How to Add Spray Texture for Walls

By Amanda Lutz Updated April 17, 2024

Drywall is affordable, easy to install, and extremely popular for use as interior walls. When it becomes damaged, though, it can show cracks or holes and leave your home looking shabby. Spray texture for walls can remedy such issues by covering up irregularities in drywall texture while adding new design elements and texture patterns.

Learn more about applying spray texture to walls by reading our guide below. We’ll include a step-by-step application guide, a breakdown of different types of spray texture, and important cost data. These tips could come in handy for your next wall remodel or wall repair project.


Types of Spray Textures

Typical wall textures range from deep ridge to bumps to completely smooth surfaces. Spray textures can change these features, with application being as simple as filling a texture sprayer with a premixed solution and pointing it at the wall.

Read more about different types of spray textures for walls below.

Orange Peel

Orange peel wall texture produces the type of cracked, bumpy surface you’d find on an orange peel. This texture is popular for its ability to hide imperfections without a dramatically ridged surface. Instead, it resembles popcorn or stomp brush texture. Orange peel water-based texture is subtle and can easily be used in nearly any room.

Orange peel spray texture is simple to apply and doesn’t require much follow-up work with a trowel or other tools. Simply spray on the mixture in an even coat and wait for it to dry. You can then prime and paint the wall.

Knockdown

Knockdown spray texture has a rustic appearance, subtle dimensions, and modern appeal. This texture appears to have deeper ridges than orange peel but is subtle enough to use in large areas and full rooms. You can apply it to living areas and bedrooms to add warmth and depth.

Once you spray knockdown wall texture and let it dry, you must use a trowel to gently flatten its texture.

Popcorn

Popcorn texture creates the highest peaks and lowest valleys on walls or ceilings and resembles popcorn or cottage cheese. Homeowners commonly use this texture to hide architectural imperfections or to dampen sound, especially when used as popcorn ceiling spray texture. It’s fine for use on walls but can occasionally snag clothing or skin, which explains why it’s more common as ceiling texture.

To apply popcorn texture, spray it evenly on the wall with a spray gun and wait for it to dry. Avoid using too much force when cleaning, painting, or repairing popcorn texture as this could damage its texture finish.


How to Apply Spray Texture

Applying spray texture is a fairly simple do-it-yourself (DIY) project if you have the right tools. Follow the steps below to successfully add depth to your walls with wall texture spray.

Needed Tools and Materials

1. Clean the Walls

Vacuum or sweep away dirt, cobwebs, and debris from your walls that can act as impediments to texture application. Then wash the walls with mild soap and water. If your walls have a satin or gloss finish, prime them before applying texture.

2. Make Necessary Repairs

You must perform drywall repair before applying a spray texture. Fill any small holes and cracks with drywall compound and scrape away any excess with a putty knife. To repair large holes, cut out damaged areas and apply patches with drywall compound. Smooth away excess compound with a putty knife until you have a flat surface. Let the drywall dry and then use sandpaper to smooth the surface.

3. Prepare Your Work Area

Spray texture can splatter onto floors and furniture, so be sure to remove large items before beginning the project. Cover any remaining items with plastic drop sheets to avoid damaging your items and to make cleanup easier.

4. Mix the Compound and Fill the Hopper Gun*

Combine the joint compound with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cross-reference the compound manufacturer’s instructions with the sprayer’s guidance to add as much water as necessary.

*Skip this step if you’re using a non-water-based aerosol spray can.

5. Practice Your Spray Technique

Since you’re in control of how much texture ends up on the wall, make sure you know what you’re doing. Use a piece of cardboard or another disposable surface to practice your spray technique until you achieve the desired effect on walls.

A sprayer has an adjustable nozzle that can increase or decrease airflow to help you achieve your desired texture. Increasing the amount of airflow will decrease the amount of compound that’s sprayed onto the wall. If you use a can, you’ll control the spray with levers. Place your finger in different positions to see which gives you the most control.

6. Spray the Walls

Once you’ve perfected your spraying technique, it’s time to start out on the walls. Begin at the top and spray the compound in slow, even motions. If you’re covering an entire room, complete one wall at a time and take breaks so you maintain a uniform texture throughout the room.

7. Apply Finishing Touches

Some textures don’t require finishing, but you’ll still have work to do if you’re applying knockdown water-based texture. After the texture dries on the wall for about 15 minutes, use a drywall knife or trowel to gently press down and flatten the texture. Use a light touch to avoid flattening the texture completely.

8. Let the Wall Dry Before Painting

You should wait at least 24 hours for the wall to dry before painting, though this may change based on the texture manufacturer’s instructions or how humid the weather is. Thicker textures will dry more slowly than thinner ones.


Cost of Spray Texture

The average cost to texture drywall ranges from 80 cents to $2 per square foot.* Room size, texture type, labor, and wall preparation can affect the price, though, and performing the application as a DIY project will save you money.

The costs of professional wall texture installations are below.

If you’re completing the project yourself, you’ll be responsible for the cost of tools and texture materials. Texture paint costs for the various formulations are listed below.

*Cost data in this article sourced from HomeAdvisor, Angi, and HomeGuide.


Drying Time for Spray Texture

The drying time for textured walls can vary dramatically based on product choice, weather conditions, and texture thickness. Aerosol spray cans often suggest a drying time of less than 30 minutes, while labels on mixed drywall compounds recommend waiting more than 24 hours. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Follow the tips below to help you decrease drying times:


How to Texture Already Painted Walls

Spraying texture on already painted walls is an easy way to spruce up the appearance of rooms and to cover damages. The smooth surface of satin paint can be slippery for wet texture to grab onto, though. To keep textured spray from sliding down the wall, vacuum or sweep walls to remove dust or debris and then apply a coat of primer. Once the primer is dry, you can apply your desired texture to the freshly primed walls.


Our Recommendation

Texturing walls can enhance durability, hide sheetrock imperfections, and add depth and personality to a room. Spray texturing walls is a job you can complete on your own, though it’s not ideal for beginners. If you’re not confident in your ability to apply spray texture yourself, consult a professional for assistance.


Spray Texture for Walls FAQ

Is there a spray-on texture for walls?

Spray-on textures for walls can be found in most home improvement stores. You can either mix spray-on texture for walls or purchase ready-made compounds to touch up walls. Alternatively, paint rollers can be used to add texture to walls.

How much does it cost to spray texture on walls?

The average cost to spray texture onto walls in a small room is $180. Costs vary based on room size, texture type, wall preparation requirements, and whether you do the job yourself or hire a professional.

How long does it take for spray on wall texture to dry?

It can take spray-on wall texture as little as 30 minutes or as much as 24 hours to dry depending on the thickness of the drywall mud and the depth of the texture.

How do you texture already painted walls?

You need to sand and prime your walls first to texture already painted walls. Flat paint may present a suitable surface for spraying texture, but satin or gloss finishes are too slippery for the texture to grip.

What are the most popular types of spray texture for walls?

The most popular types of spray texture for walls are orange peel texture and knockdown texture. These finishes offer enough coverage to hide most architectural issues and are subtle enough to use in large spaces.