How To Texture Drywall With A Roller & Mud

How To Texture Drywall With A Roller & Mud

How Does Wall Texture Work?

Wall texture is a substance that is thicker than paint but thinner than a straight drywall compound. Texture applied to walls and ceilings creates small shadows due to the bumps and depressions. While these shadows tend to disappear in direct light, they lengthen as the light source moves at a sharper angle to the wall. This darkens the overall shade of the surface, thus slightly darkening the wall.

This darkening effect does a superb job of hiding surface imperfections. If your drywall has visible seams, bulges, depressions, or other imperfections, wall texture can go a long way toward hiding them. This is one reason why ceilings are so often texturized: Because ceilings receive the most light, it is very hard to hide their imperfections. 


How smooth does drywall need to be before texturing?

Once the compound is completely dry, it is ready for sanding. The purpose of sanding is to smooth the surface completely in preparation for texturing. Use a long-handled hand pole-sander with an 80- or 120-grit sandpaper specifically designed for sanding drywall when completing the job by hand.

Lace Drywall Texture

A lace drywall texture is essentially a non-sand, spray knockdown. The end result is a multi-layered pattern that has a look reminiscent of old-fashioned lace. Often called Spanish Lace (after classic Spanish lace used in the fan shown here), this technique results in a texture similar to stucco surfaces, and is frequently seen in homes with stucco exteriors. If you have textured drywall you want to match, here’s a walkthrough of how to mimic the texture on your ceiling or walls.

Can you texture a wall with just paint?

You can create a faux texture finish with just a paint sponge if you want the appearance of texture without adding a layer of joint compound to your walls. This is the easiest way to add texture to your walls, since it requires very few materials and no previous painting experience.

Drywall Mud Stomp-Knockdown Pattern

What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need

  • Foot stomp brush
  • Trowel or wide putty knife
  • Joint taping compound
  • Knife or paint scraper

What To Do

  1. Use the trowel to spread the mixture onto the wall.
  2. Smack the foot stomp brush into the wall continuously, making a pattern across the desired space.
  3. Use a knife or paint scraper to eliminate any unwanted points, creating a smoother surface. Keep the putty knife at a 15-degree angle and avoid exerting too much pressure. That will help make sure you do not smooth out the finish too much.
  4. Apply the compound lightly in the corners and around edges. In this case, less is better.

Stomp Brush Drywall Texture

An older technique that’s a lot of fun to apply, the stomp brush technique involves dunking a large brush in a bucket of drywall mud, pressing it against the ceiling, then sharply pulling it back down to create a distinctive, ridged texture. Also called “slap brush” texture, the application tends to be somewhat random, as the point is to create a replicable surface in case of repair. That said, it’s not too unusual to see orderly stomps placed across the ceiling in set distances.

It’s very rare to see stomped walls, as the ridges are jagged and can easily catch the clothing of passersby, and would quickly be knocked flat.

Just as when you paint, it’s important to protect your home before you start applying a stomp texture.

Preparing the Compound

Before creating any knockdown texture, you’ll want to make sure you tape off the area to be finished and have sanded down the walls.

Here’s how to prepare the compound:

  1. Add Water to the Bucket. You definitely want to put water in the bucket first and not the compound; that way you don’t get clumps or hard spots when you add the powder to the water.
  1. Add Mud or Compound. Pour the proper amount of water in a second bucket. Standard, all-purpose joint compound will work best for this project. You can use either dry compound or ready-mix compound. Avoid compounds that contain sand or grit (unless you want a unique look). Plain mud works best for this type of texture. You should also avoid lightweight compounds. These formulas scratch more easily and may not accept the texturing as well as all-purpose compounds do.
  1. Mix to the Consistency You Want. For knockdown texture, never use mix that contains aggregate. Continue to add water and powder until you have a bit more mix than you think you’ll need. Better to waste some mud than to run out before you’re done. Set the mixture aside for about 15 minutes to allow for complete water absorption. You don’t want the mix thickening in the hopper. You must be able to spray the mixture with the hopper gun, so it should be about the consistency of pancake batter or thick paint.

Apply joint compound to wall

Work in small sections at a time. The mud is watered down so it will dry fairly quickly and you have to apply it to the wall and then skim it smooth. I generally work in 4’x4′ sections. Depending on the temperature and humidity of the room you’re working in, you may be able to do larger sections.

Using a thick nap paint roller, apply a generous amount of mud to the wall.  Using a roller allows you to get more compound on the wall faster than if you were scooping it out with a taping knife. You can pour joint compound into a roller tray or dip the roller directly into the 5 gallon bucket. 

I generally prefer the bucket method because it’s faster but it is also messier because the excess mud drips off the roller as you pull it out of the bucket.


Add enough water to make the mud more like pudding if you plan to spray a texture with a handheld sprayer. The mud should be pourable, but still stiff enough to form small clumps on the wall.

Gather your supplies

  • all purpose joint compound
  • Paint tray or 5 gallon bucket
  • mixing attachment for your drill
  • thick nap paint roller
  • spray bottle with water to thin you joint compound
  • wet rag
  • Magic Trowel
  • drop cloth (cover your floors)
  • drywall sander

If you’re doing a small room where you’ll only need one bucket, I’d choose a ready mix joint compound.  It costs about $15 for a 5 gallon bucket. So for $15 you get the mud and a bucket.

