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How to texture walls with joint compound

We are wanting to cover the fruit wallpaper in my kitchen...and was hoping I could find some basic steps for texturing walls with joint compound. I like the Spanish knock down style. Any tips? Much appreciated!

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Posted 2011-06-11T02:51:38+0000  by amarillogal amarillogal

Hey amarilliogal,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!


I used to work in the paint department at my store for a number of years, so let's talk about getting that old kitchen wall updated into a nice textured wall that you'll like.


You were wondering about the steps in making your wall textured, and you can use joint compound, but if I may, let me suggest an item we sell in our paint department that is just as easy to work with, and cleans up better than drywall mud. It's a texture paint by Behr that will work great on doing a knock-down texture you prefer, below is a picture of it and its specifications...


I like using joint compound in texture walls, but since it's going to be in a high-traffic area, I would use a product that will look like a textured wall, but will be stronger....Behr's Texture Paint will do just that. It has reinforced fibers in the paint, which makes it great for areas prone to higher amounts of activity in the room. You may need 2 cans, but if it is a small area, one should suffice.


Before deciding on whether to use joint compound or the Behr texture paint above, remember to prepare the wall before putting anything over it. Make sure the wallpaper, as unsightly as it is, is level and clean without any tears or preforations. Coat it BEFORE you place texture paint on it with an oil-based primer. This kind of primer not only blocks the colors and fruit pattern of the wallpaper, but it gives you a clean slate to place the texture on top of it. Without placing an oil-based primer down, the water from the joint compound or texture paint and possibly soak through the wallpaper, activating the gluebehind it and leaving you with a bumpy wall. To solve that, the oil-based primer works well for that, and you can place a water-based product on top of it! Below is a picture of a primer we sell that I recommend....


After preparing the walls, now you are ready to go with texturizing them!


This is going to be an easy but messy job, so be mindful to keep plenty of drop cloths and tape in areas that you don't want sprayed. Yep spraying. You can apply the wall texture of your choice with trowels but starting out with a texture sprayer alongside a trowel for your knock-down spanish style wall will be the easiest and fastest way to get this project up and running. We rent out texture sprayers in our Tool Rental department and we also sell a textured sprayer in our paint department. No matter what you decide, be sure it has the fittings and tips. Below is a picture of the one we sell....



Let's get started. first get those drop cloths and taped off the areas you don't want the overspray and spills to be on. Now make sure you have some sort of gloves, goggles and mask since we're dealing with spray from the gun. It won't go everywhere but being prepared helps in this project.


If you choose to use joint compound, this is where you do your mixing, pouring water and stirring it in until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter, then load it into the hopper gun. Same thing with the Behr Texture paint, but you do have the option of rolling the first coat on if you like.


Now for the experimentation. Whether you use a roller or spray, test an area first on the wall or use a piece of cardboard to check if that is the right first coat of texture you like.


If your using the sprayer, now spray the wall with the hopper gun in a long, vertical strokes, being careful not to over-spray in one area. Let the compound or texture paint set for 15 to 30 minutes until tacky. If you are using a roller, simply roll using a 3/4" nap or texture 9" roller, they look something like this....

texture roller.JPG

While the surface is still wet, smooth out the dollops of compound or texture paint with a trowel. Hold the trowel at an angle to avoid completely flattening the compound or texture paint against the wall. This option sometimes works great as a one coat, sometimes 2 coats. Most pros and painters I have met typically tell me that they roll on a first coat, let it dry then flatten down the 2nd coat with your trowel. The best way to decide though, is just by a little experimentation first. A spanish knock-down style is done at this step, and again, try a small area so you can get the right feel for how much or how little knock-down you want.


If you have finished your walls with a sprayer or roller, grab a paintbrush while your mixture is still wet to dab any corner or areas you may have missed, this step is important to ensure the entire area looks uniform.


These are a few pointers that I am aware of when it comes to knock-down textured walls, if you have any further questions amarillogal, please do not hesitate to ask us here!


Have a good day,


Posted 2011-06-11T16:10:30+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

when u say in ur instructions about going back to the "dollop", what is considered a "dollop". 1st it says, while the service is still wet spread out the "dollops"with a trowel.

Posted 2012-06-15T16:28:56+0000  by donnnahickox

Hey there donnnahickox,


Thanks for joining the community and posting your question!~


The word "dollop" is used to refer to a glob or shapeless mass of a substance. In this case, aboveaveragejoe is referring to the excess mass of texture compound that remains on the wall and stick out from the others.


Hope that helps explain it for you!~ = )

Posted 2012-06-15T17:18:06+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

thank u.  next?.  my wall had wallpaper on it and is a mess, will that technique work.  I took off the wallpaper, patched the holes, found mold, then bleached the wall, sprayed on spray texture, and painted.  it has started to ripple because the bleach wasn't as dry as i thought. so now I need to start over, and i would like to do joint compound or textured paint.  I wanted the textured look.

Posted 2012-06-15T23:29:05+0000  by donnnahickox

Hey donnnahickox,


I'm sorry to hear about your spray texture not working out for you :smileysad:


As I stated in the original post in this thread, you can choose between the Behr Texture Paint or you can use drywall compound. It really is up to you to get the effect you want in the steps I provided.


As for the rippling effect, you'll need to see if will be feasible to take off what you have now, you may also have an issue with some of the remaining wallpaper or wallpaper adhesive still on the walls. Even if a thick, multiple coats were applied, you most likely will have a problem with getting the exact effect you want since the texture isn't properly bonding to the wall.


Therefore, I'd see about sanding down the walls, and carefully seeing if there is any remaining wallpaper/wallpaper adhesive left of the walls. Bleach is a disinfectant, not an adhesive remover. It works great on getting rid of the mold, but you will have to make sure the walls are adhesive free, and sanding can take care of a lot of that.

sanding accessories 

As stated earlier, it is up to you whether you want to use joint compound or textured paint. Using joint compound is less expensive, but it does dry faster and needs a little more know-how than the textured paint. In either case, you'll need to apply multiple coats (2 or more, your choice) to ensure all the wall is uniform.


Hope this helps you out,


Posted 2012-06-16T14:55:04+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Do you need to tape and float any corners, or apply mud on the wall to have a smooth surface before texturizing it.


Thank you.

Posted 2012-10-11T03:47:08+0000  by nhoward

Hey nhoward,


Thank you for joining the community, welcome!


You pretty much answered your own question regarding getting the wall ready for always need to be careful of the corners anytime a texture coatings goes on top.


Tape is only needed though, if the existing surface is in bad shape. For example, if the corners have actual drywall mud missing, is when this step is done. As long as the area is in clean and level shape, then you can make sure the paint on there now will hold up for whatever texture you want on top of it, such as a low sheen (satin or lower) paint.


Was there any other questions you had regarding texturing? Please let us know and we can assist you further.


Have a good day,


Posted 2012-10-20T17:53:09+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
My wife decided over a year ago to take wallpaper off the kitchen walls to retexture and paint them. Well we have tried numerous methods to take off the paper and nothing has worked. I was reading the previous posts and noticed you said an oil based primer could be used to go over the wallpaper. However you said it could have no tears or perforations. While there are no tears she used a tool that put small perforations in it that was supposed to help peel it off. It did not work on the removal project. Can we still try the oil based primer or anything else without having to take the wallpaper off? I am tired of looking at this wall and would love to get some texture and paint on the walls.
Posted 2013-01-11T16:07:56+0000  by Joshmpm
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