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Switch from Textured Walls to Flat Walls

Switch from Textured Walls to Flat Walls

Today’s topic is textured walls. These are especially popular in Texas, so it’s worth a nod to all those homeowners near our North Texas office!!

READ: The main reason why textured walls are selected is because they are faster and easier to put up. (Faster means cheaper, too.) Textured walls hide imperfections, and painting them is as easy as a “blow and go” job.

(That doesn’t sound very high-end, does it?)

Texas is sixth in the list of states that are building the most new homes. It’s been like that for several years, too. Why? We have more space to build here…our population is growing…and, in the interest of speed, more homes are given textured walls. (You could argue that the popular “rustic” and “Tuscan” looks in Texas are another reason why textured walls are popular here, and maybe that’s a factor for some buyers. But it’s still a question of cost, ease, and speed for builders.)

Should you LIKE textured walls, though? What if you don’t?! What if you secretly hate popcorn texture anywhere you see it, and fantasize about smooth walls in your home?…

Keep reading to learn what you need to know about textured walls in your home…


Types of textured walls

Textured walls are considered fairly traditional if we point to textures like plaster and stucco. Imagine homes from the first half of the 20th century…stucco was definitely a thing!

Then, if you’re old enough, you can think back to the 1970s. Popcorn ceilings and walls were suddenly EVERYWHERE. The look was considered modern at the time, but it got stuck in that decade and today looks as old as it is.

There are other types of textured walls, of course, and knowing which are the most common in homes gives you context for the questions you have to ask yourself next…


Popcorn texture walls

Popcorn texture is most often used on ceilings, but you’ll also see it on walls. Sometimes called “acoustic,” this texture is made of countless tiny kernel-like drywall bumps.

…It’s kind of like your wall has goose bumps.

Popcorn ceilings started going up in the 1950s, but the popcorn texture had its heyday in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It’s super easy to put up with a spray of drywall…but SUPER hard to take down!



Orange peel texture walls

The orange peel wall texture really does resemble the skin of an orange. Walls are primed first and then splattered (instead of sprayed) with drywall. This “splatter” effect gives the wall an elevated texture, but it’s smoother than popcorn.


Slap brush texture walls

Slap brush is a kind of textured wall named for how it’s applied (rather than what it resembles, as with popcorn and orange peel).

…So, what do you do to make slap brush? You slap brushes against the wall to essentially “comb” on a random pattern of thin lines. It’s an eccentric look but one you’ll see a lot in Texas.


Knockdown texture walls

Knockdown texture starts with an orange peel “splatter” and then use a flat knife to squash any points. This is considered a more modern texture to play with and has even been called “Mediterranean” and “Spanish lace.”

At the end of the day, though, this is another type of textured wall that is VERY difficult to take down later. Textured walls are a commitment, so unless you’re in love with one of these designs, it’s a costly road to go down—when, most often, the incentive to put textured walls up at all was to cut costs!!


Why are textured walls a “thing” in the first place?!

You would THINK that when homeowners and contractors both want to “get a job done fast,” it would be for the same reason.

…In a perfect world, with a contractor who sees your home as more than an investment, then yes, you would both want projects done quickly so you could ENJOY your updated space as soon as possible.

If speed is the holy grail, though, it WILL impact most businesses’ thinking. Efficiency is critical so that your home is not disrupted longer than it has to be…speed is balanced, though, with quality and cost.

Which do you situate yourself closer to?…You can’t favor them all.


Why are people questioning textured walls NOW?

Lots of people have been sick of popcorn ceilings and textured walls for years. The look most luxury homes have today is that of flat and smooth—even lacquered—walls.

Why, though, is this question coming up now? When did we start talking about textured walls again?

Texture in general is back in interior design in a BIG way. Material mediums are being mixed in furniture, too…textures and traditional-inspired furniture pieces are FILLING showrooms…and breathtaking wallpapers are going up, some of them with tactile experiences!!

…Isn’t that the same thing as a textured wall?!

Well, no.

The huge selection of wallpaper right now is exciting to play with because your options for patterns, colors, and textures are ENDLESS. Wallpaper does not perform well, though, if pasted to textured walls.

Flat walls are generally popular now because they offer a modern look. These smooth surfaces are better equipped for the wallpapers, colorful accent walls, and lacquering effects that are going up in designer environments.

Smooth walls are also MUCH easier to clean, and don’t get as dirty in the first place. They’re also easier to repair because you don’t have to match an existing texture.

For modern and breathtaking looks in your home (with less maintenance and easier cleaning), it’s no wonder that textured walls have been “booed” off the stage.


TODAY’S TRENDS: Flat walls also mean…

Let’s look a little harder at wallpaper and lacquered walls.

The wallpaper options today are truly EXQUISITE. Some are detailed with beads…most come in at least half a dozen colors beautifully swirled together…they are bold and they are beautiful.

Lacquered walls, too, are a big investment but really do something extraordinary to a space. That shine!! The brilliance of lacquered walls expands and lightens a room. And the lasting look of opulence is the kind that drops jaws.


A special note on ceilings…

Ceilings tend to be trickier than walls when it comes to ditching textured finishes. On an expansive ceiling, especially in a well-lit room, the light will skate over a smooth surface and show EVERY imperfection.

That’s why it’s rare to see a ceiling painted flat.

What most of our clients elect in renovations we do at Signature Home Services is the lightest orange peel possible on ceiling surfaces. Making the extra effort to ensure that the texture is almost imperceivable keeps the modern look of the room.


How to ditch your textured walls

If you already have textured walls, taking that texture off will increase your investment in your next renovation.

READ: this will be an investment that shows on the bottom line, and also an investment in time.

Start the conversation with your interior designer or design-build contractor to understand how this decision will play out in your overall renovation. If you are antsy to get rid of those textured walls forever, choose the professional you work with wisely.

Can you imagine, for instance, how MESSY removing textured walls can be?! The amount of dust is truly astonishing. That’s why our team creates airtight seals around the work areas of clients’ homes, and why we install air movement systems to pick up all the dust and collect it outside the home.

These precautions make a HUGE difference in your comfort as textured walls go flat!!

What other questions would you have for your team? Let us know!!

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