How To Smooth Rough Walls Before Painting

People in today’s world have become more sophisticated and careful about their belongings. They do anything to make their things look good. Home walls have always been a thing of pleasure. People leave no stone unturned to make it shinier. It takes absolute proper knowledge and skills to do that. So, you need to know how to smooth rough walls before painting. 

If you fix any wall before painting, then it will end up giving you a super smooth wall, which will ultimately make it shinier.

Let’s take a quick look at some points about how to make your wall flawless before painting.  

1. Bring out the hidden wall flaws

There can be so many hard to see defects in a wall. You need to highlight those flaws by using intense light. Minor spots are always hard to find out. Sometimes the evening sun works as the savior. When it falls on the wall, the flaws come out embarrassingly. You must mark those imperfections in the wall. 

You can do this thing on your own, and in that way, you don’t have to wait for the sunbeams to fall on your wall. Start by switching off all the lights in your room. And then close all the curtains too. After that, you are going to need a trouble light. You need to hold it next to the wall and more it across the surface, just like raking. 

The light will highlight wherever the problem is. Even the smallest of the imperfections won’t be able to hide from your sight. When you find one flaw, just stick a tape next to it, so that you can find it easily later. We advised sticking a tape because it works better than circling with a pencil or pen. 

2.  Permanent nail pops on walls

Old plaster walls are very sophisticated and glamorous. Sometimes they can get damaged while digging a hole in the wall. If you don’t know how to smooth old plaster walls after that, then your problems will get doubled. So, it will be better if you just drive a screw and then pry out the projecting nail. At the same time, you have to remember that the wall also needs to be protected. So, you can use a putty knife to protect the wall. 

Contraction of studs and seasonal expansion can be a matter of concern sometimes. These two are the main reasons that nails got pushed out from the drywalls. When such incidents happen, you can’t just put it back and then apply the joint compound on it. Again it will come out of the wall. Hence, you must plant it properly. 

  • You must drive a drywall screw 2″ below or above the popped out nail.
  • Then pop in a screw of 1-1/4″. A screw is always better than a pin but not the long ones because it gets out very quickly. 
  • Now put a putty knife under the pry bar and slowly pull out the nail of the wall.
  • Then put back drywall particles into the wall again by using the putty knife handle; otherwise, you will not get a smoother surface.
  • Now you just need to cover the screw head and fill the nail hole. Three coats of joint compound will be enough for this particular purpose. 

3.  Tear sealing before applying compound

A home is a place where everyone is free, gets an opportunity to express themselves. And taking advantage of this thing, we become aggressive on the walls. The back of a chair, flying remote control, or aggressive kid with their toys can damage the drywall’s paper face. If you apply paint or joint compound over a torn paper, you will get a fuzzy texture. You need to seal the paper before painting to get a smooth finish.

Sanding plaster walls before painting is the best way to get a smooth and elegant wall. If not, then kindly cut any loose paper that is causing the inconvenience. When the drywall is exposed, you have to apply a stain-blocking primer on it, which will keep the wall protected from absorbing moisture. 

When the primer gets dry, you can sand the remaining drywall corners, and ultimately it will erase the paper nubs. Now you can apply two coats of feathering along the wall and then wait for a smooth wall.

Here you need to be careful about when you apply a joint compound on your wall; make sure that you use a primer just before the painting. Otherwise, it will keep flashing, which will make the wall look dull.

4.  Treat the damaged corners

Metal corner beads are known for quickly getting dents. It leads the wall to get cracks in it. Luckily, you won’t have to bring heavens on earth to fix this problem. All you need is a hammer and use it slowly on the beads until it gets the shape back. Ensure that the bead gets fit in shape; otherwise, you won’t get a perfect corner in your room. 

When you use a hammer to get rid of the imperfect beads, you send the cracks up or down the corner. It happens mostly if you don’t tape the bead before hammering. Applying mesh tape and joint compound over the beads is the most preferred way in such a situation. Do not hurry while doing this and work on one side at one time. If the first side isn’t hard and you start working on the other side, then you can mess up the whole thing, so be aware of that. That’s one thing most people forget when they don’t know how to smooth rough walls before painting

You need to apply the joint compound on the other side when the first side gets dry. You can recoat the corners if you want but then sand it for smooth finishing.

