How To Smooth Walls Without Plastering


Getting a smooth wall without plastering may seem like a difficult task. It’s not as hard as you think. We’ve gathered some resources and created a simple guide with options on how to smooth walls without plastering.

Here’s a list of 11 fantastic, cost-efficient ways to smooth your walls without the need for re-plastering so it’s ready for whatever you have planned.

Before starting to smooth walls without plastering make sure that you have prepared the room with dust sheets and covered any furniture or areas that you would like to protect. If sanding, cover the carpet for an easy cleanup process.

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Open windows and ensure that there is enough ventilation through the room before you open any paint, paste or sand any walls. Wear a mask and goggles to protect your eyes and minimise any dust particles entering your lungs.

1. Clean Off Any Dirt With Sugar Soap

Sugar soap (see what is sugar soap if you’re not sure) is a mixture that removes grime and grease from any surfaces. It cannot be used to clean off and leftover paint but it’s a good way to prepare a wall for the preparation of paint. It will also highlight any imperfections that might not be visible right now but will show up after the paint is applied. Wipe down the walls with sugar soap and then rinse off with warm water. It’s important when using sugar soap to remove any residue that’s been left behind so make sure you rinse it effectively.

2. Smooth Walls With Sandpaper

You can smooth down walls using sandpaper. Sandpaper is efficient at removing leftover residue and paint from walls. Although it is a time-consuming way to smooth out walls, especially if you have a large area to cover. It’s one of the best ways to remove bumps, imperfections and scuffs that may show up through the paint. Even small imperfections have a good chance of showing up through paint so, what grade of sandpaper for sanding walls? Fine sandpaper of between 100 grit and 120 grit to smooth the surface with moderate pressure will be sufficient.

Oil-based paint prior to 1979 could contain lead. Test with a lead testing kit before sanding if you think the paint might be old.

3. Clean Scuffs With Warm Soapy Water

Smoothing walls can also be achieved by cleaning scuffs with household detergent and mixing it with warm soapy water to help remove scuffs, dirt and imperfections. Mix the solution in a bowl and wipe down the walls going from the top to the bottom. Apply moderate pressure to areas that need to be smoothed. Make sure you let the water dry thoroughly before you add any paint or adhesive.

4. Use Fine Filler For Small Imperfections

You can use a fine surface filler to fill in any small holes. These are designed for the smallest surface imperfections and when applied they can fill in the smallest lines or dents. Wait for the fine filler to dry before sanding off the excess. Make sure you sand down the wall smooth with a 100 or 120 grit fine sandpaper.

5. Scrape Off Any loose Paint

If you are smoothing walls that have leftover paint attached these can cause lines and bumps in any new paint that’s applied. You can sand the paint off but before you start make sure you test the paint for any lead contents. You can buy a simple lead testing kit at any hardware store, sanding lead paint can cause problems so test first. Alternatively to using sandpaper, you can use a small scraper to remove any residue paint to create a smooth surface to plaster.

6. Hoover The Area To Remove Fine Dust

When you are working in a room and removing bumps and imperfections from walls it’s important to remove the dust periodically from the area. Use a hoover or vacuum to clean the floors and the small gap between the floor and the wall. When you come to paint you do not want any leftover dust mixing with your paint finish.

7. Fill Large Holes With Filler

You can fill larger holes with wall filler that can help repair damaged walls and create a smooth surface. Make sure that you apply the correct filler although and take your time. Once dry, sand down the area with 100-120 grit sandpaper to smooth out the excess so that it is in line with the rest of the wall.

8. Skim Coat The Walls

Skim coating the walls is a great way to smooth out a wall without plastering if there are many imperfections with the wall. Make sure that you sand the wall first using 100 to 120 grit sandpaper to create a good surface for the skim coat to be applied to. Skim coating smooths out the walls easily but it’s a big job and might not be suitable for those trying to do it DIY style.

9. Apply Wallpaper To Cover Imperfections

You may not be averse to wallpaper, although it’s lost popularity in recent years it still is a good solution to cover walls that have a lot of imperfections. There are some tips to get the best when wallpapering although. Make sure the walls are smoothed with sandpaper to remove any large bumps. Depending on the thickness of the wallpaper bumps and imperfections could still possibly show through so try to get the wall as smooth as possible and make sure you line up the wallpaper correctly for a professional finish.

10. Sand Walls Ready For Painting

Hand sanders can be used on walls and large areas where sanding by hand may prove to be too time-consuming. Just be careful not to overdo it and use fine sandpaper for the process. Move smoothly over the wall removing any bumps and imperfections. Using a hand sander is a loud process and can fire a lot of dust into the room so make sure you are well protected with goggles, masks and there is plenty of ventilation for the room to breathe.

11. Apply A Light Textured Paint

Another option could be to hide the imperfections through a light textured paint that will mask the small bumps and knacks. There is a downside although as this might not give you the finish that you want. So take time to make the right decision for you and your home. An alternative could be to apply a smooth eggshell paint to help smooth out the walls but it wouldn’t hide many imperfections, only small ones.


As you can see there are many options available for how to smooth walls without plastering. It really depends on how much repair is needed to the wall and if you can get away without re-plastering. Most imperfections although can be fixed through skim coating or sanding.

We suggest you clean the walls and once dry use fine sandpaper with a grit of 100-120 to remove any bumps. Use a wall filler to bring any holes up to the level of the wall and sand off the excess. Once all is completed then you can paint your walls smooth.

If you have any tips on how to smooth walls without plastering or want to add your input, comment below and we can add your suggestion.

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