How to Texture Drywall – 2018 Guide

Texturing drywall is usually the final step in the process, and if you’ve made it this far: congratulations, you’re almost there. Every single texture is going to end up being unique, and it’s by far the most artistic piece of the process unless you’re planning on painting a mural over the whole thing.

Thankfully, it’s also a relatively simple process which nearly anyone should be able to accomplish so give it a shot and get that final loving touch on your wall.

Harry , Homethods Author


Make Sure Everything is Ready

The first thing you’re going to have to do is double check all of your work. Make sure the sanding is smooth and easy, all of the joints are filled properly, and that everything is as close to perfect as it can be.

This is the last stop on your way to completing your project, and even if you have to sand a couple places again or apply some more fill it won’t be a big deal. Just make sure that everything is as good as it’s going to get because you’re not going to get any more chances to fix the bones without having to go through the lengthy process of removing all of your previous hard work.

Decide on the Method

There’s going to be two main methods at your disposal when you decide to do the texture, and you’ll want to pick one and stick with it for any other projects related to sheetrock you do.

The first of these is picking out one of the manual methods which use hand tools to get the job done. It can be a bit more labor-intensive, but the creativity you apply to this process is limited only by your imagination.

There’s a ton of different ways you can go about this, but all of them will require some simple tools that will allow you to achieve the job easily enough. The actual texture that you decide on is up to you, but we’ll give you some simple instructions to get you started on the common textures in just a bit.

Spraying methods, on the other hand, will require some more specialized tools, but they’ll allow you to get the job done more quickly and easily. It can also provide a more uniform final look to the wall if that’s what you’re aiming for.

You’ll need a hopper gun if you intend on using a spraying method, so the initial tool cost will be a bit higher as well. That said, they do provide a great finish and a remarkably consistent one by eliminating a lot of the possibility of operator error.

Spraying Methods

Spraying methods aren’t as common in modern construction as manual methods, but they still have their place in the craftsman’s arsenal of tools for making a pleasing wall.

Orange peel texturing is one of the most common, it leads to an interesting visual appeal without any sharp edges like some other methods, such as popcorn. This allows the walls to be worked with more closely.

There’re a couple of different methods available, one is to use a hopper gun and compound. This will require some fiddling to get done properly, so prep a piece of scrap if you’ve never done it before and experiment with your air compressor in order to get the right flow rate.

The basic motion is a back and forth sweep, but you’ll be able to achieve a proper texture with almost any variation of patterning if you give it a shot. There’s still some room for your imagination here, although it’s kind of limited compared to manual methods.

Splatter knockdown is another one of the common methods of spraying texture onto a wall and will require a different kind of tip on the gun than orange peel spraying. It creates a “splatter” type effect. You’ve probably seen it in cheap motels over the years, but it’s experiencing a resurgence of popularity lately due to the “eye feel” it produces.

Popcorn texture was commonly used on ceilings in the past, never on walls, and it produces the unique “popcorn” type look you see on ceilings in buildings from the past. It requires a large nozzle for the gun and a different type of texturing compound which has some Styrofoam mixed in, this allows it to maintain its unique texture.

It’s also different to remove than any other type of texture, and there’s a good reason it was used only on ceilings in the past. Do not apply popcorn texture to walls, no matter how spiffy you think it might look.

The Five Level Finish

In the “industry” a smooth finish on drywall is called a five level finish. While most will opt for the more visually noisy texture options, it’s certainly possible to make your walls smooth when you’re finishing them up.

You’ll want to mix the mud very thing in order to do this. It’s also quite a complex task and likely one which warrants its own discussion although you can experiment on your own. You’ll need a drywall knife and a roller in order to do this.

First roll the mud on in a thin layer, making sure to evenly coat the entire surface. You’ll then use the knife to remove most of the mud from the surface, carefully overlapping each stroke and leaving a smooth finish as you move into the nearest joint.

The basic concept is to pull into a seam, then draw the mud along the seam after creating “crease.” It might not seem complex, but in order to finish it as a properly smooth wall, it’s definitely going to take some time.


Texturing drywall is actually a rather easy task, especially if you opt for a spraying type of finish. Orange peel is particularly easy to pull off, but if you want to get creative it’s time to get your hands dirty. Smooth finishes are also possible, but rather difficult to achieve for the amateur although certainly not impossible. Once you’ve slapped on the texture, all that’s left is the painting and your room will be finished for whatever you may want to use it for.

Give the whole process a shot for yourself, and you’ll have something you can be proud of each time you sit in your newly finished room.