modern drywall texture types
Home & Garden

An Insightful Guide to 14 Modern Drywall Texture Types

Navigating the world of modern construction often means diving into the details. One such crucial detail is drywall texture. With 14 different modern drywall texture types to choose from, each offering unique aesthetic appeal, it’s paramount to understand the nuances of each type. This guide aims to demystify these texture types, helping you make an informed decision for your space.

What Is Drywall Texture?

Drywall Texture

Image source: Pinterest

Drywall texture adds a tactile and visual dimension to your walls. It’s not just about covering the joints between the panels of drywall; it’s also about creating a specific aesthetic and feeling within the room. Whether it’s the classic smooth finish for a sleek, modern look, or a knockdown texture for a rustic vibe, the texture you choose can make a significant impact on your interior design.

14 Modern Types of Drywall Texture

1. Smooth Finish

Smooth Finish

Image source: Pinterest

The smooth finish is the epitome of modern simplicity, offering a clean, minimalist aesthetic that’s prevalent in contemporary homes. Although it seems like the simplest choice, it requires highly skilled application to ensure no tape or joints are visible.

This type of finish works well in almost any setting, fitting like a canvas to the furniture and decorations, allowing them to take center stage. When perfectly executed, it gives your wall a flawless and seamless appearance, contributing to a sophisticated and elegant ambiance.

2. Knockdown


Image source: Pinterest

If you’re aiming for a bit more character in your rooms, the knockdown texture might be the choice for you. It’s a subtle, rough texture that adds depth and helps hide wall imperfections well. It is achieved by applying drywall compound to the wall and then ‘knocking it down’ with a trowel, creating a flattened, textured surface.

This technique can give a room a rustic or earthy feel, complementing homes that seek a touch of coziness and warmth.

3. Skip Trowel

Skip Trowel

Image source: Pinterest

The skip trowel texture is created by applying thin layers of drywall mud and then deliberately skipping the trowel over it to create a textured surface. This artistic approach to drywall texturing provides a room with a unique, artisan feel. Its random pattern adds an organic, handcrafted touch to your walls, making them stand out.

The skip trowel technique is particularly popular in high-end home construction and remodeling, contributing to an elegant and personalized aesthetic.

4. Orange Peel

Orange Peel

Image source: Pinterest

Taking its name from the skin of an orange, the orange peel texture adds a soft, spray-like texture that hides wall imperfections while adding a level of visual interest. This texture is typically achieved by spraying a mixture of drywall compound and water onto the walls and then leaving it to dry without any further manipulation.

Its light, bumpy surface captures shadows subtly, giving your walls a delicate and textured appearance that pairs well with various interior design styles.

5. Swirl


Image source: Pinterest

If you’re after a touch of classic elegance, the swirl texture may be the one for you. Created by swirling a thick layer of drywall mud with a brush or roller, it adds a sophisticated touch to a room. Each swirl is unique, providing an endless variety of patterns and depths.

Its circular motifs can lend a rhythmic and harmonious feel to your walls, making the swirl texture a versatile choice that fits a wide range of interiors, from traditional to eclectic.

6. Popcorn


Image source: Pinterest

The popcorn texture, often used for ceilings rather than walls, gets its name from its chunky, bubbled appearance, similar to popcorn. This heavy texture helps to dampen sound, reducing echo in a room, which makes it an ideal choice for large spaces or rooms with high ceilings. It’s a cost-effective way to cover imperfections and has insulating properties.

However, it’s worth noting that popcorn texture can be more challenging to clean and repair due to its rough and irregular surface.

7. Slap Brush

Slap Brush

Image source: Pinterest

Slap brush texture, also known as stipple or panda paw, brings a dash of randomness to your walls. It’s created by loading up a paintbrush with mud and then slapping it against the wall, creating a textured, wild pattern. The result is a deeply textured wall with a chaotic pattern that adds character and intrigue.

Slap brush texture can hide wall imperfections effectively and offers an artistic, abstract appearance that can complement a wide range of interior styles.

8. Sand Swirl

Sand Swirl

Image source: Pinterest

Sand swirl texture creates an organic, flowing pattern reminiscent of swirling sand. It’s usually created by applying a base coat with sand mixed into it, followed by a topcoat that is swirled with a brush or sponge.

The texture is pleasing to the touch and eye, offering a sense of motion and depth. The sand swirl texture can lend a Mediterranean or Tuscan feel to your home, matching perfectly with decor that favors natural, earthy elements.

9. Rosebud


Image source: Pinterest

Named after its resemblance to the bud of a rose, the rosebud texture is a subtle yet beautiful texture that adds a unique touch to any room. It’s created by using a round brush to make circular patterns in the wet drywall mud, leaving a bud-like imprint.

This texture lends a delicate, floral touch to your walls, offering a unique tactile and visual experience. It’s perfect for those looking to bring a bit of nature’s charm into their interior spaces.

10. Hawk and Trowel

Hawk and Trowel

Image source: Pinterest

This texture type gets its name from the tools used in its application – a hawk (a flat board with a handle underneath) and a trowel. It’s a thick, layered texture that adds a substantial amount of depth to a wall.

The hawk and trowel texture is often associated with traditional and Mediterranean-style homes, where it adds a touch of old-world charm. Its rough yet elegant appearance can add a unique visual interest to your rooms, perfect for creating a rustic and warm ambiance.

11. Comb


Image source: Pinterest

Comb texturing involves creating a series of grooves, or ‘combed’ lines, in the wet drywall mud using a special comb trowel. It provides a geometric pattern that adds visual rhythm and structure to a room.

