Things You'll Need
All-purpose joint compound
Crows foot texture brush
Knockdown texture on ceilings or walls dramatically alters the overall look of a room, and also effectively covers up any surface defects on the ceiling or walls. It resembles a patchy or "stomped" pattern. Although this style of texture is usually applied using a hopper and spray gun, you can install it by hand and avoid the hassle of adjusting the spray gun to get the look you want with the texture. Be aware that applying the texture by hand takes more time to complete.
Add one to two cups of water to a bucket of joint compound.
Install a paddle on an electric drill. A paddle is an attachment used to mix the compound. Hold the drill and insert the paddle into the bucket of compound, and squeeze the drill's trigger to mix the compound. Add more water, if necessary, to get the compound to the texture of a thick milkshake.
Hold a crows foot texture brush by the handle, and dip the brush into the compound. Position the brush at a 90-degree angle to the wall or ceiling surface, and dab the brush onto the surface so that it forms peaks with the compound. Continue this across the surface. Wipe the brush off when compound accumulates on it.
Hold a knockdown knife at a 45-degree angle to the surface and glide it over the compound, after about 20 to 30 minutes. Knock down the high spots across the texture surface with the knockdown knife, as if you were knocking the tips off of icicles, and smooth out the surface to a degree. If you are applying the knockdown texture to a large area, dab with the crows foot brush for 20 to 30 minutes in one section, and follow behind with the knockdown knife before applying the compound to the next section.
Place a step ladder in front of the surface, to help you reach high areas. Stand on the ladder, and glide the knockdown knife from the ceiling to halfway down the wall, if you are applying the texture to a wall. Move to the bottom of the wall, and glide the knockdown knife from the bottom, up the remaining half of the wall.
Move to the next section, using the crows foot brush and following behind it with the knockdown knife after 20 to 30 minutes until you complete the entire surface.