Drywall Texture - A Long Term Investment
Drywall texture is a compound that is rolled, sprayed, or troweled onto the sheetrock after the taping and floating of joints is complete. It is the same material as the joint compound, but thinned down with water and applied to the wall surface. There is a lot of variation in styles of texture, and some are more appropriate for certain styles of homes. Here are seven basic types:
Skip Trowel - For this style, texture is applied to the walls with a trowel. Trowel marks may be left on the surface to give a rustic, hand crafted look. It is often seen on Tuscan or old world style homes.
Stamped - The texture may be troweled on first, and then stamped with a tool. The result can be anything - leaves, bird's feet, windmills, etc. Or, a flat brush may be dipped in the texture and stomped on the walls, creating a texture with swirl patterns.
Knock down - Texture is first sprayed on, and allowed to partly dry. Then, a variety of tools may be used to scrape the texture and flatten it down. It is possible to use trowels, sponges, brooms or other tools to scrape or smooth down the texture and create patterns. Monterrey Drag is a type of knock down that imitates an exterior plaster look. In this approach, a thick coating of texture is dragged over with a trowel. This style may be a dust catcher due to the high relief of the mud.
Orange Peel - This is a sprayed texture that leaves a light to heavy splatter on the walls. It resembles the peel of an orange. If done with a fine spray, it can be one of the lightest, least noticeable of the texture styles.
Sand - Sand can added to the texture for a grainy, sandy look. The sandy texture may be sprayed or rolled on. Sand may also be added to paint.
Acoustic - In the 1970's it was common to save the labor cost of floating the ceiling by spraying a heavy texture over the area. This is sometimes referred to as a popcorn ceiling. This style is not in favor today, and frequently homeowners grapple with removal of this heavy texture. This should be done carefully, since some acoustic textures may contain lead or asbestos. Certainly, if these toxic chemical are found, the job should be turned over to professionals. After the texture is removed, the ceiling will need to be re-textured to match the walls.
Smooth - This is a smooth application of texture over the sheetrock wall. It feathers out the sheetrock joints, and creates an even, non-textured wall. This is one of the most expensive and exacting styles. Minor variations will show up as defects, so several stages of sanding and application are needed to create a good job.
Regardless of the wall finish you use, keep in mind that flat paint tends to hide defects and minimize patterns. It gives a matt finish with less emphasis on the wall texture. Reflective paint enhances textures because the light catches the raised surfaces.
Before having wall texture done by professionals, ask to see a sample. The workman's idea of light texture may not be what you had in mind. This is an area where miscommunication often happens. Texture covers a lot of area, and is difficult to remove if you are not happy with the job. Treat it as a long term investment.
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