Painting Houses Wall Decor

Different Types of Texturing for Walls

You can change the look of your walls by repainting, putting wallpaper, adding accessories, incorporating textiles and more. But no matter how striking and beautiful your wall accents are, if having a smooth wall isn’t your thing, you might still feel that it lacks something. Adding texture patterns on your walls can give a whole new look for your home.

There are a lot of varieties of wall texture styles you can choose from. Here are some examples:

Texturing with paint

Sometimes, all you really need is paint – it’s all in the manner how you will apply it. All you have to do is to use a texturizing roller to spread a thick and irregular coat of paint. You can also use clay paint to achieve a flat, adobe-like finish.

Faux finishing

Faux finish, or a decorative paint technique, helps give your walls visual depth without adding any bulk. Faux finishing is called “faux” or fake because it aims to imitate a certain appearance of a material, like wood or marble. There are many different types of faux painting techniques done on furniture and walls, but here are the two major types used:

  • Glaze painting

Glaze painting makes use of glaze, which is a thin, transparent or semi-transparent film of color painted over the base coat to extend drying time. In doing so, you have more time to work with the glaze to create the look and the texture you want. Glazes are available in variants that are already tinted, and some allows you to make your own glaze color.

  • Plaster application  

Plaster is a mixture of lime and sand or cement, and it is often applied on walls to form a smooth and hard surface that can be painted over when dry. Plaster can be applied using tinted plasters, or be washed over with earth pigments. It is usually applied with a trowel or a spatula.

Texturing with drywall joint compound

Drywall joint compound or drywall mud is made of gypsum dust mixed with water. Texturing with this material can produce so many styles possible – it’s virtually limitless for a skilled and experienced craftsman.

Drywall textures can be applied manually with the use of hand and tools like pan and knife, hawk and trowel, or special brushes, knives and rollers. Since it is hand-applied, texture patterns will vary if made by different painters, even if given the same products, tools and materials. You will be assured that your walls will look unique and more personalized.

Application of drywall textures can also be done using an electric or gas-powered sprayer and a hopper. The drywall joint compound is passed through the hopper along a hose, and is pushed by an air compressor. Its release is controlled by a trigger and is sprayed on the wall to create a texture. To change the look of the texture created, change the size and/or shape of the spray gun used.

Here are some of the commonly applied drywall textures:

  • Skip trowel

A skip trowel is a common drywall finish that makes use of textured plaster to create the final look. It is created by applying the drywall joint compound across the drywall in a thin layer using a special curved knife. The curved circles of the drywall compound due to the curved knife is spread across the wall surface. This technique should be done by someone who has an experience with drywall finishes and textures, since using a trowel can be difficult for a first-timer. It is often confused with hawk and trowel technique because they are partly similar in texture.

  • Hawk and trowel

Using a hawk, which is a flat plate with a handle under, and a flat rectangular trowel, you can also form another drywall texture. The plaster is placed on the center of the hawk and the trowel is used to apply the plaster to the wall. The hawk and trowel technique makes straight line designs and layers of texture rolling over one another.

    • Knockdown 

A knockdown drywall texture is a bit bumpy, with unique shapes emerging from the walls. It requires more work because you need to prime and paint the walls first before application, and it is more expensive than other drywall finishes. The result forms some flat and wide splotches and is a bit subtle, closely resembling a stucco finish.

    • Swirl 

If you prefer a smoother looking wall with texture, the swirl finishing is an excellent choice. The swirls are created by making short swirl motions with the trowel as the drywall compound is applied, making swirled patterns in half circles laid on one another. It is usually applied in the ceiling, but it is now seen on walls.

  • Santa Fe

Probably originating from the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Santa Fe drywall texture is popular in the southwest United States. It is created using a wide drywall knife. Two smooth layers of drywall are applied, with the top layer allowing the lower layer to show in random areas. The second layer must cover around 60% to 90% of the lower layer, because if the coverage is lower than that, it would look like a skip trowel texture.

  • Lace

The lace wall texture requires a lot more time and patience to create than other drywall finishes, since you have to pat the whole surface applied with drywall compound using a bristled brush. After the wall tries, smash the points created by the previous patting to achieve a texture that looks like a lace pattern.

  • Slapbrush

A slapbrush wall texture, also known as “stomp brush,” “panda paw,” “crow’s feet” or “tiger skin” texture, is one of the messiest texture to create. The first layer of drywall joint compound is smoothly rolled to the surface, then the texture is created by slapping, stamping, sweeping, shaking or twisting the brush. It is great for concealing wall imperfections, while in the same time, bringing out a fresh new look for the walls.

  • Orange peel

As the name suggests, orange peel texture resembles the peel of an orange with a bumpy surface. It’s a popular spray-on texture that forms a subtler effect compared to other drywall textures. It’s easier to apply than most drywall textures since it doesn’t need any trowel work. Drywall mud is pumped through a long hose to a spray nozzle, splattering the mud into thousands of small droplets. These droplets will form a consistent thin layer of sprayed mud across the wall.