How To Smooth Walls Without Plastering?

If you do not know how to plaster and want to get a smoother wall then you are in for a lot of filling & sanding.

Examples of smoothing walls without plastering
Examples of smoothing walls without plastering

A good plasterer will make your walls super smooth and ready for painting or wallpaper.

Top Tip: A plasterer would charge on avg £450/550 to re-skim a medium-sized room! That will take a professional plasterer about 6-8 hrs to complete.

4 Ways to Smooth Walls Without Plastering

But, you can still get smooth walls without plastering them. Depending on the condition of your walls you can use:

  1. Polycell Easy Skim – Best Option
  2. Filler and sanding
  3. Lining paper
  4. Plasterboard – dot & dab

Polycell Skim Coating (Best Option)

Polycell has produced an all in one ready-mixed skim coating solution that acts very similar to plaster. It’s brushed on with a paintbrush and left to slightly dry, you then smooth it out with a wide skimming tool/feather.

This is by far the easiest way to get your walls smooth and ready for painting or wallpapering.

This solution is for beginners or homeowners who have never plastered before.

It’s easy to use and will offer the best benefit when compared to the other methods listed in this hot-to smooth walls guide.

  • Apply with a roller or paintbrush
  • Easy to use for all abilities
  • A much cheaper solution to smooth walls
  • The spreading tool is provided for super smooth walls
  • Great value for money: 2.5L@ £25-30

Filling and Sanding Your Walls

If there is plaster on your walls and you want to make it smoother for painting, or maybe you have removed wallpaper and your wall is not smooth enough for painting. Then interior filler can make it much smoother.

Grab your self some good interior filler and a plastering trowel. Spread some filler on one side of your trowel and spread it over the wall.

You will want to keep the trowel at a steep angle because you are only filling the dent and marks. Continue doing this all over the wall until you think you have covered all dents and scuffs.

Leave your filler to set and make sure you have put enough filler on the wall, use your hand to judge if the filler has filled all the dents and scuffs. If the filler is set and you are happy with the result then you will need to sand.

Sanding is the main part of making your wall smoother, it will not be a plaster finish but will be good enough to paint.

Use a pole sander and sand the wall in lanes so you know you have sanded the whole area.

Using Lining paper

Lining paper can make a wall much smoother, but the wall must not have any marks or scuffs because it will show through the paper no matter how thick your lining paper is.

You can use flat, woodchip or embossed lining paper. It’s very easy to apply to the wall, start in a corner and follow the wall around making sure you overlap the lining paper by about 3 mm to allow for shrinkage.

Use normal wallpaper paste and use scissors when cutting the top and bottom when the lining paper is dry.

If you want a smooth wall then use smooth lining paper. Use filler on the wall so the lining paper looks smoother.

Any bumps, dents or excess filler will still show through the lining paper.

PlasterBoard – Dot & Dab

Plasterboard is another option when creating a smooth wall.

This is called dry lining, you dot and dab the back of the plasterboard and it creates a suction when pushed onto the wall.

This is a great way to make a wall super smooth without having to plaster it. Here is a video to help you understand how simple this process is:


Smoothing a wall takes time and elbow grease, from filling to sanding will take time. But it will work if you keep at it!

Dot and dabbing would be your next DIY step if you do not want to pay for a plasterer to smooth your walls.

1 thought on “How To Smooth Walls Without Plastering?”

  1. Lining paper is designed to be butt joined not a 3 mm overlap this will show when painting.
    Decent lining paper 1200/1400 grade from trade supply better quality than cheaper lining paper.
    Also heavy duty sticky ready mix paste far better as not shrink as much as lower water content.
    Size the walls with thin paste let dry or ideally beeline primer sealer first this helps slip and sticks a lot lot better, otherwise you have raised seems 6months!
    Let paper soak 5/10 mins before applying.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.