Popcorn ceiling texture; Warning: may contain asbestos!
This article was revised on 09/12/20.
Face it; plain-Jane drywall is just boring. Luckily, there are many types of drywall textures that you can apply. You can either hire a pro or do the job yourself.
Two Categories of Drywall Textures
There are basically two categories of drywall textures; the main difference is the method of application. The first is often called the hand-applied. This is often the best for the DIY enthusiast since little specialized equipment is needed. The second is the spray type. It requires a method of spray application such as a compressor and hopper and is favored by contractors since it is so well suited for production work.
Although more expensive texture materials are available, frugal homeowners do quite well with thinned-out drywall compound, or mud, as it is often called. In the old days contractors liked to add asbestos for popcorn ceilings but this is not an option today. Thankfully. We all know about mesothelioma.
These textures can really bring out your creative side. Here are a few to consider:
The paint roller method. The only tools this method requires is a paint roller with extension pole and a paint pan. The dimensional (ridges and troughs) are determined by the knap of the roller and the speed of application. Going slow is recommended since that will minimize splatters.
The knockdown texture method. This method involves applying the compound with a knockdown texture tool or a crows foot brush. After applying the “stomp” a wide drywall finishing knife is dragged across the mud to smooth it out. The amount of pressure applied on the knife will determine the depth of the texture. Here is a guide for making your own knockdown texture tool as I did to match a customers existing texture.
The Santa Fe drywall texture. This texture is designed to be reminiscent of the adobe homes of the southwest United States. It is similar to a knockdown texture but is usually finished using a curved drywall knife that is at least 18 inches wide.
As mentioned above, these textures are favored by contractors concerned with the bottom line with labor costs. That being said, you will need special equipment to apply it. Some types include:
Popcorn texture. This texture used to be very popular on ceilings but is widely considered out of fashion today.
Orange peel. This popular texture resembles the skin of an orange. Like popcorn, it is not that popular in new construction anymore and can be difficult to match during drywall repairs. For application, the texture hose is accompanied by a high pressure air line. The air and mud meet and as the compound is pumped from the working end of the nozzle, compressed air splatters it into numerous small dropplets of texture.
Splatter knockdown. As the name infers, this is basically a combination of an orange peel and a knockdown texture and is very popular currently.
These are just some some of the common types of drywall texture choices available when its time for a remodel or new construction. Knowing your options is key whether you decide to hire a contractor to do the job yourself. Even considering all these styles there are various variables to consider, particularly the personal touch of the applicator.
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.