How to Texture Plaster Walls

Written by dale devries
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Texturing your plaster walls yourself can be fun and rewarding but it does take some arm strength and perseverance. There are so many ways to texture walls that deciding which texture you want will be almost as hard as the actual project. The best part is there is no wrong pattern to your texture. You can use just about anything as your texturing tool, it's all up to your style and what your imagination can come up with.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • vacuum
  • damp rag
  • texturing compound
  • finishing trowel
  • drywall knife
  • stippling brush
  • synthetic sponge
  • rags
  • airless sprayer
  • textured paint roller

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  1. 1

    Decide on texture and pattern you want. There are many types of texture compounds. You can use a pre-mixed compound or a powder that you can mix with water. You can also use multipurpose joint compound right out of the bucket or you can thin it down with water. There are also some great texture paint products if you want to do it all in one step. Next decide on the pattern you want so you know what tools to use. To get a knock down look you need a trowel, for a deep texture you will need a texture paint roller or a brush. Each texture requires it's own tool or tools. If you want to create a sand dune look, use a drywall knife. Put some of your compound on a piece of cardboard and try out different things if you don't know what you want.

  2. 2

    Clean your walls and repair any cracks. Plaster walls have a tendency to hang on to dust. Vacuum your walls with the brush attachment and then go over them with a damp rag. Fix any major cracks you have with joint compound, so your texture doesn't go into the crack and mess up your pattern. Let the compound dry.

  3. 3

    Prime your walls. If you're working with new plaster, use a paint primer and put a coat on the walls. Primer will make the job go quicker and easier. If you don't prime you will have to work a little faster as the water from the compound will soak into the wall making it dry faster. If you don't work fast enough you will get overlap lines.

  4. 4

    Apply your compound. Do an area that you can work on fast enough that your compound won't dry before you get to it. Then do the area next to it and blend it in to the first area. If your walls are in bad shape you may need to put a coat on the whole wall and then do a thinner second coat with your tool. Using the airless sprayer is a little trickier, to get it consistent. You may want to practice a little before you coat your whole wall. After spraying it on you can also go over it with a trowel to create the knock down look.

  5. 5

    Paint your walls. After your compound has dried completely you can paint it as you would any other wall. You will need a textured paint roller and a brush with a fine end to make sure you get into the textured area, but not leave paint that will drip.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't be afraid to experiment. You can do almost anything you can think of. Add colour tint to the water before mixing the compound or add sharp white quartz sand for a sand finish.
  • Keep looking back and make sure to keep your pattern consistent.
  • Depending on the size of your project, it can be time consuming. Make sure you schedule enough time to finish before moving on to something else.

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