How to Texture a Wall

Beth Asaff
Venetian plaster wall

Accent walls add a lot of interest and depth to any room of your home. While many can be done with only color, adding texture to the wall increases the interest and depth even when the color is not changed. Learn a few techniques for adding texture to your walls to spice up any room in your house.

Venetian Plaster

Venetian plaster is a technique that adds color and texture to your wall at once. It involves applying thin layers of colored plaster to your wall, then polishing the top layer to a high shine. The end result gives you a wall with a lot of character and interest.

Venetian plaster

Materials

Instructions

  1. Tape off the edges of the wall you plan on plastering with painter's tape.
  2. Scoop up a small amount of plaster onto the end of your trowel and apply it in a thin, smooth layer to the wall. The first layer must be smooth to allow the textured layers to build up on it.
  3. Cover the entire wall in the plaster, using the putty knife to get into the edges and corners.
  4. Let the plaster dry completely.
  5. Apply a second thin layer of plaster to the wall. Apply this layer in an X pattern criss-crossing your trowel marks to produce a texture on the wall.
  6. Let the plaster dry completely.
  7. Apply a third layer of plaster to the wall.
  8. Fill in some of the larger voids left from the second layer to smooth out the texture slightly.
  9. Let the plaster dry completely.
  10. Lightly sand the plaster with an orbital sander. Use a very light touch in an up-and-down motion to bring out a sheen in the plaster.

Spray-On Texture

sprayed on texture

If you want to create an orange peel or splatter texture, this is applied using a hopper spray gun. The texture is added directly to the drywall and is made of thinned joint compound. The size of the nozzle on the spray gun is what dictates the final texture on the wall.

Materials

  • Sanding pole with 100 grit sandpaper
  • Joint compound
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Electric drill
  • Mixing paddle
  • Spray hopper with adjustable nozzle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Painter's tape

Instructions

  1. Sand down the drywall with the sanding pole to even it out and remove any major flaws. The texture will hide minor flaws and imperfections.
  2. Spread out plastic sheeting and tape off all adjoining areas for several feet; overspray may occur which will get on every nearby surface if precautions aren't taken.
  3. Pour a box of joint compound into a bucket and thin with one to two cups of water until the compound reaches the consistency of thin paint.
  4. Stir the compound well with an electric drill fitted with a mixing paddle to evenly mix the compound.
  5. Pour some of the thinned compound into the hopper. Try to fill the hopper about halfway; the compound will be heavy and a full hopper will be difficult to hold steady.
  6. Adjust the nozzle on the hopper to between small and medium for orange peel texture and between medium and large for splatter texture.
  7. Test the hopper on a piece of plywood or newsprint and adjust the nozzle size accordingly to get the size texture you want.
  8. Spray the wall in sweeping strokes from top to bottom to apply the texture. Try to overlap the strokes very slightly to avoid gaps in the texture.
  9. Let the compound dry completely, then prime and paint like standard drywall.

Using Textured Paint

Most paint manufacturers produce various types of textured paint along with their standard paints. These typically include paint that has sand added to it, as well as "popcorn" textured paint.

Textured paints are applied to the wall with a paint roller or brush the same way regular paint is applied. This is a fast way to add texture to a wall without the use of special materials or tools. It also allows you to apply the color and the texture at the same time.

Painted textured wall

A few manufacturers who make textured paint include:

  • Behr: Behr makes a white textured paint that can produce either sand or popcorn textures.
  • Benjamin Moore: Benjamin Moore makes a sand-textured paint with a latex base.

Create a Textured Finish

Textured walls are a great way to hide drywall imperfections or add some dimension to a room. Whether you want a decorative texture or a utilitarian one, apply some texture to your walls to help make your rooms come alive.

How to Texture a Wall