hallway textured paint

Here’s a question for you classic TV lovers out there: Remember the Dick Van Dyke Show episode when Rob and Laura hired a very enthusiastic Italian painter named Vito Giotto? When Vito was trying to convince them to hire him to paint their living room, he ended his plea with, “Please, give me your waaaaaalls.” Well, Greg and I would have gladly let Vito have these walls we are getting ready to talk about:

The dilemma we are about to share may seem really trivial and like we had a total “newbie moment”. But that’s just what it was — a honest to goodness “newbie moment”. What good would a blog about being first time homeowners be if we hid all of our mistakes and didn’t share the blunders too? After all, we are all about keeping it real here at 7HL.

In the foyer and down the 20-foot long hallway, the previous owners used a textured paint. This particular paint had large bits of sand mixed in to give the walls what the manufacturer calls a “river rock” effect. Our initial thought was to use a sander to remove the texture prior to painting the walls. However, aside from being a massive mess, we were worried there was a chance we would end up damaging the walls. The last thing we wanted to do was sheetrock this massively long hallway. Therefore, we opted to simply paint over the existing texture. Since the hallway wasn’t directly connected to any other room, we didn’t mind if there was a slight hint of texture on the wall. Plus, the new paint would cover that up for the most part. Or so we thought.

Well, we were wrong.  To start out, there was the matter of the newly installed sheetrock were we took out the small linen closet to make more room in the hall bathroom (click here to check out that project). To preserve the consistency of the final finish in the hallway, we decided to paint the new wall with the old textured paint. (The previous owners were nice enough to leave us 1 gallon of the stuff.) As much as it pained us to add texture to our newly sheetrocked walls, it was the only option. One coat of primer, three coats of paint and 36 hours later, we were more than ready to begin painting the hallway our color and finish of choice.

We chose to go with Martha Stewart’s Cobblestone in a satin finish (yep, same as Greg’s office) – same as the living room/dining area. We chose to go with a satin finish after reading that it is better for high-traffic areas because it’s so easy to clean. We thought, “A hallway has a lot of traffic, so it’s got to be satin!” Riiiight…

The rough texture on the walls soaked up a lot more paint than we anticipated. After not one, not two, but THREE gallons of paint, the walls were finally covered. When the paint dried, let’s just say it didn’t look like we thought it would. The old paint was two-toned, which meant it was very forgiving when it came to inconsistencies. By covering it with a solid color in a satin finish, you could see every single grain of sand and brush stroke. To make matters worse, the “satin finish” turned out to be much shinier than the almost-flat, velvety finish we were going for.

At this point, we were worried that we had made a major mistake and that the walls would never be the same. Trying to figure out what to do, it dawned on us: flat paint. Flat paint has the ability to hide imperfections, which is clearly what we needed. So off to Home Depot to pick up yet another gallon of paint. Fortunately, after only one coat, the hallway looked a thousand times better.  It’s not exactly a flat finish, but it’s just what we were looking for.

Needless to say this was a valuable lesson for us “renovation newbies” and we didn’t need Vito after all 😉

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  • Reply
    Laurie R.
    October 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    We had the same problem in our living room. We had a real mess on our hands…we decided to sand the walls AFTER we had moved into the house…never again!! What a mess!

    • Reply
      October 17, 2010 at 12:13 am

      Uh! I can’t imagine!!

  • Reply
    Mike & Kris
    October 14, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Very long hallway! Will look forward to seeing how you finish it off. They don’t make hall carpets that long, do they? Love the DIck Van Dyke clip…classy.

    • Reply
      October 17, 2010 at 12:13 am

      We’re thinking about going with Flor tiles (or something similar) instead of paying major bucks for an extra long runner. We shall see!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I LOVE the Dick Van Dyke Show!!! Glad to know I’m not the only one out there 😉

    • Reply
      October 17, 2010 at 12:12 am

      And don’t you just love their furniture?! I would love to get my hands on their lamps and accent chairs.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Why do people put the sand finish on their walls anyway? You could have done like some people. You could have left if up until it came back in style again! 🙂

    • Reply
      October 17, 2010 at 12:11 am

      Now, that’s an idea, haha!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Our entire house has “orange peel” textured walls. A very common thing to do, oh, ten years ago when the house was built. It is HORRIBLE. Well it’s really only horrible for me because I appear to be the only one who notices. But anyway, flat paint is the key. We couldn’t get away with it in the kitchen/living room because they are too high trafficked, but we did flat in the bedroom (Behr Ashes) and it looks awesome. We even painted some contrast stripes –

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    This is an old entry, but you are my new favorite I discovered through the Homies. Love,love,love. We are the new keepers of an old ranch, too, and are finding the experience fun and exciting.

    Also, that’s my favorite DvD episode. I think of it every time I paint. And, yes, the furniture on DvD (and Bewitched!) is to die for. I’d take either house happily.

  • Reply
    Amanda B.
    May 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

    This is way back in your archives, but I couldn’t resist when I saw some mention of sand-textured walls… I was hoping to hear you had found some great way to remove the texture! I have this texture (we un-affectionately call it “cat litter”) in our foyer and front room of our house. But get this: the textured paint is applied OVERTOP OF WALLPAPER. Kill me now. You’re brave to just embrace it!

    Enjoying your blog, just clicked over here from someone else’s blogroll. 🙂

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