5 Drywall Textures You Should Try

AAA Print

Instead of repainting a room, consider applying a wall texture to change the room from ordinary to extraordinary. With a little practice, drywall textures are easy to apply once the technique is mastered. Create entirely unique rooms with creative textures that can even mimic the look of other (more expensive) wall materials.

Here are 5 of the more popular textures that can be completed with simple hand tools. Or, create your own textures with materials such as crumbled up newspaper or commercial texture rollers and brushes.

How to Make Textured Drywall

Wall textures are created with a thin layer of drywall mud, a pan and knife, or a hawk and trowel. A “hawk” is a 16-inch square flat table with a handle underneath. Some textures can be applied with a paint roller then “knocked down” with a wide knife or texture brush. It is best to begin with walls and ceilings that are smooth, clean and free of defects.

1. The Skip Trowel Texture

  • Lightly sand and prime the walls before applying texture
  • Use a wide 18” knife
  • Apply a very thin coat of mud allow the mud to skip across the wall
  • The raised texture should have a slightly circular motion and cover 60% of the wall

2. Santa Fe texture

  • Lightly sand and prime the walls before applying texture
  • Use a wide 18” knife
  • Apply a thin and smooth coat of mud across the wall and allow to dry
  • Apply a second smooth coat of mud across the wall covering 70 percent to 90 percent
  • The style mimics the texture of adobe walls

3. Swirl texture

  • Lightly sand and prime the walls before applying texture
  • Thin the mud
  • Apply the mud with a heavy nap paint roller
  • Use a medium bristle brush to apply swirls in an overlap pattern
  • Pattern should be kept even on all walls

4. Rosebud stomp texture

  • Lightly sand and prime the walls before applying texture
  • Use a topping compound or thin regular compound
  • Apply a thin and smooth coat of mud across the wall to be textured
  • Stomp the pattern to the wall using a rosebud style soft bristle brush
  • Thinner mud helps smooth out the texture for a consistent coverage

5. Stomp knockdown or French lace

  • Lightly sand and prime the walls before applying texture
  • Use a topping compound or thin regular joint compound
  • Apply a thin layer of mud across the surface
  • Keep the amount of mud consistent across the surface
  • Stomp the pattern into the wet mud with a still brush or crow’s foot brush
  • Allow mud to partially set and smooth the texture with a wide knife

Tips for perfect textures

  • Several textures require a 18-inch wide knife, narrow knives will not work as well
  • Prime the walls before applying textures
  • Practice texturing on scraps of drywall or plywood to become proficient
  • Use all-purpose mud or topping compound for texturing
  • Avoid lightweight mud for texturing

Texturing is messy; lay down tarps before beginning the project

Last Updated: March 29, 2013
AAA Print

About Bill Washburn William "Bill" Washburn has a BA in advertising from the Art Center College of Design and has taught at the University of Southern California and Northrup University. Writing from a well-connected studio in the rural foothills of the west coast, he is a frequent speaker at local art associations and has published numerous articles discussing periods of art history and the fundamentals of drawing and painting. William is a master gardener who grows his own culinary herbs, organic heirloom vegetables and a variety of fruits. He writes frequently about his gardening experiences on his website Pioneer Dad. He is an accomplished advertising writer, fine art painter, and art director with more than 20 years' experience. 

Note: The information provided on this site may be provided by third parties. The owners and operators of this site do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, and compliance of the content on this site. Such content is not and shall not be deemed tax, legal, financial, or other advice, and we encourage you to confirm the accuracy of the content. Use is at your own risk, and use of this site shall be deemed acceptance of the above.