Paint Techniques for Rough Walls

Written by jake wayne
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Paint Techniques for Rough Walls
Some surfaces are harder to paint than others. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Rough surfaces can be difficult to paint. The nooks and crannies are frustrating to get at, and very rough materials can chew up brushes and rollers with alarming speed. Like many home improvement tasks, professionals have tricks to help them navigate this particular challenge. Not every technique works for every rough surface, but if you come to the task knowing all the tricks, one will surely work for your particular situation.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Sand the surface well before starting to paint. Sanding isn't limited to wood; steel wool works well on rusty metal, and wire brushes can smooth out concrete. Sanding the surface before you work doesn't mean you have to polish it smooth, but doing so can help by removing the most obvious burrs.

  2. 2

    Light the surface from multiple directions. Unidirectional lighting can cast shadows that make you miss spots.

  3. 3

    Use a paint sprayer to apply the paint. You can apply the aerosol paint from different angles to catch different angles on your surface. This method is particularly good for surfaces that would damage rollers and brushes, since you never rub the sprayer on the surface. If you don't own a paint sprayer, you can rent one at most home improvement centres.

  4. 4

    Keep your brush and roller wet. Apply the paint in thick patches, then paint it out with the brush or roller to smooth. Refill your applicator consistently. By applying a thick coat of paint, you push the paint into all the crevices and crannies of the rough surface.

  5. 5

    Use a primer rated for the surface you're painting. Speciality primers are formulated to accommodate for the particulars of a given material and will both stick and flow better than mismatched primers.

  6. 6

    Maintain realistic expectations. You're not going to paint a cement block wall to a mirror-smooth finish. Focus instead on painting a given surface as well as it can be painted, then move on to your next project.

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