5.  Get rid of the glue spots

When we live in a house, we often make mistakes by not taking things seriously. We don’t think at all before using anything, especially on the walls. Most of us use strong adhesives for hanging mirrors on that wall. The adhesive indeed helps the mirror to stay stable in the place. But when we take off the mirror, the glue doesn’t come with it; instead, it sticks to the wall and damages it. When we try to pull it forcefully, it actually tears the drywall and makes it look bad. 

If you want to get rid of this problem, then you have to cut it round. Take a knife and cut through the drywall around the glue, and slowly it will come out. Using a putty knife for scraping the glue will be good. Still, you need to tear the paper. The cuts will be constricted to the outline of the adhesive. 

If the glue remains in any area, then use 120-grit sandpaper in those places. It will help you to get rid of the glues. Now you need to fill the gouges for which joint compound is the best option. 

Must Read: How to Use a Manual Pipe Threader? Step by step Guide

6.  Fill holes thrice

Everything in this world is bound to decay and destruction. Sooner or later, every earthly thing loses its possession due to nature’s changing course. How can the walls keep its beauty forever? That’s why there are small holes in them, which reduces their beauty. You need to cure that before you decide to paint your home. 

You need to use a spackling compound to fill the indents and small holes which are less than 2″. You can’t use this same element for larger holes. For that, you have to use a joint compound for a better facility. 

First, take the compounds on a putty knife and then spread it thinly on the wall. You need to give two more coats just like this when the first one gets dry. Actually, the compound gets shrink with every passing moment because it gets dry. So there is no need to get worried if the hole isn’t filled after the first coating. Give time to each and let them dry naturally, and that way you, are going to get a perfect wall.

There are so many types of spackling compounds in the current market. Some of them boldly announce that you don’t need to sand it while using it. But that’s not true at all because you have to sand the compounds between the coatings. After the final coating is over, you have to use fine-grit sandpaper for further use.

7. Cut the wall cracks

A newly built home takes some time to get settled. After that, the drywall cracks get visible near the doors and the windows. More than a few prefer to apply joint compound directly on them, but that’s not the ultimate solution. The cracks will come back again. 

It will be really good if you apply both mesh tapes and joint compound together. Mesh tapes are more powerful than the paper tapes, and they serve better. It will also give you less build-up than paper tapes. You can protect your doors and windows with masking tapes before you initiate the whole process. 

Take a utility knife and cut a v-shaped trench along the whole length of the crack. Then fill the trench with a joint compound and just let it dry. After that, simply sand it flush with the wall and apply a mesh tape. You must add a joint compound over that tape. Now carefully take out 2″ to 4″ on each side of the tape and let the compound dry. Similarly, apply a second and third coat and for that case, take out 8″ to 10″ of the tapes. This process is short, but it needs your full attention and care. If you don’t know how to smooth old plaster walls, don’t take everything in your hand and seek expert advice. 

8.  Use the aluminum patch to fix holes

In the early days to repair large holes, people used to cut out a square in the drywall and then attached wood backings. Then that used to screw a new patch of drywall. Things have changed drastically, and people are now much smarter. It won’t be wrong if we say that technology has made us much more modern now. 

Using aluminum patches to fix larger holes is a much convenient and faster process. Carefully cut the aluminum patch to cover the hole and leave 1″ extra and each side for better service. Now simply place the patch over the hole and apply a joint compound over it. You have to allow one night to get dry and then recoat it in the next morning. 

This is a much simpler process than the early days. It saves both time and energy. Also, the aluminum patch won’t cost too much. So prefer such smart ways instead of the conventional ones for a better and smoother experience.  

So, that was some of the ways that you need to consider if you want to make your wall flawless before painting. All of the methods need some instruments for the procedure. Let’s take a quick look at the tools that you are going to need in this whole operation,

  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Taping knife
  • Pry bar
  • Trouble light
  • Aluminum patch
  • Drywall mesh tape
  • Drywall paper tape
  • Drywall compound
  • Sandpaper


You shouldn’t face any difficulties if you have gone through the article carefully. The required knowledge to complete the procedure is now in your grasp. So, when you are ready with everything, just call it a day. It’s a lengthy procedure that needs both time and attention.

Consider sanding plaster walls before painting, and it will make your home look more presentable. When you finally up for the painting, use the rollers instead of the brushes. Rollers provide smoothness to the walls, which brushes lack severely.

Money is everything that matters, so when you are going to spend it, it will be good to spend it wisely. These little things will add charm to your wall at the end.

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