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Drywall texture can add style and character to many types of rooms – from simple, smooth finishes to more intricate patterns, various personalized looks are possible. In this guide, we’ll cover the most common ones.

You’ll also learn the tools and materials you’ll need with steps to get the texture you’re going for. But whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or planning to hire a professional, this guide will help you understand the options and go from there.

Why Texture Matters

Drywall texture types are more than just an aesthetic choice, playing a crucial role in the overall feel and functionality of a room. Textured walls can hide imperfections, add depth, and enhance the visual appeal of your space.

They can also influence the acoustics of a room, dampening sound and creating a more comfortable environment. Choosing the right texture can set the tone for your interior design, making a significant difference in how a room looks and feels.

Drywall texture types to know.

Common Types of Drywall Texture

Smooth Finish

Firstly, a smooth finish is sleek and modern, providing a clean, minimalist look. It’s often used in contemporary and upscale interiors, giving rooms a refined appearance. This texture is best suited for living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens where a polished look is desired. You’ll need:

  • Drywall compound
  • Trowel
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint

What to do:

1) Mix the Compound: Prepare the drywall compound according to the package instructions, ensuring it’s smooth and lump-free.

2) Apply the Compound: Using a trowel, spread a thin layer of compound over the wall, working in small sections. Keep the trowel at a slight angle to create a smooth, even surface.

3) Sand the Surface: Once the compound is dry, sand the wall with fine-grit sandpaper until it’s perfectly smooth. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth.

4) Prime and Paint: Apply another coat of primer, followed by paint for a sleek, polished finish.

Knockdown Texture

Knockdown texture features a mottled look created by applying compound and then “knocking down” the peaks with a knockdown knife. This technique adds a subtle, rustic charm to walls, making it popular in living areas and hallways. It’s durable and visually appealing, perfect for high-traffic areas. What you’ll need:

  • Drywall compound
  • Knockdown knife
  • Hopper gun or roller
  • Plastic sheeting

How to do it:

1) Mix the Compound: Prepare the drywall compound to a thinner consistency, similar to pancake batter.

2) Apply the Texture: Using a hopper gun or roller, apply the compound to the wall in an even layer. Let it set for a few minutes until it’s partially dry.

3) Knock Down the Peaks: Using a knockdown knife, gently drag it across the surface to flatten the peaks and create the desired mottled look.

4)Let It Dry: Allow the texture to dry completely before applying primer and paint.

Orange Peel Texture

Then, orange peel texture, named for its resemblance to the skin of an orange, offers a bumpy and fine finish that hides minor wall imperfections. It’s a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens due to its easy cleaning and maintenance.

You will need:

  • Drywall compound
  • Air compressor
  • Hopper gun
  • Spray nozzle

What you’ll do:

1) Mix the Compound: Thin the drywall compound to a consistency similar to pancake batter.

2) Spray the Texture: Using an air compressor and hopper gun, spray the compound onto the wall in a consistent, circular motion to create the orange peel effect.

3) Adjust the Pressure: Adjust the air pressure and nozzle settings to achieve the desired texture size.

4) Let It Dry: Allow the texture to dry fully before priming and painting.

Popcorn Texture

Popcorn texture, characterized by its rough, cottage cheese-like appearance, was popular in mid-20th-century homes. It’s typically used on ceilings to hide imperfections and absorb sound, making it ideal for bedrooms and living rooms. Make sure to have:

  • Popcorn texture mix
  • Spray hopper
  • Protective gear

Here’s how:

1) Prepare the Mix: Combine the popcorn texture mix with water as per the package instructions.

2) Spray the Texture: Use a spray hopper to apply the mixture to the ceiling, working in even passes to cover the entire surface.

3) Protect Yourself: Wear protective gear to avoid inhaling particles and getting the mixture on your skin.

4) Let It Dry: Allow the texture to dry completely before painting, if desired.

Sand Swirl Texture

Equally appealing, sand swirl texture involves creating decorative swirls in a sand-infused compound, resulting in an artistic look. This texture is often used in large rooms and open spaces to add visual interest. You’ll need:

  • Sand texture compound
  • Trowel or brush
  • Primer

How to do it:

1) Mix the Compound: Combine sand texture compound with water to achieve a thick, creamy consistency.

2) Apply the Swirls: Use a trowel or brush to create swirling patterns on the wall, working in small sections to maintain consistency.

3) Let It Set: Allow the compound to set and dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4) Prime and Paint: Apply a coat of primer, followed by paint to highlight the texture.

Slap Brush Texture

Slap brush texture, also known as “crows feet,” is created by slapping a brush against wet drywall compound, leaving a distinctive pattern. This texture is suitable for any room where you want to add a unique and textured look. What you need:

  • Drywall compound
  • Slap brush
  • Paint roller

How to achieve the texture:

1) Mix the Compound: Prepare the drywall compound to a medium consistency, not too thick or too thin.

2) Apply the Compound: Spread the compound evenly over the wall using a paint roller.

3) Create the Texture: Use a slap brush to “slap” the drying compound, creating a unique, textured pattern.

4) Let It Dry: Allow the texture to dry completely before priming and painting.

Drywall is easy to maintain in most texture types, only needing occasional dusting and minor repairs.

Recommended Maintenance

Proper maintenance keeps your textured drywall looking great. Regularly dust with a soft brush or microfiber cloth to prevent buildup. For minor stains, use a damp sponge with mild detergent. Occasionally, deep clean your walls with a cloth and mild soap solution, drying them thoroughly afterward.

To repair minor damages, fill small holes or dents with drywall compound, smooth with a putty knife, and sand lightly when dry. Keep matching paint for touch-ups. Avoid heavy scrubbing or abrasive cleaners to protect the texture. In high-traffic areas, consider adding protective elements like chair rails. Maintain proper humidity levels to prevent cracking or peeling of the drywall compound.

When to Call a Professional

While solo projects can be rewarding, some situations warrant professional help. If you’re dealing with extensive damage or large areas that need texturing, hiring a professional ensures a flawless finish.

Consider calling a professional if you’re unfamiliar with the techniques or lack the necessary tools. Additionally, if your project involves high ceilings or hard-to-reach areas, safety becomes a concern, and a professional can handle these challenges efficiently.

Finally, if you’re aiming for a specific texture that requires advanced skills, such as a detailed sand swirl or intricate patterns, a professional’s experience can make a significant difference in the final result.


In essence, adding the right drywall texture can transform your home’s look and feel, giving it character and hiding several types of imperfections. Whether you prefer a smooth finish, a rustic knockdown texture, or something more unique like a sand swirl, knowing how to achieve these textures empowers you to customize.

Regular maintenance will keep your textured walls looking fresh. If you have questions or need a professional’s help in Orlando, FL, or surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at American Property Inspections.

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