Why Are Walls Textured?


The texture is the general feel of a surface. It can be smooth like plastic or rough like sandpaper. Mostly, walls have a smooth texture and glossy or matte finish. Some designers, however, may decide to alter the walls’ texture in different ways. This usually results in walls that are rough to the touch.

Many reasons motivate homeowners and building owners to add texture to the walls in their houses. For example, textured walls can breathe some life into a room while adding an aspect of the owner’s unique personality.

This article contains information about the types of textures a wall can have, why people choose to have them on their walls, and some of their pros and cons.

Why do people texture their walls?

Here are some of the reasons people decide to get textured walls for their units:

1. Give the house a complete look

In many households, the walls have a texture. Although they are not usually similar in each household, they are present in a majority and this means most people associate a house wall with texture.

If a house has textured walls, it will look finished and appeal to the owner more. Also, this finished look is applied when an older home is remodeled into a modern house and in the final stages of the construction of a new house. It is also used as a method to show that the walls can be painted.

2. They cover flaws

When walls are built, large sheets of the material sheet-rock are used. These sheets are then screwed into the studs that maintain the house’s structure. After this process, there are seams left in between the sheets that need to be sealed. 

If this process is done perfectly, the result is seams that are smooth and flawless before any finishes are made. However, this is a difficult thing to achieve. That is where wall textures come in handy. After texturing a wall and painting it, the flaws from the sheetrock installation will be old news.

With time, walls experience wear and tear just like clothes. Textured walls will conceal this flaw with subtlety. 

3. Choosing an aesthetic

Everyone has their unique idea of how their dream house looks and this usually matches a certain aesthetic. To ensure a certain aesthetic idea is amplified in your house, you can use textured walls.

They also give the house more dimension because the light unevenly hits different parts of the walls, helping you add some spontaneity and personality to your space.

4. Durability

Textured walls also give you long years of good service. Compared to smooth walls, these have a higher resistance to wear and tear. This is the gradual wearing out of a wall’s paint job over the years.

Categories of textures

Textures can be implemented using textured paint on drywall.

Textured paint has a heavy consistency and it has some grains, usually made out of sand or gypsum. These paints are thick and can cover defects on the wall just as well. 

Drywall textures can be applied on both ceilings and walls. Textures used on walls maintain a subtle profile because they are closer to the eyes. This makes it easier to see even minute variations in heights on the wall and ensures that the texture on the wall does not divert attention from the rest of the room’s design.

These low-profile wall textures are also easier to clean since they do not accumulate a lot of dirt compared to the heavier textures used in ceilings.

Ceiling textures are thicker since they are farther from the eye. Heavier textures are better when the ceilings are higher and if there is a lot of light entering the windows, you should have lighter textures.

For now, we will focus on drywall textures that are applied to walls. There are two ways that this can be done:

1. Hand-applied drywall textures

As the name suggests, these are the ones that are formed if the technique is done by hand by a painter. The painter uses a special set of tools and brushed to achieve unique texturing designs.

Here are some of the hand-applied drywall textures explained in detail:

A. Comb texture

This is achieved by making lines of different shapes and widths in the drywall. This is achieved using a roller and a drywall trowel. Using the roller, the drywall is applied to the wall and then the teeth of the trowel are used to make lines and concentric circles on it.

Let your work dry for a whole day before you prime and paint it.

B. Slap brush

This texture results in a pattern of thin lines on the wall. To do this, you will only need 2 tools, a roller, and a brush called a slap brush. Apply the drywall compound on two sections, each 5 feet long.

Once that is through, you can coat the slap brush in the drywall on its sides. Use this brush to slap the wall without criteria. As you alternate between slaps, you should twist the angle of the brush for some randomness.

9901/8801 8 in. Stipple Brush
  • Creates custom pattern in paint or texture for professional finish on ceilings.

C. Skip trowel texture

This is an umbrella term for several hand-applied textures. The original skip trowel texture uses an 18-inch-long curved knife. This knife is set at an angle concerning the surface and this angle causes the thin drywall mix to skip on the surface. This leads to a wall with tiny circles of drywall. 

2. Sprayer-applied drywall textures

These are textures that are made when an air sprayer is used to create a design. One of the perks of these is that the designs are affordable and easy to apply so you can always do it yourself instead of seeking a professional. 

Different designs will appear differently depending on the air pressure, the type of nozzle on the gun, and the material being sprayed on.

Here are some well-known sprayer-applied textures:

A. splatter knockdown texture

This textured style is also called the spray-knockdown texture. In this method, the drywall is spread across the walls of the room. Once the drywall is allowed to set for a little while, a large flat knife is used to smooth the surface to create a knockdown effect.

B. Orange peel texture

This texture got its name because it looks like an orange peel. It is very effective when it comes to hiding flaws in the wall. Additionally, it is easy to clean and very durable. To achieve this texture, the drywall compound is mixed to a thick consistency like that of paint.

Note that the wall should be primed before you do this so that the drywall texture is attached to a clean and smooth surface. The mix is sprayed onto the wall using a hopper gun in both light and heavy splatters while paying attention not to conceal the drywall base. You should do some practice runs on a test piece to regulate the air valve so that you get the design you want.

As soon as you are satisfied with your trials, start working on the walls and allow them to dry for a day before you prime and paint them.

C. Popcorn texture

This texture is preferred because it has noise-canceling features, it is affordable, and it does a very good job at concealing flaws in the walls. To create a popcorn-textured wall, you need the popcorn texture itself. This is usually a mixture made out of polystyrene and drywall mud. The popcorn texture is mixed with water as per its manufacturer’s requirements.

This technique will also need to have your walls primed early. When it is time to spray the walls, cover the parts you don’t want to get spray on and apply the texture. Once it is dry, you can paint it.

Cons of having textured walls

Although textured walls serve multiple purposes, they have a couple of disadvantages:

  • Sometimes, they make a house have an ancient feel. Textures like popcorn were available in the 70s and seeing them in a house or an office now would make them feel old.
  • They are hard to get rid of. It is difficult to transform the walls back to a smooth texture whether you are just bored or your lease is up. If you do it yourself, there is always the risk of ruining the remaining surface. You might need to hire a painter to assist you.
  • Compared to smooth-textured walls, the textured walls have more small spaces where they can collect dust. This makes them harder to clean because the particles get in between small spaces.
  • Having textured walls may affect the value of the house/apartment. Many people know that getting rid of textured walls is a difficult task that costs a fortune. This makes potential tenants shy away from renting the unit and some might even ask for a salary allowance.

Final thoughts

The texture on the wall is a bold and personal way to spruce up the rooms of your house. I hope that this article has given you some information on how to make textured walls work for your space just as well as normal walls do.

Last update on 2021-08-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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