Kitchen Design/Remodeling/Textured Walls


I have textured walls in my kitchen and want to install wainscoting over them before installing open shelving in place of my cabinets Do I need to smooth the texture first?  Some of the high points are a good 1/8" high, also, only about 2/3 of the wall is textured, the rest is bare sheet rock.  I think the PO used quick set to texture the walls.

NOTE:  I was planning on using 4x8 sheets of wainscoting that are 3/16" thick.  Or should I use something different because of the texture?

Thanks in advance!!


Hi, Nick.

To get the best results, the existing texture should be removed. I've seen homes where the texture wasn't removed, and it made the wainscot ripple -- not very pleasing visually. If you're doing the work yourself, you may be able to rent a high-powered sander that has a good collection bag, to minimize the dust. Also, I highly recommend protecting everything from the dust before you start, maybe to the extent of building a temporary enclosure (like a tent) in the area where you're working. While you're sanding, turn off the furnace (if possible), so dust doesn't settle into the ducts.

It's worth your time and effort to prepare the walls for the wainscoting. It's similar to preparation before painting -- a pain in the neck (and other body parts), but faster to do the actual work, and guaranteed better results.

Other hints: 1. Consider the height of countertops and windows before you start your prep work; 2. Use a bubble level or lazer level and snap chalk lines to assure that the top of your wainscoting will be level.

Good luck with your project! Wishing you years of happiness (and pride) for your efforts!


Diane Plesset, CMKBD, NCIDQ, C.A.P.S.
D. P. Design

P.S. If you feel that I've answered your question well, given you good advice, I greatly appreciate you taking a few minutes to grade my reply; you can also nominate me for volunteer of the month, and give "bonus" points if you wish.  Thank you!  

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Diane Plesset


I will answer questions about kitchen design, remodeling: appliances, cabinets, countertops, lighting/switching, accessible kitchens, kitchens for multiple cooks, kitchen trends, flooring, windows and doors, ventilation, safety, function, and style.


25+ years as a kitchen designer; over 10 years as a Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer. Hundreds of projects completed, in all styles, all ranges of investment. Multiple design awards and published articles (see below). Public speaker and lecturer about home remodeling. Co-host of a local radio program for over three years, currently the host of "Today's Home" on Lifetime WebRadio every Sunday afternoon (website:

NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association); NAHB (National Association of Home Builders); PRO (Portland Remodelers' Organization); IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council)

"THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" (book published in 2003), Gentry Magazine, Designers' Illustrated Magazine, Interior Coordinator Magazine (Japan); San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Oregonian, Statesman Journal Newspapers.

Multiple degrees, including bathroom design, kitchen design, lighting design, and residential interior design. Classes and seminars attended frequently, to maintain current knowledge about products, trends, codes, and technology.

Awards and Honors
Multiple certifications: Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer (NKBA), Certified Interior Designer (NCIDQ, National Council of Interior Design Qualification), and Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (NAHB). Awards include: Henry Adams Designer of the Year, CoTY, Master Design, Chrysalis, Best of the Best, Excellence (Best home in its category), and NABE (Best how-to book, 2003).

Past/Present Clients
To see photos of completed projects, please visit my website:

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