If you want to add character and charm to a room on a budget, then you may want to consider a wall texture that will elevate your home’s interior. While recent trends have focused on color and accent walls to bring a room together, the right textured drywall finishes offer personality and unique styling for a beautiful aesthetic. Wall textures can even work to cover up architectural imperfections and cosmetic blemishes such as cracks in your sheetrock.
From modern and smooth styles to classic and easy techniques, there are many different types of wall textures to choose from for an elegant finish. These different textures can help you create a warm rustic decor, a trendy vibe, or any interior design style you want.
If you think texturing your wall and ceiling may be too challenging, you can rest assured that these drywall texture techniques are easy to master with some practice. To inspire you with ideas, we’ve compiled a list of the best wall texture types to copy for a stylish finish. Whether you like the popcorn, orange peel, knockdown, or sand swirl patterns, check out the most popular drywall textures to spark your creativity and jump-start your next DIY project.
Different Types of Wall Textures
Popcorn texture is quite possibly the most well-known type of drywall texture. As a timeless look, popcorn wall and ceiling texture became popular in the 1960s during the housing boom. This type of wall texture was an easy way to hide any imperfections, which made it attractive to builders. It also never required painting or touch-ups, which appealed to homeowners as a low-maintenance solution.
This style is also referred to as acoustic texture due to its noise-dampening properties. Often found in rooms with speakers or other sound components, it is best for the living room and bedrooms.
When applying, you’ll need to combine popcorn drywall texture with water, polystyrene, and Styrofoam to create its signature look. To texture your wall, apply the resulting mud-style mixture using a compressor and spray gun. Just remember that popcorn texture is difficult to remove, so make sure you are committed to this look.
The comb is a popular texture that features a stylish groove in the wall or ceiling. The comb texture gets its name from its signature pattern, which resembles the marks a hair comb would make. In this case, the texture is applied with a trowel with teeth. These grooves may be spaced equally apart for people who like symmetry, or unevenly spaced for a unique design.
To apply comb texture, roll drywall compound onto the wall and then use the toothed trowel to gently create patterns and designs to the still-wet mixture. There are several trendy styles of comb texture application.
Some people create wider arcs, like a rainbow shape, while others create overlapping concentric circles. The most popular pattern is a repeating half-fan shape created in a way that resembles a fish-scale pattern. This style is perfect in a vintage-inspired room with art deco elements.
Orange peel is one of the most common wall texture types because it is simple to apply and offers a classic style. If you’ve ever held an orange or any other citrus fruit, you know what this texture looks and feels like. The thick rinds have a subtly pitted consistency. Orange peel wall texture has a similarly understated feeling and is ideal for your bedroom, office, gameroom, or study.
Before applying orange peel texture, you should clean, sand, and prime your walls. Next, thin out drywall mud with water until it’s a thick liquid, and apply it with a spray gun and compressor. Run a roller on the surface of the still-wet liquid mud. Repeat the process once more when the first coat dries.
Knockdown texture has a lot of similarities to orange peel. For starters, the mixing and application process is pretty much the same. However, you’ll need to use a trowel or finish knife to smooth over bumps in the knockout texture. This step “knocks down” the texture and flattens the textural features.
The resulting style is a lot more overt than orange peel walls and is more akin to a traditional stucco application in looks. This technique lends a warm, rustic feeling that would look good in a Mediterranean-inspired rustic kitchen. The knockdown texture is ideal for kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms where it will add warmth and depth.
Spray sand wall texture ultimately closely resembles orange peel without the distinct cracking. However, there are different materials and methods of applications involved. The choice between spray sand and orange peel largely comes down to personal preference in matters of application.
To utilize this technique, mix a bag of sand with water or primer and let it rest overnight to give the sand time to settle. The next day, apply the mixture to the wall using a spray gun. Spray sand can take a lot of time and patience to apply, but the result is a durable and consistent surface.
The sand swirl wall texture combines two different techniques, the spray sand and comb textures. First, you’ll mix a bag of sand into water or primer and let it sit overnight. The next day, you can apply this mixture to the walls.
To get the sand swirl texture, you’ll apply the mud in the same sweeping fan pattern you might use when applying comb texture to walls. Instead of using a toothed trowel, you can use a thick bristle brush. If you want to experiment with more intricate patterns, you can also use a traditional paintbrush. This whimsical texture is a great choice for a child’s bedroom.
Skip trowel is a type of wall texture made from mud or plaster. This textured interior look is finicky to create, but it has a striking and artful effect that’s worth the extra work. The plaster or drywall mud must be applied by hand, which is what makes it so time-consuming.
To apply this texture, use a large curved knife and spread very thin layers of your material of choice. Next, hold the knife at an angle and skip it against the surface of the wall in overlapping circles.
Finally, you’ll want to go back over the still-wet mud with a clean trowel, held at an angle to pick up some of the texture but leave the rest behind. This layered technique creates a dramatic effect similar to stucco.
