How to texture paint walls

This article is about how to texture paint walls. Either we speak of interior walls or exterior walls, adding a textured paint finish can change dramatically the look of your house and make a huge difference for your comfort. Therefore, even if it’s not as simple as using a regular paint, painting your walls with texture paint will add character and uniqueness to your home. In order to add texture to your wall, you have two broad possibilities: on one hand you can use special paints, or you can create texture on your walls before applying the paint. In this article we will show you the first method: how to texture paint walls, using paint with small solids in it, that create the patterns.

On the market there are a lot of options and therefore of textures to choose from, starting with roman patterns up to modern designs. The textured paint with solids in it, is quite simple to apply: you only need a large straight metal float to spread the paint on the wall, and a trowel to create the patterns. It is important to study the samples before ordering the textured paint, as to find the one which fit best your needs and tastes.

If you don’t like the texture patterns, you have one option left: the stucco paint. This is a special paint, which is more thick and dense, allowing you to apply it on the walls, by using a trowel. If your choice is to use stucco-paint, the you can create infinite pattern and designs, the only limit being your imagination.

Before applying the texture paint on the walls, you have to make sure you protect all the surrounding objects with old cloths or at least newspapers. Moreover, if it is possible, it would be a great idea to move the furniture and other objects from the room, until you finish applying the textured paint. Nevertheless, remember that you can also apply the textured paint to outside walls. In this case, you should use a ladder or scaffolding to have access to all areas.

As in the case of any paint-job, you have to remove all sockets, light switches and fixtures, and other objects which might obstruct you during the project. In addition, use paper tape to mask the baseboard and the wires coming from the light switches and sockets.


Made from this plan



In order to texture paint walls, you need the following:

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  • Textured paint
  • Paper tape – if you want to use two colors
  • Old cloths and newspaper – to protect the other objects

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  • Safety gloves, glasses
  • Measuring tape, carpentry pencil, l-square, spirit level
  • Straight float – to apply the textured paint
  • Grout float – to create the patterns

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  • Don’t apply the textured paint when the temperature is above 77 ºF / 25 ºC
  • Be consistent with the texture pattern

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  • 2 hours, for 100 sq ft / 10 sq m – one person

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How to texture paint walls

Scaffolding for applying texture paint

Scaffolding for applying texture paint


If you want to apply texture paint on your exterior walls, then you have to rent or buy a scaffolding, as to have access to all areas. As compared to regular paint, it is important to apply the textured paint on the whole surface of the wall, once you have started the job, otherwise you won’t get the desired result.

In addition, especially if you texture paint the exterior walls, make sure the outside temperature doesn’t exceed 77 ºF (25 ºC) and the rays of the sun don’t hit directly the surface on which you are working. The main issue is that at high temperatures, the paint will dry out very quickly and you won’t be able to create the texture.


Using a float to finish the polystyrene sheets

Using a float to finish the wall


Next, before showing you how to texture paint walls, we have to highlight the importance of having a proper support surface. Therefore, you should either use a trowel to remove the old coat of paint or add a brand new coat of plaster.

In most of the cases, if the surface is smooth, you should only remove the previous coat of paint, the irregularities and  clean thoroughly the dust and other residues.


How to texture paint walls

How to texture paint walls


When applying texture paint on any wall, you have to cover first the surface with a coat of primer. You should buy the primer along with the paint, as it should match the color of the texture paint. The main purpose of the primer is to create a perfect bond between the texture paint and the wall surface, so make sure you apply it, by using a roller. After you have covered the wall with primer, let the surface dry for at least one day.

The next day, you can start spreading the textured paint on the wall, by using a large straight edge trowel (also known as plastering trowel). Before applying the paint, you have to mix it thoroughly in the bucket. Start with one corner of the wall, and try the apply a thick coat of paint as evenly as possible. Remember that you don’t have to cover a large surface, the technique is to spread the texture paint on 10 sq ft (1 sq m), and then use a trowel to create the texture. This is the right way, otherwise the paint will dry out before having time to make the texture.


Painting walls with textured paint

Painting walls with textured paint


Work with patience and be careful, as to create an even coat of texture paint. This technique is not complicated and will change dramatically the look of your house, provided you observe the steps in the right order. It is better to wear some old cloths and a pair of gloves, as in the process you will get dirty with paint.

Smart Tip: If you don’t apply the primer, you won’t get the right color when creating the texture. In addition, the texture paint might not adhere to the wall, so make sure you cover the wall with primer.



Making texture on walls

Creating the texture on walls

Creating the texture on walls


As we have already said, after you have covered about 10 sq ft (1 sq m), you have to use a trowel to create the desired texture. The most used techniques, is to use downward and upward moves, while pushing the trowel toward the wall. In this way you will make a texture similar to tree bark.

Nevertheless, you can also use circular moves if you want to obtain other textures. Irrespective of your pattern, you have to make sure you go several times over the surface with the trowel, as to even the coat of texture paint.


Texture painting exterior walls

Texture painting exterior walls


Afterwards, you have to continue your project by spreading texture paint on other areas and then create the same pattern. From time to time, it is better to assess your work by looking at the walls from at least a couple of meters, as to see if you have created the same texture over the whole surface.

Smart Tip: If you must stop the process, the only solution is to apply paper tape around the area, and then cover the surface with paint. Then, create the texture and remove the paper tape. When you will continue the project, you have to start from that area.


Wall textured paint

Wall textured paint


The technique described above is also useful, if you want to create a design with two or more colors. Consequently, apply paper tape along the edge of the first area. Spread and texture the paint as described above, up to the paper tape. Then, remove the paper tape and wait a couple of hours, until the texture paint has dried out.

Apply paper tape on the edge of the dried textured paint and cover the adjacent surface with the other paint color.


Texture paint on walls

Texture paint on walls


After you remove the scaffolding (in the case of exterior walls), the masking tapes and install the light fixtures and sockets, you should enjoy the appearance of your brand new wall finish.

It might not look exquisite, but for sure is not a common finish. In addition, some texture paints are waterproof, so from time to time you can clean your walls with a wet sponge, to give them back their initial glow.



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