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Textured Walls and Textured Paint—Everything to Know

Textured Walls and Textured Paint—Everything to Know

In a recent article about home design unique to Texas, the topic of textured walls came up. This is seen in Texas homes in a BIG way, and yet it’s news to some native Texans that it’s not as popular in the rest of the country!!

You will, of course, see textured walls in other states…it’s just a bigger deal in Texas, and in every type of interior style.

Homes throughout the rest of the country tend to have flat, blank walls. Minimalist interior design has promoted this for years, along with its great big mono-color stretches of wall.  

Texturing a wall, though, can be its own kind of accent…and some of us REALLY need more texture in our lives!

Most textured walls were originally chosen by builders because—frankly—they were the economical option for a long time. Texturing could help hide architectural errors and flaws in the drywall…it was also highly durable.

With a design eye and with texture coming back in ALL design selections in the 2020s, textured walls are getting the fresh look they deserve. Textured walls are being incorporated everywhere in luxury design with a more deliberate take on which textures to add where.

There are SO many textures to choose from…here’s what you need to know to get started!


Types of Textured Walls

In some cases, a textured wall has its texture sprayed on. Sometimes, it’s mixed in with paint. Other times, a pattern is added with a soft brush or another tool like a comb, rag or sponge that’s applied directly to the drywall or the paint.

All textures and patterns have names, and most can be applied directly to the wall or to the paint. Here are some of the techniques used right on the drywall…

  • Orange peel (also called “splatter” or “eggshell”) is a wall texture that looks a LOT like the skin of an orange. Go figure! It’s subtle, but it still does a good job of hiding imperfections. Its subtlety helps it mix well with most interior design styles… (If you don’t know your interior design style, take our interior design style quiz.)
  • Knockdown is a discernibly rustic style not unlike a classic stucco or skip trowel. Its elegance is casual, the sort of thing you see a LOT in Texas and the Southwest…and in the Mediterranean, if that tells you anything!!
  • Popcorn (also known as “acoustic”) is one you can probably already visualize…it’s WIDELY used to finish ceilings as well as walls, and it’s easy to install…it also has great noise dampening qualities…but that isn’t enough for most people to tolerate the dated, commercial look.


Adding Texture to Paint

Then, of course, texture can be added to walls by mixing directly into the paint OR it can be added with the painting technique and application! (Textured paint can also be applied using a compound knife or a roller, as well as different kinds of sponges or trowels.)

For example…

  • Slab brush texture uses a “crow’s foot” or “panda paw” brush. This texture looks SUPER distinctive, which makes it better at hiding imperfections and more of an accent when used in spaces where you entertain.
  • Sand texture paint is a simple technique of mixing sand-like additives into your paint, and is available in fine, medium and coarse grain sizes.
  • Or, just use a flat plaster paddle! Apply wall paint with one of these and you’ll add real “oomph” as an accent in any space…just be aware that this texture will collect dust faster and be harder to smooth out if you choose to at a later time.

Where to Use It

Opt for textured walls or texturing paint on any wall or ceiling, but first think about the upkeep! For example, an accent wall would be great in the living room…but if your space gets a lot of foot traffic, then be sure you select a texture that’s easy to clean.

Spaces with the most foot traffic like hallways (or any rooms where animals normally hang out) are usually spaces you should NOT apply textured walls to.

An in-home office, though…or the bedrooms…the options are endless if you select the right texture for the look and feel you’re going for!! Just imagine what adding a little “visual interest” to your home office could do!

If you still aren’t sure about adding an actual texture to a wall, since it IS a to-do to smooth it out later if you choose to, play with mirrors in spaces instead. Or…maybe play with the patterns you hang photos and artwork in.


Installing and Repairing Textured Walls

Properly textured walls have an added layer to what would normally be a smooth layer of paint…which means that textured walls are more durable, and don’t need to be refreshed often at all. They DO, however, require cleaning!

Some textures are particularly good at catching dust…this means you’ll want to be prepared with paint-friendly cleaner and cloths.

Remember: texturing walls adds accent and depth. Smooth walls will be the norm for most of your home, but adding texture means you don’t ONLY rely on color anymore to improve the look or feel of a room. Dimensional work like choosing a new molding also bring HUGE benefits that enhance a space…

Repairing textured walls can be even trickier than cleaning them. A repair is not only a little more costly for a textured wall, but it also means that you might risk a small disruption to the original design if the same material isn’t available OR if you don’t hire the same professional to repair it. For that reason…plan ahead!! Vet the contractor you use, choose the right firm the first time…and ensure that a little extra material is purchased when you add the texture so you can use it when a repair does come up!

Have any pictures of textured walls in your home?! Please share with us on social!!

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