Also known as stomp brush or crow’s feet, slap brush texture has a unique yet natural look that would fit in with a craftsman-style home. You can use a standard premixed drywall compound and mix it to a thin and liquid-like consistency. Using a paint roller, apply the mud to a small and manageable section in a thin, even layer.
While the compound is still wet, you’ll need a slap brush, which can be any brush with stiff bristles. Dunk the bristles of that brush into your bucket of drywall mud, before firmly slapping it against the wet mud on the wall.
Repeat this over and over again, and don’t be afraid to overlap your brush marks. The result will be an intricate, ridged texture that resembles a sunburst or the petals of a flower.
Slap Brush Knockdown
Slap brush knockdown, also known as a stomp knockdown, combines two texture styles, the slap brush and knockdown textures. By pairing the slap brush technique with the flattening process of the knockdown, you can get a cool and creative pattern.
You’ll need to start by recreating the slap brush texture on a small section of the wall. This includes rolling a thin layer of compound mud evenly across the wall, then using the slap brush to introduce texture.
Once you’ve finished one section of slap brush texture, you can let the drywall mud dry for 10 to 15 minutes. Then you’ll move on to incorporating the knockdown technique by dragging a wide drywall knife through and knocking the tops off of the bumps that the slap brush left behind. Do this until the room is complete! This texture looks great in Mediterranean and Southwestern style decor.
Spanish lace is a classy and beautiful wall texture similar to the stomp knockdown in look, but can be challenging to create. With light and dark tones, many homeowners use this lace texture to cover up blemishes, cracks, and other imperfections. Spanish lace is one of the most intricate and ornamental of all the wall textures and is an excellent choice for a fixer-upper home.
Full of character, lace texture is a particularly decorative variant of the slap brush knockdown style. You can use drywall mud or plaster in the same batter-thin consistency you would use in the slap brush technique, but you could apply it with a roller or spray gun.
While the mud is still wet, you can use a knife to carve in repeating intricate motifs modeled after a lacy Spanish mantilla. Then paint over your textured designs with your paint color of choice. Once that layer has dried, you will need to repeat the full process again.
Carve a slightly different lace pattern to add extra variation. To complete the look, paint over the texture again with a lighter shade of the same paint color.
Venetian Plaster Finish
Venetian plaster is a type of wall and ceiling texture made by mixing plaster with marble dust and then applied with a spatula in thin layers. The multiple levels are then polished to create a smooth, sleek surface that adds an extra dimension of character to your home.
Texturizing walls for a practical and artistic finish is not a new phenomenon. The Venetian plaster finish is an ancient style and has been documented for hundreds of years as a more refined version of plastering.
Today, this particular technique is considered fairly high-end when compared to other finishes. You might find it utilized in famous buildings around the world, including museums and other architecturally-impressive venues.
While the Venetians came up with a complex formulation for plaster, you can now make a simplified version by mixing plaster, marble dust, and water into a putty-like compound. Apply a thin layer to the wall with a steel trowel, making sure to vary the length and direction of the strokes.
You should purposely eschew patterns and make sure to overlap strokes for plenty of coverage. Let the plaster dry completely for about five hours, and then sand and buff the surface.
This process will then be repeated several times, using 7 or 8 layers wouldn’t be considered excessive. Let the plaster dry, then sand and buff it between every layer of the application.
The finished result will show lots of textural variations and color gradations, and certain areas will be so highly polished they’ll seem to gleam.
Rosebud drywall texture is very similar in principle to the slap brush technique. Mix drywall compound into a liquid, diluted consistency, then apply it one section at a time. Next, get a round stippling brush with thick bristles.
You can find ones that are listed specifically as being appropriate for applying rosebud textures. Dredge that brush in the drywall compound and then firmly and deliberately slap it against the wall.
If you were using the slap brush technique here, you would overlap the brush marks. In contrast, the rosebud texture is significantly more precise. You want each round impression to be clear and distinct so they resemble neat lines of rose blossoms in full bloom. This style would be perfect in a sunroom that overlooks a garden or in a romantic bedroom.
Hawk and Trowel
Hawk and trowel drywall texture has a natural influence in that it resembles flowing waves. Like the floral-inspired rosebud and shell-shaped comb styles, this pattern would add a lovely organic element to art nouveau decor.
This technique gets its name from the tools used during the application process. As we know, a trowel is a flat metal tool often in a rectangular shape. A hawk on the other hand is a flat metal plate with an attached handle.
Use both tools to add larger quantities of drywall across your wall, but be warned that this technique requires quick hands and lots of practice.
Why You Should Texture Your Walls
There are many reasons to texture your walls. When you decorate your home, most experts advise you to pick timeless paint colors and common wall textures. The idea is that neutral decorative choices appeal to more people and can help improve your resale value.
Furthermore, adding texture to walls is a great way to add personality and intrigue to your living space. Experimenting with different finishes can be an easy and simple DIY project that will help you customize or renovate your home.
Texturing can also be a smart move if you need to hide flaws, cracks, or imperfections. Walls are also textured to minimize noise between rooms, create flair that complements the interior design, and provide long-lasting protection that will save you the time and hassle of painting your walls regularly.