Whether you opt for straight vertical or horizontal lines or create a more intricate waved or zigzag pattern, the comb texture brings a bold, graphic appeal to your walls. It’s a great choice if you’re after a modern, contemporary look with a distinct character.

12. Santa Fe

Santa Fe

Image source: Pinterest

Named after the southwestern city where it’s most commonly found, the Santa Fe texture provides a southwest aesthetic with a modern twist. It’s typically achieved by applying two coats of mud with a trowel, and then skimming over the surface to flatten the high points, resulting in a pattern with shallow, rounded impressions.

The texture is minimalist yet carries a unique identity, making it a wonderful choice for spaces that aim to blend contemporary design with a hint of rustic charm.

13. Spray Sand

Spray Sand

Image source: Pinterest

Spray sand texture is created by mixing sand with primer and spraying the mixture onto the walls. The result is a fine, gritty texture that adds subtle visual interest without overwhelming the space.

Its soft, sand-like appearance can lend a beachy or coastal feel to your interior, making it an ideal choice for homes located near the beach or those aiming to bring in elements of coastal decor. Despite its subtle texture, it’s excellent at concealing minor wall imperfections.

14. Brushed Pearl

Brushed Pearl

Image source: Pinterest

The brushed pearl texture, also known as Venetian plaster, offers a luxurious and luminous finish. It’s achieved by applying several thin layers of plaster mixed with marble dust, followed by burnishing the surface to achieve a smooth, reflective finish.

This texture imparts a sense of luxury and grandeur, perfectly suited for high-end homes or spaces seeking an opulent touch. Its iridescent quality adds depth and a touch of glamour, making your walls a standout feature of the room.

Each texture creates a distinct aesthetic and feel, and the choice should be influenced by the overall design goal of your space. From the minimalist appeal of a smooth finish to the dramatic visual interest of a Spanish Knife texture, drywall textures provide an array of design options.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Drywall Texture


Image source: Pinterest

When determining which texture type best fits your space, consider the following factors:

1. Interior Design Style

Different textures can complement different interior design styles. For instance, a smooth finish or comb texture might suit a modern, minimalist design, while textures like the sand swirl or Santa Fe can complement a home with a rustic, earthy aesthetic. Always consider your overall decor theme before deciding on a texture.

2. Room Size and Light

Textures can influence the perception of a room’s size and lighting. Light textures like orange peel or skip trowel can make a room feel larger and brighter, while heavy textures like slap brush or popcorn might make a room feel smaller but cozier.

3. Functionality and Maintenance

Some textures, like popcorn, can help reduce echo in large rooms, while others, like knockdown, are excellent at hiding wall imperfections. However, more textured surfaces can also be harder to clean and maintain. Consider the balance between aesthetics and functionality based on the room’s usage.

4. Skill Level

Certain textures require more skill to apply than others. Textures like orange peel or spray sand can be easier to achieve, while textures like smooth finish or hawk and trowel require a skilled hand. Consider your skill level if you’re planning on doing the texturing yourself, or the cost of hiring a professional if needed.

5. Budget

The cost of drywall texturing can vary depending on the texture type, the tools required, and whether you’re hiring a professional. While some textures can be achieved relatively inexpensively, others, particularly those requiring professional application, can be more costly. Make sure to factor in the cost when making your decision.

Considering these factors can help guide your decision and ensure that the drywall texture you choose is the right fit for your space, lifestyle, and budget.

How to Apply Drywall Texture


Image source: Pinterest

While the process of applying drywall texture can vary based on the specific texture type, below is a generalized overview of the steps involved:

1. Prepare Your Walls (Preparation Phase)

Prior to any texturing, it’s critical to ensure your walls are ready for the application. This involves cleaning the walls thoroughly, removing any dust, grease, or old paint that may interfere with the texture’s adhesion. If necessary, you might also need to fill in any dents or holes with drywall compound and sand the surface smooth.

2. Choose Your Tools (Selection Phase)

Depending on the texture type you’ve chosen, different tools will be necessary. Some textures, like the comb or the rosebud, require specific trowels or brushes to create their unique patterns. For spray-on textures such as orange peel or popcorn, a texture sprayer will be needed. Always ensure your tools are clean and in good condition before starting.

3. Mix Your Mud (Preparation Phase)

The consistency of your drywall mud (also known as joint compound) can significantly impact the end result. Generally, for hand-applied textures, a thicker consistency is desired, while for spray textures, a thinner, more liquid-like consistency works better. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

4. Apply the Texture (Application Phase)

This step will vary the most depending on the texture. For hand-applied textures, this may involve spreading the mud on the wall with a trowel, then creating patterns with your chosen tool. For sprayed textures, this will involve loading your sprayer with the mud and spraying it onto the wall evenly. This step requires patience and attention to detail to ensure a consistent application.

5. Let It Dry (Drying Phase)

After applying the texture, it’s essential to allow it to dry thoroughly before proceeding with any painting or finishing. The drying time can depend on the thickness of the application and the environmental conditions, but typically it takes 24 hours. Once dry, the texture can be primed and painted as desired.

Remember that each texture type comes with its unique challenges and nuances, so doing a bit of practice before applying the texture to a large area is highly recommended. Alternatively, if you’re aiming for a high-end texture like brushed pearl or hawk and trowel, consider hiring a professional for a polished result.


Choosing the right drywall texture type can significantly impact the aesthetics of your room, making it an essential aspect of interior design. By understanding these 14 modern drywall texture types and considering the room’s purpose, lighting, size, and maintenance level, you can make an informed decision that enhances your space’s appeal. Remember, whether you decide to DIY or hire a professional, applying texture to your walls is an opportunity to add a unique touch to your home.

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.