Drywall Finishes

Everything About Drywall Finishes and Textures

After you buy drywall and install it, you may want to finish it to give it a nice, decorative appearance. For some people, the perfect, smooth surface of a drywall installation isn’t enough; a finish will make it look a lot more appealing.

Unless your drywall supplier also took the time to install it for you, it probably doesn’t have a perfectly smooth surface anyway.

How do you know what kind of finish would be ideal for your project? Here are some things you need to know:

Drywall Texture

Finishes Don’t Work Everywhere

First, you need to keep in mind that not all finishes are going to work everywhere. There usually isn’t much of a finish used in workshops or garages (Level 1). Many homeowners don’t see the point in mudding or sanding a space that is hardly ever seen. On the other hand, if you are a perfectionist and want your garage to look great, you might want to apply a couple of coats of joint compound to the screws and tape, as well as sand.

Levels of Finishes

Learn the “levels “of finishes. There are essentially five levels, with the first consisting of joint tape being embedded in the joint compound. The second layer is a thin coat of joint compound placed over the tape; the third is a coat of joint compound applied to the screws and tape; the fourth is an additional coat of joint compound followed by sanding, and the fifth is skim coat.

Richly Textured Ceilings

Richly textured ceilings are popular in many homes. In the 1980s and early 90s, contractors loved spraying on textures with the “Popcorn”, “Orange Peel, or “Splatter Knockdown” techniques. These techniques are going out of style, however. Today’s homeowners are going for “sheen” textures, like the “Slapbrush” or “Comb” texture.

Simulate A Stucco Finish

A simple way to add texture to the walls is to simulate a stucco finish. This method is fairly simple for beginners. Just add joint compound or taping to the wall with a wide compound knife or trowel. Then, dab a sponge into the compound mixture, and then press it against the wall repeatedly. You can dab on additional compound if you feel it’s necessary. Let the walls dry and then paint.

Rent A Drywall Texture Sprayer Or Hire a Professional

If you are working on a very large wall or multiple walls throughout the house, you might want to consider either renting a drywall texture sprayer or hiring a professional to do the job for you. A sprayer is powered by compressed air and features a nozzle. The texture it creates depends on variables such as the size of the nozzle, amount of air, and type of compound used. If you don’t like the texture it creates, you can easily sponge it off and try again.

Additional Texture Styles

Some more textures and patterns you might want to ask your drywall supplier about include:

  • Skip Trowel
  • Full Metal Hand Trowel
  • Wood Hand Trowel
  • Heavy Monterrey
  • Tight Pattern Monterrey
  • Medium Monterrey
  • Stipple
  • Crow’s Foot
  • Swirl

When you make the decision to buy drywall, think carefully of what kind of finish would look best for your project.