Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

A texture can be applied anywhere that paint can. However, the skills and techniques needed much more specialized.


“Texture” refers to a surface profile, which is “other than smooth.” That means there are literally thousands of variations that can be achieved. And part of that variation is a vast number of products and methods, available for obtaining the desired results.




Decide what type of custom design and/or consistency you would like your surface to have.


A short list of custom finishes and the materials used with them:


  1. Venetian Plaster – plaster mix, joint compound.


  1. Crows foot – joint compound, premixed drywall compound.


  1. Random Trowel – joint compound, plaster mix, premixed drywall compound.


  1.  Impasto – premixed drywall compound, plaster mix, modeling paste.


  1. Crossed Weave – premixed drywall compound, joint compound.


In selecting the “Random Trowel method,” a certain basic procedure needs to be followed in order to achieve the desired effect.




Make sure the surface you have chosen is generally smooth, dry and porous. (The compound will adhere well). I do not recommend texturing a surface that has a sheen greater than eggshell.


In texturing a surface, which has a gloss, the surface will normally end up with popping and loosening of the texture. I wouldn’t go that route. To begin with skimming a ceiling using a broad knife and joint compound is an excellent way of creating uniformity.




Mix the compound to the desired thickness. And make a sample board. Assemble an assortment of drywall broad knives 6-to-14 inches.


Mix approximately ½ gallon, in which the compound is medium to heavy bodied. If the compound sticks to a broad knife held upside down, and doesn’t fall off, that’s a little too thick.


Experiment. Test different mixtures till you are satisfied with the consistency.


To make a sample board.


Use a 1-foot by 1-foot, or 2-foot by 2-foot pressed wood sheet. Experiment with applying the texture in different ways.


Try to “establish a pattern.” If you don’t like the result, scrape off the board. Give it another try. This is just practice for applying the real thing.


A person must get familiar with holding the broad knife and manipulating the compound. It’s the best way to create a texture you will be happy with in the end.




Having established a technique, you should be able to apply the Random Trowel Method.


Select the appropriate knife. Have about one-half gallon of the compound mixed and ready.


Begin in the farthest corner of the surface area. If it is a wall, start in the upper left-hand corner. If it’s a ceiling, start at the far left corner. Work yourself out from there.


Place compound on the knife. Spread it out. Use a motion which places heavier pressure on the knife. Then, gradually release that pressure. This will create a texture with a rise or slope, similar to that of a wave.




Now, overlap the motions with your broad knife, so that the sloping texture is not heading in one direction. Optimally, you’re shooting for a randomized pattern with high and low areas. You want to create a varied degree of ridges. Some will be sharper; others will be smoother.


Remember: The finish is not permanent, as long as it has not hardened. Wipe it off. And start again, if you need to do so.


A texture is an extension of creativity, especially when decorating living and working spaces.


Are you interested in textured surfaces, and their unique appearance? Then, consider all of the variations available.


Also, there are some amazing artisans out there. Engage one that can design something for you beyond your imagination. All that you might be left to do is choose a color.




1. Combine different textures, using the same palette color.

2. Apply one layer/design very smooth, the other nubby, or ridged.

3. Try overlays. Apply the same texture and palette color; one layer horizontal, the other vertical.

4. Simulate fur, velvet or leather. Bark or cork.


The possibilities are endless.

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See you at the paint store! Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.


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