There is a couple of ways. First of all you can mix some latex primer with
joint compound and apply with a regular paint roller. This will give you a
stipple finish, very easy to blend and match.
At Home Depot they sell a premix along the same line and a roller cover that
has plastic loops that applies the compound rather thick. Then you use a
trowel to knock it down and swirl it a bit.
I prefer either if these to the machine finishes as making repairs are
simple. A lot of the pro drywall people like the machine splatter as it
hides a multitude of sins but it is a pain to match when your kid knocks a
hole in the wall.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
If you own or have access to a compressor and hopper gun, try at
If you want roller orange peel texture, mix paint and drywall
compound about 50/50, use 3/4 or longer nap roller. Be generous
on the wall, you need the roller hairs to pull the texture. Roll
several roller loads ahead of yourself, go back with a good wet
roller and go top to bottom pulling a uniform texture, watch for
heavy ridges left by the edge of the roller and blend them out
before they set.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
About 20 psi and thin the compound to about the viscosity of flapjack
batter. (buy premixed vs bagged)
Experiment, experiment, experiment until you get the splatter pattern
Ignore the other advice and spray. It'll look much better than rolled
or troweled and is much less work.
"Novice with spray gun" is a recipe for a major mess. At least it
would be in my house with me aiming the spray gun! Instead, try this:
Get a paint roller with a deep nap sleeve -- the deepest available --
and a bucket of pre-mixed dry wall mud (joint cement). Roll the mud on
slowly just like you would roll on paint. The deep nap of
the roller and the thick mud will leave the texture you want.
You might have to thin down the mud a little with water to get the
right application, and you will have to practice a bit to get the
exact texture you want. Try it out on a small area first (or on a
board or box as you suggested) and see what you
get. If you make a mistake you can scrape it off while wet with a
trowel or putty knife.
If the texture you leave on the wall is too "peaked" for example, you
can knock it down with a clean, damp roller after the texture sets up
a little. Make sure you roll it on smoothly, as ridges and
odd swirls will show. You have to be a bit artistic and pay attention
to matching the existing texture.
After the texture dries, paint the whole wall the color you want. I
did this on several areas in my 1921 house when we were
renovating it and it worked fine. I never found it necessary to add
sand to the paint or texture. My experience with my own house and
homes of neighbors from the '20s is that sand was not used -- that was
a later method and yields a different effect. A crappier effect IMHO.
You can also buy more expensive premixed texture paint the color you
The roll on always looks cheesy and amateurish. The spray on texture looks
professional. I did my own knock down ceilings for the first time a year
ago and they look great! I bought a gun and a knockdown knife as it was
cheaper than renting as I am slowly going through my house room by room
sprucing up my flat ceilings. If he has some manual dexterity it will go
fine. I practiced in the closet ceilings but first on the backs of some old
Any job can look cheesy and amateurish if you do a cheesy, amateurish
job. Mine looks great, as good or better than a spray job. It's just
the effect I wanted. I am a graphics artist by profession, so I am
concerned about how things look.
I was able to roll right up to the edge of the original natural
chestnut, wide-plank woodwork without worrying about overspray. And if
I made a mistake, I could scrape it off and do it over. A sprayer is
often not so forgiving.
I only did this in one particular room for a special effect, and on a
damaged ceiling area in a stairwell that was already textured. My
opinion is that to do the entire interior of most houses would indeed
be cheesy, no matter how the texture was applied. You don't want your
house to look like the interior of a cave.
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