Interior Paints: Textures
Painting walls and ceilings different colors can give any room in the house a different look. But, for something truly unique, you may want to consider adding some texture. Texturing a wall not only enhances its aesthetic value, it is also easy to do yourself and can be a lot of fun. There are nearly unlimited ways to enhance a wall or ceiling with texture, so it’s really just a matter of what kind of look you want, how much time you have to spend on the project and how creative you feel like being. Use the following questions to learn more about the ways in which you can texture walls and ceilings and the materials you’ll need to do it properly:
• Do you plan to add texture to a wall or ceiling?
• What types of special paints are available?
• What tools will you need for your project?
• What materials can be used to create a unique finish?
Paints, Faux Finishes and Application
In addition to enhancing the look of a room, texturing can also be used for acoustic purposes. A popcorn ceiling can be used to dampen sound, which may be an important consideration if there’s a bedroom located above the room you’re painting. It can also cover up stains, poorly taped drywall and other imperfections or damaged sections. There are a number of special paints designed to facilitate texturing, but you can also use regular latex paints and household products like sponges and rags to add flair and style to a wall. The texture and designs you use can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be, and making that determination will help dictate what tools you’ll need to get the job done.
Texture Paints: Texture grades range from very fine to coarse. While many texture paints can be used on both walls and ceilings, some are designed specifically for one or the other. Ceiling texture paint is used to create texture on drywall, plastered ceilings and acoustic tiles. Sand texture paint features an extra-heavy bodied finish that can be used to add a gritty texture to both walls and ceilings. Smooth texture paint is slightly lighter and offers a more subtle effect. Texture paint may be premixed or come in powdered form, in which case you can add in powder until you achieve the consistency you’re looking for. Knockdown texture is tough and durable and can be painted over with virtually any color. Popcorn texture is very heavy and effectively deadens sound. Eggshell and satin finishes can be used to show the depth of texturing.
• Make sure paint is designated for use on a given area before painting
• Smooth texture paint has a heavy-bodied finish and can be used on walls and ceilings
• Premixed texture paint is ideal for stippling or creating shallow swirls
• Powdered texture is best for heavy-duty texturing jobs
• Texture additives may be mixed into most oil-based and latex paints
• Spray texture paint is economical and makes applying texture to ceilings much easier
• Touchup spray is available for repairing acoustic or popcorn ceilings
• Joint compound can be used to create knockdown ceiling texture
• Paints, glazes and faux finishes can be used to imitate natural marble, granite and wood
Faux Finishes: Not only is texturing an easy way to change the appearance of a room, it’s also an economical one, since you can use ordinary everyday objects to create a wide range of textures and designs. In addition to actually creating textures, you can also provide walls with faux finishes, which are used to give the appearance of texture. Faux finishes can be applied to drywall, plaster and wood walls. Generally speaking, adding a faux finish involves applying a base coat on top of which one or more accent colors are added through the use of a sponge, paper, comb or other object. Latex and alkyd-based paints can both be used for applying accent colors, and glazes can be used as well. The chart below details some of the more commonly used ways to create a faux finish.
Points to Consider
|Combing||Once paint has been applied, use a comb to create various patterns.||• May be used for a variety of patterns,
including straight and wavy lines or
• Other patterns include zigzags and
|Rag Rolling||Similar to sponge finishes, rag finishes involve dipping a rag into accent paint, wringing out the excess, wadding it into a ball and then rolling it along a wall.||• Change directions as you roll rags
around the wall to create a more
• Go over areas a couple of times to
ensure even coverage
• Can be used with regular or textured
• Cheesecloth, lace, linen and burlap can
be used for different effects
|Smooshing||Apply glaze to a wall and then place a plastic sheet against the wall before it dries. Remove the sheet to create a marbled pattern.||• Smooth, rub or wrinkle the plastic with
your hand before removing from the
wall to create different patterns
|Sponging||Sponges are soaked in paint and then dabbed against walls or ceilings to create a random, textured pattern.||• Use sea sponges to create irregular,
more natural patterns
• Synthetic sponges tend to create
uniform, rectangular patterns
• Use more than one color to create a
• Cut a sponge into narrow strips to paint
• Twist the sponge left and right to create
• Can be used with regular or textured
Application: Prior to applying any kind of texture or faux finish, it’s always a good idea to practice your techniques. Use a piece of board that approximates the material of your wall or ceiling or, if you don’t have one handy, start with a section of wall inside a seldom-used closet. This will allow you to practice with the paint until you’ve gotten the right mixture or figured out the best angle for application that will give you the look you want. Existing texture will need to be stripped off prior to applying new texture. If you have a popcorn ceiling that was sprayed on many years ago, you may need to have it tested for asbestos prior to removing it.
• Rollers are handy for covering large areas while brushes will help with tight corners
• Sponges, rags, combs, brooms, putty knives, trowels and more can be used for texturing
• Rent a sprayer and purchase a knockdown knife to apply knockdown texture
• It may be necessary to prime a wall or ceiling prior to texturing depending on what kind of paint you plan
• Keep plenty of tarps, drop cloths and masking tape handy to prevent paint from getting where you don’t
want it to go
• Always consult a professional to remove asbestos from your ceiling
Spray Gun: If you decide to apply a spray texture, you’ll probably need to rent a spray gun. These units will make it easy to cover large sections of walls or ceilings quickly, helping you obtain high-quality results efficiently.
Stencil/Stencil Roller: Another way to create a faux finish is by stenciling. Tape stencils to the wall, paint over them and then remove them. You can also find a stencil roller, which can be dipped in paint and then rolled across the wall to create a pattern.
Woodgraining: This process gives walls the look of wood. After a base coat of glaze is applied, a woodgraining tool is used to complete the process.
Masking Machine: If you plan to do a lot of painting, consider purchasing a masking machine. This device applies masking paper and tape quickly, saving you time and effort so you can get started painting and texturing faster.