If you’re looking for a creative way to give your living room or dining room some extra depth and dimension, a knock down texturing finish is a great way to liven things up. Not only will it add aesthetic appeal, but it will also give a more 3-D appearance to the room.
Before you start the project however, be forewarned that knock down texturing works best in larger spaces, and especially in those rooms where dirt and grime are less likely to accumulate.
Garages aren’t a good idea, but any kind of sitting room or your bedroom would make an excellent choice. Steer away from placing knock down in hallways though – the depth of the wall can actually make small spaces feel smaller.
Preparing the Compound
1) Hire a portable compound texture sprayer, and have the store show you how to use the machine. Ask about compressor pressure, nozzle fittings… and anything else you can think of, just in case! You’ll probably need it set to about 30psi, and they’ll probably tell you to start out with the largest nozzle tip, but ask just to be sure.
2) Mix up your compound according to the directions on the package, but consider that you might need to make it up just a bit thinner than as instructed – this will allow the compound to move more easily through the machine. Add powder slowly, and consider that the less you use, the looser the texture will be.
Spraying the Compound
3) Spray the compound over just enough area that you know you’ll be able to go back over it in 15 minutes or less. Otherwise, the compound will begin to dry and set after 15 minutes – and you won’t have an easy time of trying to work with it. Move the sprayer over the wall evenly, working from top to bottom. Your splatter drops should never be larger than the size of a penny.
4) Wait a few minutes, and then grab your 18-inch metal or plastic trowel. The mud should start getting a little tacky, which is what you want. Work the trowel in vertical stokes, alternating from top to bottom and vice-versa. Do this in a figure eight or cross motion, in order to create a non-directional look, and clean the trowel buildup after every few strokes. Keep the trowel at about 45 degrees, since you don’t want to smear or flatten your splatter drops – instead, you’re trying to remove the peaks to create a textured surface.
5) If you find later on that you’ve missed a spot or need to repair a part of the surface, you can fix it by flicking some thinned compound onto the wall and troweling as described above.
Finishing the Job
6) Allow the compound on the wall to dry about 24 hours before doing anything else to it – you could prime and paint over the knock down, but the textured appearance looks best when left as is. If you ever do want to start over on the wall, or apply wallpaper, simply soak the texture on the wall with water, and it should scrape off easily after a few hours.
If you can, try doing some knock down in a few non-descript areas of the home, or on a practice piece of drywall before starting on the larger, more visible surfaces. You might find you need a few tries before getting just the right hang of nozzle and hopper pressure, and sometimes getting the right angle on the trowel can be a little tricky. Why not practice knock down texture on a closet? That way, you’ll get the hang of the job quickly and realistically.