Choosing the Best Ceiling and Drywall Texture Types

Ceiling texture and drywall texture add class and personality to your house. What are the options?

Renovating or remodeling your house can be an exhausting yet exciting project. You get to choose what’s best for your house depending on your needs and budget.

If your project involves repairing or renewing the ceiling and wall, you might want to try using drywall as the basic material.

The use of drywall has been replacing plaster in modern home construction because of its efficiency in installation and maintenance cost, energy, and its insulation ability.

Either you are using it on the wall or the ceiling, drywall also has a various option on the texture, giving a personalized look for your house interior.

What is my recommendation for drywall texture?

Different drywall texture for the wall would not only give the interior an astounding appearance, but also a well-working insulation system.

In choosing the best drywall texture for the interior walls, you need to consider the long-term maintenance that would be needed by the wall.

Some drywall textures have a deeper texture, and some others have it light. The depth of the texture would be equal to how hard it is to clean the wall. A deeper texture would trap more dust and dirt.

Therefore, it would be harder to clean. As a recommendation, choose one of these textures below to find what’s best for your wall.

Let’s check these drywall texture types and choose the best one for your home.

Skip trowel drywall finish

Skip trowel texture
Skip trowel drywall texture

Skip trowel drywall finish is one of the drywall textures that manually created by hand. Once the drywall is installed, the texture would be made by curving the surface using a special knife.

This drywall texture can be considered as a work of art. You may want to look for the contractor past works to see if they can make your desired texture or skip trowel drywall finish.

The skip trowel drywall finish consists of irregular circles that spread across the surface. Depths of the circles are rather thin, giving the drywall texture but not overwhelm it with shallow holes.

The pros of this texture that it holds the paint you apply to the wall—means the paint would likely to stay longer. However, this texture doesn’t apply well on rooms like garage and around the kitchen because it tends to hold grease.

Santa-fe drywall finish

Santa-fe texture
Santa-fe texture

The Santa Fe drywall finish has an almost smooth appearance. It looks like you are applying to layers of paint with random uneven areas across the wall.

The texture has been popular in some states like New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Texas. This low profile finish is created by using a special knife to add the dimension.

Santa Fe drywall finish gives an elegant look as well as good insulation for the rooms in your house. The subtle texture adds profile without being too much. Still, there is one flaw in applying this drywall texture for your wall.

Any disruption to the texture means you have to repair the whole section of wall or else texture would not come out as natural as the first installation.

Splatter knockdown drywall finish

Splatter knockdown texture
Splatter knockdown texture

Different from Santa Fe and Skip Trowel which are made manually, the Splatter knockdown drywall texture uses an air-compressed sprayer to apply the texture material.

The process starts with mixing the texture material and preparing the work area. The spraying would create uneven blobs of texture and bubbles on the wall. Once it’s half-dried, you can start to scrape the excess and apply sand it to make it smoother.

This drywall texture needs to be applied at least four times to make it solid. As the texture is set, your drywall would have a thick layer of texture which also adds the insulation.

The downside of this texture is that it takes a long time to finish and require around three people to work at once in applying the texture.

Orange peel drywall finish

Orange peel texture
Orange peel texture

The Orange Peel drywall texture is created with the similar process as the Splatter Knockdown.

The difference between the two textures is the drop size of the nozzle. The viscosity of the texture compound should also be lighter so that the texture is sprayed evenly.

The texture would then resemble an orange peel. It should be left to dry, and no sanding required. The downside of this drywall texture that it might not work if you previously have plaster wall or the wall already has many blemishes like poke holes and nail holes.

Choosing the right drywall texture for the interior wall deals with how you would want it to look after the finishing. For areas like the bedroom and living room, a fancy texture would add elegance and uniqueness.

Still, choose a low-profile and smooth texture to avoid abrasion and dirty walls.

However, walls in areas like the kitchen and garage would be best if finished with smooth texture or glossy paint. Those areas tend to create more dirt and even grease so you would want the wall to be easy to clean.

What is my recommendation for Ceiling texture?

Different from choosing the wall texture, ceiling texture should be thicker and chosen based on the height of it. The higher ceiling, more you have to add texture to make it stand out. Otherwise, the texture would not be visible from under the ceiling.

It is easier to choose from the popular ceiling texture because you would have no issue with dirt or dust. However, you may need to be careful in applying textured ceiling above the fireplace or stove. It may hold dirt and smoke coming from those places.

Let’s check these ceiling texture types and choose the best one for your home.

Stomp Knockdown Drywall Finish

Stomp Knockdown Texture
Stomp Knockdown Texture

The Stomp Knockdown ceiling texture is made by stomping standard paint brush to the surface. Last, a knockdown knife is used to make the stomping pattern smoother.

This type of ceiling texture uses different texture compound. The mixture should contain a sort of adhesive agent to create a visible texture.

The advantages of the Stomp Knockdown ceiling are that it hides the imperfection on the drywall. It also costs less when compared with other materials.

