DIY: Knockdown Drywall Textures


Add visual interest to your drywall ceiling or your walls by applying a knockdown texture that resembles the look of stucco. "Knockdown" refers to a technique of smoothing the wet surface tips of the texture by pushing them down into the rest of the surface. You'll need some drywall taping tools, and you'll also need an assistant because one person will apply the texture while the other person creates the knockdown finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray hopper gun
  • Thinned drywall compound
  • Large drywall squeegee (or trowel)
  • Protective eye wear and clothing
  • Nonslip drop cloths
  • Assistant
  • Practice board (recommended)
  • Fill the hopper of the spray gun with as much thinned drywall compound as you can easily lift to your shoulder. The compound is heavy; your assistant can refill the hopper as you spray.

  • Adjust the nozzle of the hopper gun until it sprays out large globs of texture that leave peaks.

  • Spray the wall or ceiling, starting in one corner and applying the texture in swaths approximately 5 feet wide. Work your way down the wall and then up on the next section, overlapping the spray and covering all areas of the wall.

  • Create the knockdown effect by lightly drawing a large drywall squeegee or trowel over the tips of the wet texture. Use strokes of even pressure to create a uniform look.

  • Continue spraying and wiping the tips off the texture until you've finished the entire wall. Once you've started, keep going to prevent lap marks that can occur when one area dries before an adjacent section is finished.

  • Repeat the process on the next wall. Only do one wall at a time.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice the knockdown technique on a scrap board before applying it to your room.
  • Vary the knockdown texture by adjusting the width of the squeegee or trowel or by using a circular motion. There's no end to the variety of knockdown textures you can create.
  • It's difficult to match a knockdown texture later if you have to repair wall cracks or damage.
  • Wear protective eye wear. Wet joint compound stings and irritates eyes.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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