Texturing Drywall in Your Garage

Texturing drywall is so easy, a 3 year old child can do it!

Ok, ok... seriously… I saw a YouTube video of a 3 year old having fun texturing drywall. Of course, to do a "good job" requires some knowledge and practice, but it's certainly not rocket science as demonstrated in the following video...

The point is… You can texture drywall in your garage. You don't have to be a professional, or even have any previous experience.

Don't stop yourself from giving it a try. Turn it into a family project and have fun with the mess. It won't take you very long to gain enough confidence to completely texture all of your garage drywall.

In addition to saving money in a true "do-it-yourself" fashion, you'll also obtain a nice sense of accomplishment in your garage which will keep you motivated to make it more and more useful for you and your family.

Tools for Texturing Drywall

Professionals who know how to texture drywall understand that it takes a lot of practice to get that "perfect" result every time. Some may even consider it an artform, and I would agree. Keep in mind that although there are certainly some common standards, the term "perfect" is very subjective and to each their own.

However, with just a few basic tools, you might be surprised what a nice job you can do in your garage with just a little bit of motivation and practice.

Rollers and Brushes

Basically, you can use the same rollers for texturing drywall that you would use for painting. You can experiment on a scrap piece of drywall with semi-smooth and semi-rough rollers. You simply roll on the mud like you would paint, but it's a lot thicker and requires more attention to apply it evenly for the texture you want.

Brushes you'd use for painting, on the other hand, won't be as useful for texturing. You want bigger brushes specifically those made for texturing drywall. Typically, these brushes have Tampico-style bristles.

Drywall Texture Gun

The Hopper Spray Gun is the most popular tool for texturing large areas of drywall. Simply put, the gun is made up of a container for the mud (the hopper) with an associated pneumatic spray nozzle that attaches to a compressor hose. Some are even sold with a compressor as a complete unit.

For smaller areas and re-texturing patches, a Mason Texture Gun (also called a patch gun) is a great choice. This hand-held gun is a lot like an old bicycle pump, where you manually compress air with a piston to create pressure, which then shoots out the drywall mud from an attached reservoir.

Mixers and Knockdown Knives

Electric mixers are nothing more than extra-long drill bits with fan-blade, boomerang, and paddle shapes on the ends. These are ideal for large projects. The best hand-powered mixer is the "mud masher" which is essentially a large potato masher with a long handle. Sure, some will disagree that it's the best, but I have had great success with small projects and the mud masher in the past.

Knockdown knives are critical in obtaining whichever texture you want on your garage drywall. Different types include curved blades for good leverage, trapezoid shaped for tight areas, and squeegees for removing lines from trowels and other knives. Typically, a 10-inch long knife will work fine for knockdown jobs

Methods of Texturing Drywall

Spraying, Rolling, Brushing, and Dobbing to name a few.

Knockdown Drywall Texture

With the exception of popcorn texture, most of the textured drywall I've ever seen was knocked-down to some degree. The important thing here is that the term "knockdown" itself always refers to knocking-down the peaks of the mud as it begins to harden. Knockdowns can be shallow or deep depending on the applied pressure, although the most common technique is to lightly skim the peaks at a very low angle (10 or 15 degrees) until the desried level is acheived.

Orange Peel

Orange peel is very common when it comes to texturing drywall. It requires a very shallow level of knockdown (sometimes no knockdown at all), and it looks great in any room which means it will look even better in your garage. Again, refer to the video above and YouTube in general for more video demonstrations of applying orange peel texture on your garage walls and/or ceiling.

Creative Texturing

Some of the more popular texturing patterns include sunburst, swirls, popcorn, shag, and shell. Personally, I wouldn't try any of these in my garage simply because it's a garage, not some formal room of the house. However, maybe one of these patterns would work out great for your garage theme. If so, none of them require more than the tools we've already discussed, and each style is certainly obtainable for a do-it-yourself homeowner.

Physics of Texturing Drywall

Fortunately, the science behind texturing drywall is very simple and easy to understand.

Add More Water for Finer Texture

For texturing, I have only used the pre-mixed joint compound you can get from your local hardware store. It may not need water added for regular mudding and taping, but you 'll need to mix in water for texturing. You want the mix to flow just like the consistency of pancake batter. Thicker means more texture, where thinner means less texture. This is where a scrap piece of drywall comes in handy for testing your mix. You won't need to add a ton of water. If you're working from a 1 gallon bucket, try adding and mixing just a few fluid ounces at a time until you get that pancake batter consistency. If you're working from a 5 gallon bucket, then mix in more water accordingly.

Let it set for at least 15 minutes

Before knocking down the sharp peaks with a knockdown knife, you need to let the mud set for a minimum of 15 minutes. This gives the mud a chance to adhere to the drywall just enough to maintain its base shape when you knockdown the peaks. On the other hand, don't let it set too long before knocking it down or else it will harden too much and you won't be able to achieve the texture effect you want.

Let it Dry

Give it 24 hours before you prime and paint it. If you're like me, you have little patience and you want to finish the project ASAP! However, as I've learned from experience, when you apply primer or paint on mud that isn't dry enough, it cracks and peels bigtime, which defeats the whole purpose of texturing drywall in the first place. Just do yourself a favor and let the mud dry for at least 24 hours... waiting even more time is better.

You can do it!

A few basic tools, a bucket of mud, and some drywall are all you need to get started right away.

Don't be afraid to give it a try. A little bit of practice and you'll find yourself finishing up your texturing project quickly. I thought about linking several YouTube videos to this page, but because there are so many good ones, I left it to just the one above. I recommend that you visit YouTube and do a search for "Texturing Drywall." You'll discover a wide variety of methods and instruction. Then, come back to home-garage-help.com for more information of course!

Texturing drywall is excellent food for feeding the "do-it-yourself" spirit. It's definitely a lot of work, but it's good messy fun… and very rewarding in the end.

Although hiring a professional will likely give you the best overall drywall texture appearance in your garage, you can still do it yourself with great results.

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