Drywall Texturing Techniques

As the piece de resistance to the arduous task of hanging all that drywall, you're now ready to apply some drywall texturing techniques to really pack a punch to your home decor plans. But which to use of the many methods available? We can't answer that for you, but we can give you a few ideas. Read on to find out more.

What's in a Name

Drywall texturing techniques, seemingly limited only by one's imagination, run the gamut. There is the orange peel technique, the knockdown, sand swirl, slap brush, and cottage cheese techniques, just to name a few.

Many more ways of texturing remain forever unnamed simply because they're thought of and executed at the discretion of the person applying the technique who doesn't care about naming it, only about the success of his or her endeavors. Who needs a name for a technique? If it is working in the scheme of the design, the last thing to come to mind is naming the technique.

The main material used in drywall texturing techniques is joint compound. And what you do with it, whether slapping it on with a brush, a sponge, a crumpled piece of paper, or a trowel, matters not at all as long as you get the desired result. And you may even surprise yourself! But for those who'd like to texture their drywall with some commonly used techniques, here are a couple:

Orange Peel and Sand Swirl

The orange peel is one of a host of drywall texturing techniques that has found favor among many. Most professionals do this technique with an airless spray paint rig, but it can be done by hand. Water down a half-full bucket of joint compound until it's the consistency of thick cream.

Pour into a roller pan and using a roller with a nap, apply it to the wall as you would paint. Allow to dry until it no longer has a sheen (about 10 minutes), then apply the next coat, rolling to achieve the desired orange peel effect. For a knockdown texture, do the above, but then after the second coat of joint compound, go over the half-dried wall area with a two-foot length of wood or use a finishing knife held almost flat against the wall while applying very light pressure.

Sand swirl is one of those drywall texturing techniques that has remained a classic method of imprinting a pattern in walls. Add white quartz sand (sold at masonry supply stores) to the watered down joint compound mixture described above until it reaches the right consistency to hold on to a trowel without dripping. Apply to the walls by simply troweling it on then using a piece of very stiff cardboard or wood to make a twist in the pattern. Simple? Yes!


One of the great things about drywall texturing techniques is that there are no right or wrong ways to do them. It's simply a matter of your own personal taste. So have at it, have fun, and don't be afraid to make your own one-of-a-kind textured walls.

See Also:

Textured Wallboard