Give Your Drywall Texture

  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Taping knife
Plastic sheeting
Soft bristled brush
Drywall joint compound

Giving your drywall texture can add a bold dramatic statement, turning a plain wall into a striking addition to your home design. Though not an expensive project, it may be time consuming depending on the size of your room.

Step 1 - Applying Drywall Joint Compound

Buy a large bucket for about $15 at a local home improvement store or hardware store. You will need a wide bladed taping knife or straight edged trowel to spread this on the wall. Remove everything from the walls including switch covers

Step 2 - Preparing your space

Aside from removing any switch plates and covers, move all furniture away from the wall and cover it with the drop cloths.

Step 3 - Clearing the Walls

Remove any wallpaper before you begin. The drywall compound will cause the wallpaper to loosen and come off leaving you with a larger mess to clean up.

Step 4 - Applying the Compound

Begin by applying nearest to the baseboards, corners and tops of the walls. Apply up to 1/8” thick though this doesn’t need to be exact after all you’re looking for a varied texture. Work in a smaller space at first, the compound will be active for a while so don’t get carried away trying to cover too much all at once. The best results come from working in smaller sections at a time.

Step 5 - Creating the Texture

Create the texture using old paintbrushes, wallpaper brushes, or sponges. Stroke, swirl these on the wet surface and use your fingers to create an array of designs. If you have small children allow them to make handprints and such on the wet surface. Alternate this with applying the compound until the entire wall is covered.

You may also consider looking into other forms of texturing for drywall that involve different tools to create different effects. For instance, orange peel texturing which involves using a high pressure air gun to create a lighter texture that closely resembles an orange peel. The gun needs to be moved at a constant speed to keep the texture even and often takes practice to make it look the way you would like.

Another style is the knockdown drywall texture. This is a subtler style of texture and is often compared to stucco style. One can add paint to the mixture to prevent having to paint it later on. The mixture will be watered down to a soupy consistency so that stalactite formations that are then “knocked down” to create a mottled look. Because the consistency needs to be so precise, one may consider leaving that to a professional rather than wasting an entire bucket of drywall mixture.

Finally there’s the popcorn drywall texture. This is more noticeable than the knockdown but applied in a similar fashion. The mixture for the popcorn style is thicker and should leave an appearance that resembles popcorn or cottage cheese. This style was extremely popular in the 1960’s and 70’s, when removing it you want to get it tested for asbestos as they were common in the time.