Drywall Taping and Finishing

How To Apply a Knockdown Drywall Texture

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Do You Really Want Knock Down Drywall Texture?- You should take a look at some walls that have the knockdown texture to make sure it is what you want.  Also remember that once you have texture, you will have to reproduce that texture whenever you must make a repair or modification to your drywall.  For a small hole, you can probably just splatter on some texture by hand and knock it down, but for large repair pieces you will need to drag all the equipment back in to match the texture. A picture of my father-in-law's knockdown job is shown below. Note that this wall has also been sponge painted. It is a nice looking wall.

Step 0  - Tape and finish your walls.  The walls must be level or you will have difficulty getting a good knock down finish.  I helped tape and finish the room shown in this texture video. We took our time applying thin coats using the methods from this site.  The finished surface was level and we did not bother to even sand at all, which was very nice!

Step 1  - Get your texture ready.  The fellow that did this knockdown job used a texture that was made up from a dry mix.  He followed the directions for adding the correct amount of water and mixed with a large drill mixer. You can see what he did in the video.

Note: You can also use USG all-purpose joint compound thinned down to a consistency that may be sprayed.  The tapers that my father-in-law hired to do his vaulted ceilings a few years back (not a DIY job!) simply used the USG all-purpose compound - this has the green lid.

Step 2  - Get your compressor and sprayer ready and then fill the hopper.  The fellow that did this texture used a Golblatt Sprayer and Hopper with a 3/8" opening and 60 psi on the compressor. I have been told, however, that pressures as low as  20-30 psi will work if you use the largest openings. 

Step 3  - If this is your first time doing this, I would recommend setting up a piece of paneling or plywood to practice a bit to make sure you operate the sprayer properly and knock down the surface properly. You need fairly uniform coverage and the mud needs to be thin enough so it does not clog the sprayer.  Once you know how to operate the equipment, spray your wall uniformly as shown in the video.  If you put too much on, you can simply scrape off the compound (before it sets up) and redo. Only spray about 30 minutes worth of wall at a time. You must let the compound set up for about 10-20 minutes before knocking it down in the next step! (Check after 10 minutes to see if it is ready) If you knock it down too quickly, you smear it rather than form a texture.

Step 4  - Knock down the surface by skimming a taping knife over the surface at a very low angle.  Work the knife from different angles as shown in the video.  Watch out for high or low spots in your surface that can lead to too much or too little compound being skimmed off. There are various different ways to skim off depending on your preference, but the key to any method resulting in a good end result is consistency.

Watch a Short Video of Matt Doing Knockdown Texture

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