Orange Peel Texture? "Knockdown" or "Skip Trowel" also "California Knock-down"

I'm interested in applying some "Orange Peel" texture to two ceilings in my house and was wondering if someone could help me out with what I need to know. The texture may also be called "Knockdown" or "Skip Trowel" or "California Knock-down" you can see a picture of what I want here http://www.drywallschool.com/knockdown.htm
I need any information you can provide or possible some of the questions answered.
1) What should the consistancy of the mud be? Thickness? 2) What orfice size should I use on the hopper. 3) What pressure (Psi/cfm)? 4) What distance do I spray from? 5) How long is the dry time before I try and Knock down the sprayed mud?
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I use mud that's the same consistency for the ceiling as the walls. After applying the mud, wait 10 to 15 minutes (just til it starts to firm up from drying) and drag the ceilings with an item called a Magic Trowel. Basically it's a 2' wide squeegee. I've seen them at Sherwin Williams, BORGs and the like go here <http://www.texmaster.com/magictrowel.html to see what it can do. I like mine and have used it many times.
Make sure you have a large compressor, I've never paid much attention to the pressure, if you don't have one purchase a small regulator and fasten it to the inlet of the hopper, so you can adjust the air flow from where you stand. It seems like each job is a bit different depending on the viscosity of the mud...I'm sure the pros have a recipe...me only do a couple of rooms at a time...the mud will flow from the mixing paddle.
Experiment with the orifice size, I believe mine's set on 7/16 or there about. But I like smaller texture patterns. Distance, you'll be able to tell if the mud doesn't hit the wall, your're too far away, if you're too close the air from the hopper nozzle will blow the mud around the wall surface. If you're brave, take a small section of wall, spray it with the gun, evaluate it, take a wide tape knife and scrape it off adjust and do it again until you get it like you want. Keep in mind that the size of the actual texturing will be smaller when dried than when applied.
A couple of resources for you: <http://www.fantastictools.com/pages/drywall_knockdown_knives.htm for drywall tools and equipment, hang out and suckup what the pros say at <http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=4 I'll caution you though, they don't like DIY'ers posting they can be harsh. The moderator has published this book <(Amazon.com product link shortened)> and while there are many low level items in the book, there's also some really good tips.
Alternatively from what there is to learn to be successful with this process, it would seem like the $10 he's asking on his site, might be well worth it.
Good luck...
DAC
HotRod wrote:

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THANKS that helps a lot. I may give it a shot on a wall or other area first
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HotRod wrote:

One thing I forgot to mention was that I always find a buddy or girlfriend or wife anybody to do a couple of things. 1 -- pour the mixed mud while you hold the hopper. It's a messy task. 2 -- they can keep the hose out of way while you're moving about. 3 -- set them up with a halogen work light, and have them follow you around, shining the light from behind you to the wall or ceiling. It really helps to evaluate the uniformity texture, and takes the natural shadows out of play.
Good luck...
DAC
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Will do. I'd bring my girlfriend with but that might bother my wife :-) , I might have to settle for a friend.
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A few answers:

Somewhere between pancake batter and latex paint. It should pour out of your mixing bucket easily.

What size blobs do you want? I'd start with the big tip, set on about the 2nd or 3rd largest hole based on the photo you showed.

Start at 25-30 pounds. If the mud is stiff you may need to up the pressure slightly. Small rental units don't give much choice.

Start out about 4 feet away from the wall. One of the biggest problems is a tendency to paint the wall. You are only trying to splatter a few dots, not coat the wall. It will look too skimpy, especially as it dries. DO NOT WORRY about the color, give an honest look at blobs per square foot, size of blobs, fairly uniform pattern of blobs on the entire wall. Ignore the tape and bed joints, they will be all white. Try to work one wall at a time and quit at the corners. Pick out a short wall to start till you get the timing and bugs worked out. You can shoot more blobs if some area is light.

Depends on humidity, temperature, tools, etc. Wait too long as a general rule and give it more pressure. If you get on it too early, it is really easy to pull "runners". You may not even feel like you are doing much. Wipe the knife edge every stroke with another trowel. The large plastic triangles allow you to get on the walls a bit earlier than a steel drywall knife. ______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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THANKS, this should be enough for me to take a shot at doing these ceilings. I'll post back when I'm finished on how it turned out. Thanks
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