Decorating with Popular Wall Textures

When I’m meeting with a client and we’re discussing color during a remodel, I get asked, “What texture should I use?” So, I thought I’d share some popular wall textures with you. I know in some areas of the country, no texture is used. In the areas I serve, textures are very popular. By no means is this list exhaustive, but here we go!

French Lace or Spanish Lace
This texture is said to be popular in Florida. Got any Floridians out there? Let me know if you agree! This is a hand texture and this application – hand application – seems to be the thing to do. Depending on your preference, this can be applied to give a light to heavy finish.

Santa Fe
This is another hand applied texture that is popular in the southwest. It’s a heavy texture, so it covers all your blemishes! Definitely a plus!

This application requires the drywall compound to be first sprayed onto the drywall in varying thicknesses depending on the nozzle on the sprayer. Then, a hand trowel is used to flatten out some “blobs” to create flat areas. Like my technical terms?!
A splatter technique, Orange Peel, is a common application in my area. Often times, this is applied to the ceiling with an accompanied hand trowel technique applied to the walls. It’s coined orange peel because once on the wall, it looks like….well, an orange peel. Go figure!

Knockdown or Skip Trowel or Splatter Drag

This is applied like orange peel but with a larger nozzle opening – to create larger “blobs” of drywall compound. This is a slower application, so something to consider when planning your project. This can be applied light to heavy as well. As a rule, the heavier the texture is the more paint it will take to cover the wall or ceiling. Also, the lighter the application is the more subtle the effect will be. If a subtler effect is desired, a glaze can be applied to highlight the groves in the texture to give the wall some dimension.

Whatever you do, please NO Popcorn texture! I am an unofficial member of the PAPT (people against popcorn texture) group. HA!

Also, as I was researching, I found that the names and application varies depending on who you are talking to but I hope this information helps you when communicating to your clients or painters. Happy texturing! As always, tell me what you think!


  1. One of my favorite textures is a skipped trowel effect which is very popular in model homes such as the ones found in Lantana, Texas. My favorites are the large smooth squares painted a warm earthy color and then washed lightly with a stain. Bery beauitful conservative texture with a modern look.

  2. hello, nice artical. wher can i find info on how to do the santa fe texture pictured here? is that roller applied then knocked down? I live in Florida and yes the spanish lace you have pictured is very popular. Thanks, P@

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