How do I Texture a Wall?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 26 December 2018
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There are many different ways to texture a wall with a few tools and materials such as paint and drywall joint compound. The main thing to remember is to be creative and experimental rather than trying to be perfect; imperfections in wall texture techniques usually only serve to add more character. Experimenting with different techniques on scraps of cardboard or drywall before deciding on the result you want can he helpful in successfully adding texture to your walls.

Drywall joint compound can be purchased at many home improvement stores. Different varieties of compound allow you to choose between pre-mixed and add-water types to texture a wall. Pre-mixed joint compound is often more expensive, but it will save you the step of stirring in water when you want to texture a wall to look like rock or stone. You'll also need a drywall beater or masher to blend in the water sufficiently. If you choose to add your own water to the drywall joint compound powder, doing this gradually to get the consistency you want is the best method.


Starting the night before the day you want to spend texturing a wall is necessary if you're choosing the add-water method. After mixing it well that night, you should again stir it the next morning. Quartz sand may be added at this point, but depending on the tools you use to apply the drywall mixture to the wall, streaking may occur. Use a tool such as a plaster trowel or sponge to work a small portion of the compound mixture with added quartz sand onto a scrap of cardboard or drywall to give you an idea of how it will look on the wall. Use different movements with a texture tool such as a broom, brush, trowel or sponge to help you to create a range of possible looks for your wall.

When you've picked your favorite texture technique, begin in the center of the wall and work outward, upward and downward, trying to keep as consistent of a look as possible. Some people prefer to start high up in one corner and work down the wall. The method that will help you achieve a consistent pattern is going to be best when you texture a wall. If you don't care for the color of the drywall joint compound on its own, painting over it with a primer, then latex, usually works well. To further the textured appearance, use rags or a sponge as well as light, medium and dark versions of a stone-like color such as brown or gray to bring out the texture.


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