Textured paint gives smooth walls color and depth at the same time, often eliminating the need for separate applications of wall texture and pigment. Unfortunately, the bumpy surface makes it difficult to paper over at a later date. Whether you want to remodel the walls to provide smooth, painted surfaces or apply wallpaper, proper preparation is necessary to bring the walls back to their original, smooth form.
Remove any nails or other hardware from your textured walls. Scoot all items of furniture and other movable fixtures to the center of the room and cover them with large drop-cloths. Close the door to keep sanded paint particles from entering other areas of your home. Open any windows to help remove airborne particles from your work environment.
Use a hand-held power sander with medium-grit sandpaper to knock off the rough particles of texture on the walls. Start sanding in an upper corner, working your way across and down, until you reach the opposite corner near the floor. Move quickly over the walls to avoid creating depressions and gouges in the surface of the walls.
Buff the sanded walls with a fine-grit sandpaper to create a smoother finish that leaves no sign of bumps, dents or ridges. Avoid sanding into the wallboard behind the textured paint. Run your fingertips over the wall to feel for any invisible differences in elevation. Although these are hard to see, painting or papering over surface variations will draw attention to the differences.
Brush the walls with a clean, dry towel to remove the dust covering. Vacuum and dust the room to remove the fine layer of paint particles from surfaces. Examine the smoothed walls for scratches or gouges. Fill these in with a smear of wallboard joint compound using a putty knife. Allow the compound adequate time to dry, according to the label instructions. Sand down the edges of any patches to create a smooth, even surface. Wipe the sanded walls with a piece of tack cloth to pick up any remaining dust particles and lint.