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We have knockdown texture on the drywall in one of our bedrooms that we're turning into a nursery. We'll be repainting the walls and want like to apply some wall decals so we need to have a smooth surface to work with.

What is the best way to smooth out the texture? Is it feasible to scrape off the knockdown texture (like some sites recommend, after wetting the surface), or would applying a layer of mud/compound be a better route?

Our knockdown is very similar in appearance to this, in a matte "sand" color:

enter image description here

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Either apply a skim coat (or 2 or 3) where you smooth the entire surface... Tedious but it will work - use the widest blade you can and do each coat perpendicular to the last.


add a new layer of 1/8" drywall over the existing and mud/tape the seams.

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did you mean 3/8" drywall???? – shirlock homes May 6 '13 at 22:45
Skim coating is a good idea. Just be certain the texture is secure to the ceiling. Scrape off any loose material before mudding. Also use my secret skim mud recipe. – shirlock homes May 6 '13 at 22:54
The Evil One is correct, either will work. I'd HIGHLY recommend going with the skim coat. – Spark May 7 '13 at 18:57
I would highly recommend the skim coat also. No, you cannot scrape this off like the stuff on ceilings. – Tatton Chantry May 19 '13 at 2:16

My neighbor used a palm sander to sand down an entire textured room. He did it carefully and the results were good, but I'd still recommend a skim coat. The sanding will take far more time, but if you have more time than money, it may work out well for you.

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