If you’ve moved into a home and you plan to stay, then you should know that the days of flat white walls are long gone. Adding texture and color to your walls, and maybe even stripes is an easy way to make your home your own.
To paint straight lines on textured walls, you need a few everyday tools you may already have from previous painting projects. You mainly need caulking, painter’s tape, paint, and paintbrushes. Although there may be different painting scenarios, the techniques used for each are all similar.
This article will take you through everything you’ll need to know about textured walls and painting straight lines on such a textured surface:
- Various types of textured walls
- Why you should have textured walls
- Must-have tools for painting on textured walls
- How to paint on textured walls under multiple circumstances
Different Types of Textured Walls
When choosing the type of wall texture for your home, you should go with what feels right to you. You are the one who needs to look at your walls every day. However, if you have no idea where to start, then there are some guidelines you can use to help in pointing you in the right direction.
You can often find thick or thin wall textures in homes of specific styles. If your home is rustic with large rooms and high ceilings, then it will be able to handle the drama of thickly-textured walls. You can frequently find low-profile textured walls in Southwestern style homes and overall houses with lower ceilings.
Dramatic Wall Textures
Below are some dramatic wall textures:
- Comb texture: This is more of a regular pattern than many of the other drywall textures. Creating this effect is a two-person job. The first person should apply the drywall, while the second establishes the pattern, usually a rainbow-type arc, using a trowel with teeth.
- Crows’ feet texture: This uses a stiff brush to create what slightly resembles crows’ feet; that’s why it’s called as such. This technique would take some trial and error until you’ve mastered it. Rather than directly on the drywall, you should apply wet mud on top of a layer of drywall that has dried thoroughly.
- Rosebud texture: You would also create this texture with a brush on wet mud applied over set drywall. You may want to experiment with different brushes to make that circular flower texture. This technique creates a somewhat regular pattern when compared to some of the other slap brush techniques.
- Skip-trowel: This is a pattern that is created by applying wet mud over set drywall by hand using a skip trowel tool. The substance needs to be moist enough to spread thinly across the drywall in small circles but not too watery so that it will run down the wall. The result is a beautiful, visually interesting texture.
- Slap brush texture: This is likely one of the most straightforward techniques to apply to wet mud over set drywall. You can experiment with various slapping techniques and different types and sizes of brushes. Using a large paintbrush would create a bolder pattern and would make the job go by more quickly.
- Sand swirl texture: Rather than using mud, this uses perlite primer mixed with sand. You can more easily accomplish this technique if you have one person applying the mixture and a second person adding texture to the surface. You can do this by making circular motions with a large brush.
- Stomp brush texture: This is a series of straight brushstrokes on wet mud over set drywall. You should use a large round brush with long bristles. This technique will be more effortless for those who can paint a straight line easily. You will need some practice if you are not one of those people.
Subtle Wall Textures
Here are some subtle wall textures:
- Knockdown texture: This adds a step to the orange peel technique discussed below. You will use a knockdown knife to flatten the peaks left from the sprayed-on drywall compound. Be sure to allow the drywall to set for at least 15 minutes before doing so. The result should resemble a stucco texture.
- Orange peel texture: This got its name because it resembles the bumps on an orange peel’s surface. After priming the walls and mixing the drywall compound, you should use a hopper gun to spray the mixture onto your walls in small splatters. To have more control and achieve the desired texture, you should avoid spraying the compound continuously. If applied correctly, the result will be an irregular low-profile bumpy surface.
- Popcorn texture: This is still commonly seen on ceilings is something homeowners now use on walls because it is one of the most straightforward techniques. The compound used is a mix of polystyrene and drywall mud and can be purchased premixed. You add water and spray it onto your primed walls with a hopper gun.
- Smooth drywall texture: This is an excellent option for contemporary-style homes. Despite its name, this texture isn’t completely smooth. When thoroughly dried and painted, the wall will have a very subtle orange peel texture.
The Benefits of Having Textured Walls
As a homeowner, you get many benefits from adding texture to your walls. The benefits are both practical and cosmetic. Whether you just moved in with your family or are planning to put your house on the market, here are some ways textured walls can improve your home.
For Families With Children
Textured walls are incredibly durable. If you have children, you might need to repaint your walls every 2 to 3 years due to scratches and dings on smooth walls. This requirement won’t be the case if you have textured walls.
Textured walls inadvertently offer the benefit of soundproofing. The level of sound buffering offered by textured walls depends on the texture you use and how thick the application is. Texturing both surfaces of a wall will provide you the most protection from noises, such as a loud television or radio, children bickering, band practice, and more.
