22 years ago we wallpapered the lower 3rd of the wall and installed a chair rail. I'm removing the wallpaper and the chair rail. When the chair rail is removed, there is an old line where paint built up when repainting the upper part of the wall. I tried a putty knife to knock it down but without gouging the wall, it does not remove the paint. Because of the slight orange peel finish to the walls, what do I do? Same thing happened when I had a cabinet removed in the kitchen and the contractor left a line and you can see where the entire cabinet was on the ceiling. Help.

2 Answers 2


You are going to need to use a sharp tool such as a very sharp chisel or a straight blade razor scraper. I prefer a very sharp chisel as I feel it gives me better control. It is not going to be easy, but as carefully as you can cut down and sideways from the painted area. The idea will be to cut the hump of dried paint off without too much damage to the drywall. Once you get the feel of it, you can control the "planing" cuts with your chisel. Sand down any irregularities and then use some Spackle to fill any gouges or remaining dips. Sand for a final finish. This method may not give perfect results.

The second way, and most work but better results is to completely cut out the paint line with a utility knife leaving a "V" indent on the wall. After making your "V" cut out on the entire paint line, use joint compound to refinish the damage.

  • A chisel is a much underrated tool!
    – bib
    Apr 19, 2014 at 0:13

Typically I scrape off any caulk that is still on the surface, when that is done, sand down the worst high spots with a sanding block and 80 grit sandpaper. To finish it off give the area a skim coat of drywall mud to feather in the rest of the edge left by the build up of paint. Sand with 100-120 grit sandpaper, prime and paint. If the texture you speak of on the walls is no more than the texture left from a paint roller, a build up of a few coats will start to give you the same effect. Using a flat wall paint will help hide the texture too.

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