Knockdown Texturing

There are many ways of texturing your drywall walls and ceilings in your home to give them their distinctive look. One of the most common is called knockdown texturing. The name does not refer to method of applying the mud, or sheetrock compound, but the method of finishing it.

Tools and Materials for Knockdown Texturing

  • Paint roller handle with cover and extension pole
  • Crow's foot texture brush
  • Paint roller pan
  • Electric drill
  • Ribbon mixer (found in sheetrock tool area of the home improvement store)
  • Drop cloths
  • 5 gallon bucket(s) of sheetrock mud (drywall compound)

Applying the Texture

In this article we will examine to methods of texture application and follow with instructions for applying the texture before doing the knockdown. Before beginning, prepare the mud by thinning it out with water.

Transfer half the mud to an airtight bucket. Add a cup of water to the remaining mud and mix it in well using the ribbon mixer with your electric drill. You might have to add some more water or mud. Ideally, it should have a consistency of a milkshake.

Here is the first method of applying texture to the drywall surface...

First, spread out the drop cloths in the work zone. Pour some thinned mud in the roller pan. There are two factors that determine how pronounced the finished texture will be – the nap of the roller used and the speed with which you roll the wall. Play around with this with the first area before it dries until you get it where you like it.

As you roll the nap will lift the mud off the wall in peaks. The slower you go, the higher the peaks will be.

Start rolling up and down in one corner and work you way around the room. For a more erratic pattern roll back over it at random angles. Set your internal artist free!

Method Two: The Knockdown Sheetrock Texture Method

Thin out the mud as before but leave it a bit thicker. You will get a feel for your personal preference by trial and error.

Apply the Texture

For the knockdown texturing method, you still want to raise peaks in the mud on your drywall. The difference here is that rather than rolling the mud, the crow's foot brush is dipped in the mud, pushed onto the sheetrock, and pulled off. Do a section that you can conveniently reach and then knock it down and do another section.

Knock Down the Texture

This is the step that gives this texture its character. What you want to do here is lightly drag the knife at about a 45 degree angle across the peaks in the mud to flatten them off (think plateau). As mud accumulates on the knife scrape the excess into the mud pan.

The knockdown takes a little practice but you can re-stomp or re-roll anywhere as long as the mud is still wet.