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Wall textures

Posted by myhappyspace (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 30, 13 at 12:45

Our walls are being done now, and we were asked if we wanted a flat texture or the orange peel. What are the pros/cons to each? Which one would you say is the most common now?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wall textures

Texture is icky dirt trapping hide the poor drywall work and then charge you extra for a "feature". You can never repair it and have it really match well.

Smooth never goes out of style and is always easier to repair. IF it's done well. Your builder may have to get in a different crew if you want smooth, as that will show up all of the poor framing and drywall work that's underneath. You have to have decent prep to get a level 5 finish.


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RE: Wall textures

We are building now and all drywall will be smooth. It is very, very difficult to repair textured and make it look right...can be done but it taks a pro...I can easily repair smooth drywall and make it look almost perfect and I am far from a pro,


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RE: Wall textures

Thanks for the replies. My first instinct was smooth, but then I was second guessing it.


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RE: Wall textures

What is "level 5" and are there different drywall finishes by levels?


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RE: Wall textures

Laura...drywall info attached

Here is a link that might be useful: 5 Levels of Finish


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RE: Wall textures

The best possible drywall finish is a veneer plaster system often called
"blueboard". Unfortunately, is is only available in certain parts of the country. You should always check to see if it is available and use it if it is.


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RE: Wall textures

Thanks, LOTO. I have no clue what level ours is.


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Thanks Loto! Now off to google blue board finish!


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RE: Wall textures

Wall texture is entirely regional. Clearly live-wire doesn't live in the part of the country where orange peel is standard and a smooth texture (done well) is impossible to get, otherwise he would not make such rude statements.

A properly done smooth wall texture would be my first choice, but I'm not even sure it can be obtained where I live. Even multi million lake front properties have orange peel here. Its the norm. And it's not any more dirt hiding than smooth. I can see a highly textured wall finish trapping dirt, but orange peel not so much.


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On many decorating shows, the first thing they do when redoing a room is eliminate the textured wall finish and those popcorn ceilings....if they can't eliminate them, they even skim coat them with sheetrock to make the smooth.


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Decorating shows don't tend to stray far from either the LA area or the East coast, so regional preferences from the rest of the country don't get a lot of representation there. And if they do, it's in the very highest end homes, where cost is no object.

What regular people can afford to do in fly-over country does not end up on HGTV, which is fine, but people need to be aware that what is standard in the South or the Northeast isn't standard everywhere.

In Minnesota, textured ceilings are the norm (orange peel is high end) but painted trim and cabinets are considered a risky choice. You see it on decorating shows, but not in people's homes. One region's taste is not inherently superior to another's, and for resale it's probably better to build a home that appeals to people in your area. We spent a long long time selling our last home, and I believe a major reason it took so long to sell was that it was a traditional East Coast kind of house, and local people didn't like it. Eventually another East Coast native came to see it and fell in love.


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zone4newby - we are in MN. You'd say orange peel is high end? I looked at our current home and the walls have texture, but it was very much a cheaper builder grade home, so I didn't know if that impacted anything.


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Here in Dallas, faux finished skip troweled was popular a few years ago.
Super easy to do and looks very gaudy. But somehow it became fashionable in expensive homes, like the ones featured in Donna's design crimes, also known as Donna Decorates Dallas on HGTV.


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RE: Wall textures

Textured is more popular with builders because it hides sloppy work easier. There's no hiding a bowed stud or bad seam work with a smooth finish.


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hollysprings, that's kind of what I was thinking. I guess the thing is - I don't know if there *is* sloppy work in this one that needs to be hidden.


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I think orange peel ceilings are high end compared to popcorn, which seems to be the standard ceiling texture, and flat ceilings are basically not done here. I don't know about orange peel walls-- I think the house we're renting may have orange peel walls (they look kind of nubby), and it's definitely builder grade. I'm not convinced that the reason for textured ceilings is lazy/sloppy builders, because textured ceilings are ubiquitous here, and I don't think that would be true unless people liked them.

I grew to really dislike our popcorn ceilings in our previous house because they needed painting, but we couldn't paint them without risking having the texture fall off. I'm told that's not an issue for orange peel, but we're still going to have smooth ceilings and walls in our house, because it's what I prefer and our builder isn't charging us extra for it.

Attaching a photo of a high end Minneapolis kitchen with a textured ceiling-- if the owners of this house had wanted something else, they certainly could have afforded it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fancy kitchen w/textured ceiling


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RE: Wall textures

I agree with "olivesmom"; I haven't seen smooth coat finishes in "my neck of the woods". When DH and I built in '09 we were never given a choice of smooth coat, only different texture finishes. "Knock down" is another term that is used and I think that is what we have. It's very subtle and I don't think it could hide framing imperfections or mistakes.


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RE: Wall textures

I agree that texturing on the walls is regional. When we lived in the south, no walls had texture. Coming from OK, where everything had texture, the smooth texture always seemed kind of cheap to me. Regional bias I guess! In our new build, we are going with a very light texture that is troweled on. I have orange peel right now and am ready for something a little different.


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We had textured walls in our previous home, and we HATED them! We were unable to get an exact match on the existing paint, so we ended up having to repaint the entire house! Where I live in the South, textured walls and ceilings are the cheap way. When repairing walls, or even just filling in nail holes, it's difficult to match the pattern.


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"We had textured walls in our previous home, and we HATED them! We were unable to get an exact match on the existing paint, so we ended up having to repaint the entire house! "

What does the inability to match a paint color have to do with texture???


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Since the wall wasn't flat, the computerized matching systems were unable to get a decent match. (we pulled a piece of the wall off to match) All the paint stores we tried said they wouldn't be able to get an exact match due to the texture.

Just a note. If you're selling a home with textures walls, it's nice to leave the exact paint colors or formulas for the next owner. It's very helpful if touch ups are needed.


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