Walls and ceilings can be
textured in two ways; by applying texture directly to the
surface before painting or by adding textured material to
the paint before applying it. Most commonly, texturing is
included in the drywall installation process. However,
many new products have been developed for use by painters
to create "faux" and other specialty effects.
Conventional walls and ceilings consist of panels of
drywall (or "sheetrock) applied to studs, joists, or
rafters with drywall nails or screws, or with adhesive.
Joints between the panels are covered with a paper or
fiberglass tape and coated with several layers of smooth,
plaster like joint compound ( mud ).
There are two basic drywall finish styles: smooth and
textured. Textured finishes range from light to medium and
heavy, with both simple and complex textures. A sprayed
drywall texture is the most popular application method
today because it uses less labor and is less costly than
hand-applied finishes. Fine to coarse grades of texture
can be sprayed. The texture is made coarser by adding
textured granules "of foam, for instance" to the drywall
compound or paint.
If you are matching existing drywall and having it
professionally installed, it's important to let your
service professional know the size and texture type so a
more accurate estimate can be delivered. There are two
types of smooth wall finish: smooth for wallpaper and
smooth for paint (which leaves a slight pebble finish).
Since wallpaper and many specialty faux finishes must be
applied over smooth walls, it is often necessary to apply
a "skim coat" or "float" drywall compound to fill in the
"bumps" in previously textured walls to smooth them.
Textured finishes can also fall into "faux" finishes.
Textured paints containing solid materials like silica can
make walls resemble fabrics such as suede, for instance.
New synthetic products developed to imitate old fashioned
colored or white plasters can be applied smooth or
hand-toweled into different patterns and styles. Textured
products can create three dimensional effects by applying
in layers to walls, fireplaces, ceilings and furniture to
look and feel like real stone, crumbling masonry, peeling
paint, fossils embedded in wall, etc. Some products and
techniques can even be used outdoors.
"Popcorn" acoustic ceiling spray can often be removed and
replaced with a new coat of texture to match the walls
which is easier to keep clean and repaint. If the acoustic
ceiling spray was applied before 1980, however, it should
be tested for asbestos. If it contains asbestos, it would
be far more economical to cover with a new layer of
acoustic spray than to pay for costly asbestos removal.
Brushing tips. When painting molding and
woodwork with a brush, you can mask off adjacent areas that you do not want
to paint (for instance window panes). Use wide masking tape along the edge
you want to maintain.
With a little practice you can learn to "cut"
in your paint edge and avoid the hassle of masking things off. With a steady
hand, guide the brush along the surface you are painting, allowing a few
bristles to overlap the adjacent surface by about 1/16". Strive for a
smooth, even line. Paint with the grain of the wood. Use short strokes to
coat the surface with paint, the go back over the area with longer, smoother
strokes for an even, finished surface.
Paint a room! The order in which to paint a
room is essentially top to bottom. That means start with the ceiling, then
do the walls and finally paint all the woodwork. To paint a ceiling, begin
by painting the edge of the ceiling along the walls with a brush. Paint out
about 2" to 3" onto the ceiling. This will provide an area to overlap with