How to Repair, Restore or Replace Wall Texture
This post is in partnership with Homax. The opinions and recommendations are my own.
Applying Wall Texture with a Spray Can
Oftentimes, the trickiest part of repairing wall damage is not replacing the wallboard but matching the wall texture. There are several different styles of wall texture – two of the most common are orange peel and knockdown. For this article, we’ll focus on those.
Both of these styles are typically applied during construction using some type of hopper or gun that blows on a slurry much like watered-down joint compound. Orange peel textures are sprayed on and left while knockdown finishes involve a second step – knocking the peaks off the sprayed material using a joint knife or another flattening tool.
While this is a pretty straightforward process, there are more variables involved than you might think. Air pressure, material volume and consistency, spray pattern and operator technique are a few of things that come into play when determining the final appearance. This is why matching an existing wall texture can be a bit tricky.
Homax has introduced a line of PRO GRADE aerosol wall textures that help address this challenge. There are different formulations for orange peel and knockdown and the spray valves can be adjusted for both air pressure and volume. I experimented with different settings on scrap cardboard until I got the effect I wanted. My experimentation also included holding the nozzle at varying distances from the wall.
For the knockdown finish, I waited 1 - 2 minutes, then flattened the finish using the Homax knockdown tool which resembles a joint knife but has a sponge rubber pad attached to the blade. While a standard joint knife will also work, I found the knockdown tool avoided leaving blade edge marks. Using light pressure and keeping the tool nearly parallel to the wall gave me the best results.
I also did a little testing to see how easily the texture could be removed in the event I was not happy with the end result. Ten minutes after application, the material still scraped off easily with a putty knife, making re-dos, if necessary, a cinch.