I recently moved into an older building (900 sqft, built in 1910) with heavily textured walls/ceilings: Photos. It’s VERY bumpy.
The goal is to have “smooth” walls/ceilings, though I received two drastically different opinions from two contractors:
Replace Drywall: First one said sanding/skim coating would damage the drywall and therefore he recommended it needs to be removed/replaced, VS.
Skim Coat: second one said walls/ceilings can be sanded and skim coated, not to perfection, but close to the “smooth” wall photo. It’s not perfect, but I’m comfortable with this level of smoothness as it adds character and isn’t distractingly textured. Obviously he didn’t see any issue in sanding the walls, or think that this would destroy the wall.
Replacing the Drywall (Option 1) would be about $2,500 more expensive than Skim Coating (Option 2), but at least I’d know what I’m going to get. I’ve also seen great skim coating jobs online, but in most examples the texture isn’t as jarring as mine, so I’m concerned it will look off.