting to duplicate is often referred to as "orange peel".

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 11:11AM
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