For Homeowners Planning To Sell Their House or Condo
If you are getting ready to show your home and want it to look its best, adding texture to walls is one of the easiest ways to hide flaws without patching and sanding. If done correctly, a textured wall can be a work of art. You could have an accent wall that is a different texture rather than a different color. At the very least, textures make walls visually appealing, especially in larger rooms.
Best Tools for Painting a Straight Line on Textured Walls
The thought of painting a straight line along textured walls can be daunting. It turns out not to be a difficult task if you have the right supplies. Here are some highly-rated tools you should keep on hand if you plan on doing some painting in your home. The chances are high that you’ll have one or more textured surfaces, whether it be a wall or a ceiling.
Best for Caulking: DAP Alex Painter’s White Caulk
There are many types of caulk used for different home improvement projects. For the painting job you want to tackle, you should look for latex caulk with no silicone. Since you’ll want your paint job to last at least several years, look for durable caulking that’s paintable.
The DAP Alex Painter’s (18065) raw building material is a white, paintable caulk. Rated 4.7 out of a maximum of 5 stars based on 1,492 customer reviews, this caulk has a durability guarantee of 25 years. This product takes one hour to set, leaving you plenty of time to work on each section of your wall.
Best Options for Painter’s Tape
If you are not a professional painter like most homeowners, finding a type of painter’s tape that’s easy to work with is essential. You should choose a product made for painting that’s easy to apply and remove from your wall and is durable. Nothing is more frustrating than having tape tear while removing it from the roll or the painted surface.
Below are two of the best options for the painter’s tape to paint straight lines on a textured surface.
This should do the job nicely. This tape is rated 4.8 out of 5 possible stars based on 331 customer feedbacks. With five width options and a wide variety of multipack choices, this ScotchBlue tape is a great value.
The manufacturer recommends this tape for lightly textured surfaces. You can leave this tape in place for up to 14 days without harming your wall or leaving a sticky residue, but that doesn’t apply to this project.
This should be your top choice for walls with a higher-profile texture. This brand of tape is a higher-end painter’s tape. It is also rated 4.8 out of 5 possible stars based on 3,779 customer reviews. What makes this tape stand out is the PaintBlock Technology, which FrogTape designed to work with latex paint.
Latex paint contains water, which reacts with the polymer in FrogTape to form a gel. The gel forms a barrier along the edge of the tape, filling in the tiny spaces on your textured wall. As with all painter’s tape, do not force your paintbrush’s bristles into the edges, which could break the barrier formed to keep the paint at bay.
Best Paint: RECOLOR 100% Recycled Interior Latex Paint
There are so many choices for paint when it comes to color for your interior walls. You have to consider available shades, type of paint, kinds of finishes, cost per pint or gallon, and how environmentally responsible the brand is if you have the luxury to do so. Here is a unique brand of latex paint that should serve you well while also being better for the environment.
It is rated 4.6 out of 5 possible stars based on 271 customer feedbacks. What makes this paint unique is that RECOLOR creates its product from 100% recycled paint collected from other trusted brands. You may think that it is an expensive process, but it is less costly than manufacturing paint from scratch.
Tip: Although the paint produced by RECOLOR is of the highest quality, they recommend that you blend multiple containers of the same shade to ensure that you have a large batch of a uniform color. Due to the recycling process, the same paint shade may vary slightly from one batch to the next. To help you estimate how many quarts you will need in total, you should be able to paint 100 sq ft (9.3 sq m) of wall space with one quart (.95 L) of RECOLOR paint.
How To Tackle Various Textured Wall Scenarios
Now that you have the right tools, it’s time for you to see how easy it is to paint a straight line on textured walls. In addition to paintable caulk, painter’s tape, and paint, you will also need a paintbrush for each color of paint, paint stirrer sticks, drop cloths, and possibly a ladder or stepladder. You can also opt to have a damp sponge handy to moisten your fingertips when working with the caulk.
How To Paint a Single Color Adjacent to a White Area
There are times when you will be painting one color against another area that is painted white. This scenario could be a colored wall against a white ceiling, which is extremely common. It could also be a colored accent wall adjacent to a white non-accent wall or a colored stripe painted on a white wall. Watch this how-to video:
Let’s break down the steps for you below:
- Prime all surfaces you will be painting. This step includes any wall or ceiling surfaces, whether textured or smooth. Priming your surfaces will ensure that they are clean and ready to paint. It also helps to achieve better coverage with the paint.