Dry joint compound is much cheaper.  You can get about 4 times the coverage with dry mix mud. If you’re doing a LOT of skim coating, dry is probably a cost effective option.  You still need the 5 gallon bucket which runs about $4-5.

6 Styles and Methods for Texturing Walls

Textured walls can enhance any interior aesthetic in your home. Learn about the different types of wall texture to help you choose the right look for your next DIY project.

  1. Comb texture: One of the simpler techniques of texturing is comb texture. You apply the drywall compound with a roller to the wall surface and then finish it with the “teeth'' end of a notched trowel. The trowel can have either evenly spaced or unevenly spaced teeth, depending on what pattern you prefer. The end product creates a visual effect of sweeping circular rainbow patterns.
  2. Knockdown texture: The knockdown texture technique is almost identical to the orange peel method, but with one final step. Before the drywall mud has dried and hardened, you use a drywall knife or putty knife to smooth out the orange peel peaks until you achieve a stucco-like finish.
  3. Orange peel texture: Similar to a popcorn texture, the orange peel texture uses a texture sprayer to create a consistent, bumpy finish to your orange peel wall. Mix the joint compound until you have a thin, pancake batter consistency, with the resulting bumps being somewhat smooth.
  4. Popcorn texture: Popular in 1970s-constructed living rooms and dining rooms, popcorn texturing is one of the most useful methods for covering imperfections and dampening sound between rooms or floors. The technique requires a hopper gun, air compressor, and the popcorn mixture itself, which you mix with water. If you plan to create a popcorn ceiling, be sure to cover your floors and walls because this method can get messy. The resulting look should slightly resemble an even, thin layer of cottage cheese.
  5. Sand swirl texture: The pattern of the sand swirl technique creates concentric overlapping swirls, similar to those resulting from a combing technique. However, the tools and materials for a sand swirl texture create a much more subtle and understated texture. Sand swirl uses a primer and a sand mixture called perlite that you apply using a paint tray and a paintbrush.
  6. Slap brush texture: You typically apply a slap brush texture in small sections, using a paint roller, a thinly mixed drywall compound, and a double crow’s feet texture brush. The slap brush method uses the crow’s foot brush to splatter the wet mud in random and haphazard patterns. After twenty-four hours, the texture wall should be ready for priming and painting.

Final Wording

Here you came to know that “how to texture drywall with a roller”. Now you can make your home more beautiful by applying texture to your drywall. 

Hope this post “how to texture drywall with a roller” will help you in the right direction. If you have any questions, suggestions or tips then type them in the comment section. We welcome your tips, questions, and suggestions.

Keep Learning Because Life Never Stops Teaching

Things You’ll Need

  • Plastic drop cloths
  • Stickpins
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Texture paint in sand, popcorn or Venetian plaster consistencies
  • Small whisk broom or stipple brush
  • Hair comb
  • Window squeegee
  • Trowel
  • Drywall knives
  • Paint roller or double paint roller
  • Metal spatula
  • Wood grain tool

Paint Texture

If drywall mud is not what you’re looking for, consider using textured paint, which is offered by most major paint manufacturers.  Textured paint is applied similarly to drywall mud. You can use a standard roller and paint brush for corners and edges. You also usually only need two coats, making the application that much more desirable.

However, it is difficult to remove so be careful when you apply it. It dries faster than drywall mud, so you should cover the entire surface before the coat dries or you’ll get lines in between roller strokes. There are not very many color options at this time for textured paint. But, you can go another route by purchasing a paint texture additive and mixing it with any color of paint you choose.

No matter which process you choose, remember to apply the texture in a random pattern. If you focus too much on making everything look uniform, it won’t look as professional. Luckily, random is easier to do, so have fun and enjoy the process.

Knocking Down the Compound

knifeWhen knocking down the compound, you’ll definitely want to use a flexible blade. Without flexibility, the chances of scoring the texture are greater. Make sure you don’t let the mixture set for too long on the wall. It’s a good idea to keep a damp cloth with you so you can wipe your blade clean after knocking down a section of raised mud. You’ll want to leave the knife a little wet, so it glides over the next textured area smoothly. Once the edges and peaks have been knocked down and the mud has had a chance to firm up (but not set), use a long handled curved drywall knife to lightly smooth out the tops of the ridges and create the low profile “knocked-down” look.

PRO TIP #2: It takes practice and experience to know exactly how long to wait before knocking down the texture. If you do it too soon, the texture will be runny and simply smear. If you wait too long, small dried out pieces of mud will drag across the surface creating unsightly lines.

Depending on the temperature and humidity levels in your house, it can take anywhere from five to ten minutes for the compound to set to the desired rigidity. This can cause problems because the longer it takes the material to dry, the more vulnerable it is to failure, mold growth, cracking, and more.


Start using the stomper or drill mixer when the mud becomes stiff and hard to mix with the stick. If you’re planning to roll or spray the texture, it probably won’t get this stiff, and you can continue mixing with the stick until it has the consistency you need.

Things You Will Need

  • Pre-mixed joint compound

  • 5-gallon bucket

  • Stomper

  • Drill

  • Paint mixing attachment

  • Measuring cup

  • Powdered joint compound

  • Wooden stir stick

Tip Mix the texture in a bucket with a lid, and keep the lid on when you aren’t using the texture. If the texture dries out, hard specks in the mixture can make it more difficult to apply. Cover the floor around the mixing bucket with plastic to catch splatters.


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