However, this ceiling texture cannot be used in every area of the house such as the bathroom and kitchen. Also, ceiling texture dated back before 1977 may contain traces of asbestos that is dangerous for health.

Swirl Drywall Finish

Swirl Drywall Texture
Swirl Drywall Texture

Swirl drywall texture has a swirled half circle layering on top of each other. Though the texture is famous for ceiling setting, some apartment walls have been using it as an accent.

The pattern looks a bit rough because of the use of silica sand in the mixture. To make it, you need to use a medium wallpaper brush and create the first swirl, then repeat.

The benefit of this type of ceiling texture is that the appearance of the Swirl drywall looks classic and modern at the same time.

Talking about the cons, the Swirl texture is made manually by hands, and if you are not good at it, the perfect pattern would be hard to achieve.

Hawk and Trowel Drywall Finish

Hawk and Trowel texture
Hawk and Trowel texture

Hawk and Trowel got its name from the tools used to create this ceiling texture. Made of metal, the hawk and trowel are used to transfer the texture compound to the ceiling.

The compound is usually thick, so when it is applied using hawk and trowel, it will create patchy splats of texture across the ceiling surface.

Since it is made by hand, the pattern of the Hawk and Trowel texture may be varied. It depends on the worker craftsmanship whether the pattern would look good on your ceiling or not.

This technique is often used for a larger area of the ceiling because it finishes in a shorter time. Some people do not prefer this style for its rough appearance.

Double Skip Trowel Drywall Finish

Double Skip Trowel Texture
Double Skip Trowel Texture

The Double Skip Trowel ceiling texture looks very much similar to the Skip Trowel drywall texture which has lines of irregular circles. If applied to the ceiling it should be thicker. Hence it is called the Double Skip Trowel.

This type is more suited for ceiling than walls. It insulates the room well, making it perfect for Northern areas. It is also why this contour is frequently used for bedrooms and living room.

In contrary, the rough look does not give a clean look to the room. It might as well collect dust or spider webs if it’s not cleaned regularly.

How to Match Drywall texture When Repairing Drywall?

The ceiling texture and drywall texture should be applied at once. It means the drywall tapers would work for one area at a time, giving it a whole appearance. Unfortunately, this has made it difficult to repair, especially when you are applying a certain texture to the area.

Some factors may damage your wall and ceiling from water damage to major scratches. Repairing it may cost you a lot if you have to replace the whole unit of the drywall.

You may use patches to repair the affected area, but you have to make sure that the patches blend well with the whole drywall. To do it, here are 5 tips to match the original drywall to the repaired patch:

  1. Make sure that the patch has the same thickness as the original drywall. It is also advisable that you keep samples of the drywall you use around the house. So, when it’s time to repair, you would know which type and thickness to buy.
  2. Apply less coat to keep the patch blends to the drywall. Once the patch is taped to the drywall, you need to apply a coat of texture mud. Apply as thin as possible to make sure that it does not stand out above the surface.
  3. After you did the coat, don’t forget to scrape the excessive coat on the patch’s side. You may use a drywall knife or brush to make the patch as invisible as possible.
  4. Redo the texturing method. Ceiling and drywall texture that is done by hand would be easier to recreate than the machine ones. Determine the texture before you reapply it to the patch and the area surrounding it.
  5. Keep the mud texture similar to the original one. It will be easier if you pay attention to the making of the original ceiling and drywall texture. With the right technique, the same mud texture would create the same look for a room.

Most Popular Types of Paint in the Market Today

If the ceiling texture and drywall texture does not appeal to you, you may use textured paint to give dimension to your ceiling and walls. There are at least four types of these paints that you can buy in the market:

1. Premixed Textured Paint

Textured paint usually gets its texture from mixing it with sand. Some brands sell this type of paint with sand already premixed inside the package.

Before using, you might want to stir it so that you can get an even effect of sandy texture. However, this type is subtle and is not visible from a distance.

2. Self-Mixing Textured Paint

Self-mixing paint is sold in two parts—based paint and texture mix. You are free to choose the texture mix that can vary from sand, dried egg shells, to household items.

3. Smooth-Textured Paint

For you who prefer a cleaner look, a smooth-textured paint can be a perfect idea. The smoothness comes from the thickness of the paint. It should be applied carefully, so it covers the flaws and holes perfectly.

4. Alternative Finishes

Other than the textured and smooth paint, you can also experiment with other alternative finishes such as glossy or matte. This type of finishes works well with plain colors especially for you who like it simple.


Drywall texture for ceiling and walls have been used for some decades until now. However, the latest type of texture compound has more health-concerning composition.

Dangerous materials like asbestos had been eliminated because it’s proven bad for lungs and even suspected as a carcinogen.

If you are buying an old house, it is best to apply new drywall, texture, and paint for a safer option. To get the best result, you may contact the nearest drywall tapers to have them done it for you.