According to wordpress blog stats, the most common way that people are currently getting to my blog is by searching for “wall texturing.” Who knew so many diy’ers search for blogs about wall texturing? At any rate, I am now feeling compelled to include some of my tips about physically texturing walls.
Disclaimer: I am more novice than expert in this area. These tips are provided in hopes that they might help some other diy’ers avoid some of the mistakes and worries that we had when applying our wall texturing. NOTE also: these tips relate to basic wall texturing — no fancy Italian special look or anything like that. However, the tips are for the type of texturizing that goes beyond the bubbly look that you would get from simply using a loop roller.
Tip 1: pick your tool(s). If you have an air compressor, you can buy a wall texturing “hopper” and use a flat trowel or wide putty knife to flatten the spray. You can get such an air paint texture gun at Harbor Freight. If you don’t have an air compressor, the job will take more time and effort by hand, but you can get the job done by simply using a wide putty knife. Either way, you may also want to have a sanding block and appropriate sandpaper for touch-ups.
Tip 2: pick your goo. You can go to Home Depot or your favorite home improvement store and find all sorts of goo related to wall texturing. There’s spray-on stuff, bucket o’ goo, and so on. Truth be told, my husband and I think that these are all mostly watered down (and higher priced) versions of joint compound (i.e., the type used for taping drywall). So, you can purchase the pre-mixed goo labeled for “texturing” if you want, but it is actually cheaper if you buy pre-mixed joint compound or if you buy dry joint compound (NOT the “quick dry” kind!) and mix it yourself (just add water). Note: how thin you mix the goo will determine the amount of texture. You may need to experiment to see how much texture you want (see next tip).
Tip 3: practice. My friend Suzanne is more of a perfectionist than I am, so she actually practiced on spare scraps of drywall. I have to admit, if you are trying this for the first time, it would not hurt to test out your application “technique” on something other than your target wall(s). This will allow you to test everything from how it applies and how it looks to how long it takes to dry.
Tip 4: go for it. Keep in mind that one of the characteristics of wall texturing is irregularity. Wall texturing is designed to be imperfect and inconsistent. Thus, if you are applying your goo by hand, you can put randomly sized and irregularly shaped blobs of goo, randomly onto the wall. I also found it helpful to divide the wall into smaller, more workable, areas. If you are using the hopper/compressor method, you can randomly spray the goo on the wall. Once the goo has started to dry a little, but before it has hardened too much, you should flatten and smooth your goo blobs with a flat trowel or wide putty knife.
Tip 5: touch up. Once the texture has dried, see if there are any areas that need “touching up.” If there are areas where you think more texturing is needed, you can just add some in by hand. If there are areas where you think the texture is too thick or bumpy, you can sand the areas down with a sanding block. (You should wear a mask if you sand, though.)
Tip 6: don’t worry. If, after touching up the walls, you are still concerned about how they look, don’t worry. Most people won’t know the difference. However, if you are super subconscious and want some other “masking” tips to help the job look better, here are a couple of suggestions. First, paint the walls with a lighter color. This is based on my experience and opinion, but I think that darker paint colors seem to expose “issues” with wall texturing more than lighter paint colors. Second, use a ceramic paint additive such as Hy-Tech to your primer or paint. This adds a kind of fine grained look over your texturing and (in theory) has the added benefit of providing more insulation for your room.
Tip 7: paint it up and then stand back and admire your handiwork. When all is done, stand back and enjoy the view 🙂