How to Texture your Drywall
Finished drywall is often "Textured" either for sound deadening or most times, to simply hide an imperfect taping job.
First we will discuss the different types of textures.
This is a heavy texture normally used on ceilings for helping to deaden sound, it also is the worlds best dust and dirt collector, will hide even the worst of taping jobs and is very difficult to paint.
Knockdown or "Skiptrowel"
This most resembles a spanish style stucco.
Splatter or Orangepeel
These textures range from a series of small "blobs" of splatter to an overall fine spray much like the texture of an orangepeel.
For ceilings and large wall areas it is best to rent a drywall spray rig which is a small aircompressor and a drywall hopper. You can purchase ready mixed spray materials in dry form and mix it on the job using a large 1/2" drill and mixing paddle also available at most rental centers. You mix the spray material the consistency of runny oatmeal, pour it into the hopper and spray. This is a very messy job as the spray goes all over the place so it requires that you mask off all areas that need protecting.
The hoppers have a variety of holes on the face of the gun where you can adjust the size of the texture you are applying.
Other Options: You can apply most all the textures with a roller. The heavy textures like popcorn will not come out quite as even and uniform but there is a lot less mess from overspray. Most all wall textures are easy to apply using a roller. You will find a variety of brands at your local building or home supply center.
If you are doing a small repair and need to match the surrounding area, take a look at some of these techniques at the Texture Repairs Tutorial.