Power-sanding an alternative for texture coat removal
"My 2,200-square-foot house has a horrible texture coat all over it. I'm thinking about having the texture coat removed, and then painting the house. But I can't find anyone to remove the texture coat. One contractor said it couldn't be sandblasted because that would damage the underlying wood. Help!" - Susan Riess, Angie's List member
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"Texture is what people do when they want to hide things that are not uniform," says Will Korth, owner of highly rated Korth & Shannahan Painting Co. in Chappaqua, N.Y.
As an alternative to sandblasting, he suggests using a power sander to grind off the texture coating.
"Sandblasting is really expensive," Korth says. "Machine sanding is not as bad." He estimates it would cost $3,000 to $5,000 to strip with a power sander, prime and paint a house the size of Riess'.
Korth, who's been in business since 1979, says he encounters more homes in the New York Metro North area that have interior walls with texture-coat problems.
"Around here, we see a lot of clapboard, wood-framed homes," he says. "Texturing and stucco are more popular in warmer regions because they hold up better in warmer weather."
Lead safety is also a high priority for Korth. Riess' home was built in 1950, and the Environmental Protection Agency issued new federal regulations requiring contractors who work with lead-based paint on houses built before 1978 to be certified in lead safety.
"We wouldn't do any kind of machine sanding on a house we suspected there was lead paint on. We want to make sure we're not sanding off anything that could be toxic," Korth says, adding that covering it with siding might be the best option.