- Paint each surface with one coat of paint. Allow the first coat to dry to see how well you’ve covered the areas with color. Then do apply a second coat of paint if the coverage isn’t sufficient. Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
- Apply the painter’s tape in 2 ft to 3 ft (0.6 m to 0.9 m) segments. Since your walls and ceilings aren’t perfectly straight, attempting to apply your painter’s tape in one long piece would be quite challenging. Allow a space of .06 in (.16 cm) outside of the white edge. Use your fingertips to ensure the tape is smooth and adhering to the surface as firmly as possible.
- Take your paintable white caulk and apply a small bead right on the line where the white surface and the painter’s tape meet. Then moisten your fingertip with the damp sponge and run your finger straight along the line of the caulk. Ensure that the caulk is a smooth, even line that completely covers the small space you left between the white edge and the painter’s tape. Keep smoothing until you like the results.
- Carefully remove the painter’s tape immediately. Since the caulk may dry within one hour, it is essential to remove it before it does. Removing the tape while the caulking is still wet is how the line turns out so crisp and clean. Because you used white caulk and the painted area is also white, you do not need to do any additional painting.
How To Paint Two Colors (Non-White) Adjacent to Each Other
In this scenario, you will be painting a straight line on two textured surfaces with two different colors. Neither color is white, but you will still be using white caulk in this technique. You will often be in this position when you paint an accent wall adjacent to another colored wall. Although it is rarer, you could be painting a colored surface adjacent to a colored ceiling.
This video shows how effortless it is to paint straight lines on contrasting textured walls:
Now here are the steps below:
- After you’ve primed and painted your two adjacent textured surfaces, be sure the paint has 100% dried. In the example in the video, the homeowner is working on the line where two walls meet. Using only painter’s tape when the homeowner painted the walls with a roller did not prevent the bumps in the texture from showing.
- Apply a bead of white caulking in a straight line down where the two differently colored walls meet. Then moisten your fingertip with a damp sponge or towel. Use your fingertip to smooth out the caulking and help it to fill in the indentations to transform that line into a smooth surface. Allow the caulking to dry completely.
- Paint over the caulking with the lighter of the two paint colors. There is no need to worry if you get some of the lighter paint on the darker wall. You’ll be painting over that area later. You can go ahead and move onto the next step after the first paint color is completely dry.
- Apply the painter’s tape on the lighter wall’s side so that the edge is where the two walls meet. Run your finger along the border to ensure the painter’s tape is on smoothly and securely. The place where the two walls meet should now be smooth rather than textured.
- Paint over the edge of the painter’s tape that covers the caulking with the darker paint. Applying two thin coats is best to avoid dripping but also maximizing coverage. Allow the paint to dry for five minutes before you carefully remove the painter’s tape.
How To Paint a Stripe on Top of a Base Color
This scenario usually comes up when you want to paint stripes horizontally or vertically on a wall that already has a base color. Watch this video that demonstrates how to paint stripes on your wall using the same principles we’ve learned above:
To do this, follow the steps below:
- Mark off where you want your stripes to be located on the pre-painted wall using painter’s tape. Use a dry rag to smooth out your painter’s tape and to ensure the edges have a tight bond to the wall. If you can, try to apply the painter’s tape in one long strip to prevent any hiccups along the painted edges.
- Apply your latex caulking with your fingertip to both edges of the painter’s tape. Be sure it’s a thin, even layer. Then allow the caulking to dry for a few minutes. Remember that you should remove the painter’s tape before the caulking and the paint have dried completely.
- Apply your paint over the strip of painter’s tape. Be sure to make it an even coat and to cover both edges. After you let the paint dry for a few minutes, carefully remove the tape to reveal a stripe with clean, straight edges. Repeat this process as necessary to create as many lines as desired. Then fill in the rest of the wall space with the same paint color, avoiding the beautiful base color stripes you’ve just created.
Painting straight lines on textured walls is a surprisingly easy thing to do. The general principles are the same when using latex caulking, painter’s tape, and paint, no matter what the scenario is. Below are four things to remember before getting started on this home improvement project.
- Become familiar with the different types of textured walls.
- Strategically choose which walls should have texture based on the list of benefits.
- Choose the best tools for the job.
- Watch the DIY videos above and a few more to feel more confident about techniques.
- Drywall 101: Drywall Texture Overview
- Nimvo: 10 Different Types of Wall Textures to Consider
- Bob Villa: 7 Types of Wall Texture and the Techniques Behind Them
- Homenish.com: 14 Wall Texture Types to Increase Your Home’s Appeal
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