Does Drywall Need Texture? (No! But You Might Want It Anyway)


If you’re installing drywall in your home, you may wonder whether you should add texture to it. Perhaps you like the look of textured drywall, or maybe you prefer a smooth, even finish.

Either way, you might be curious: does drywall need texture?

Drywall doesn’t need texture, but texture can create visual interest, camouflage imperfections, and add dimension. However, texture is difficult to clean and paint and challenging to remove. Some say it has a dated appearance that decreases your home’s resale value, while others believe it’s becoming trendy again. Painting over smooth drywall has many of the same benefits as adding texture.

In this article, you’ll discover the benefits and drawbacks of adding texture to drywall.

We’ll also talk about how to paint drywall without texture and whether walls should be smooth or textured.

What Is The Point Of Texture On Drywall?

Texture on drywall has three main functions: it creates visual interest, camouflages imperfections and mistakes, and adds dimension to the space.

Create Visual Interest

Adding texture to drywall can make it more interesting and visually appealing. There are many different types of texture to choose from, each creating a unique look that can add to your overall interior design scheme.

One option is to add texture to all of your walls for a more uniform appearance. 

If you’d like to create a focal point or draw attention to one area in particular, then you can add texture to a single wall so that it serves as an accent or feature wall. You can add texture to the ceiling as well.

Camouflage Imperfections

While adding visual interest is definitely an advantage of textured drywall, the main reason for texture is to hide any mistakes or imperfections that were created during the installation process.

When drywall has texture, any dents or dings are much less noticeable and don’t need to be immediately filled in or repaired. 

Add Dimension

Another function of texture on drywall is to add dimension. A flat wall is just that – flat. To many people, this flatness is boring and unengaging.

Texture, on the other hand, creates a dimensional appearance that changes the feel of the space so that it’s not as stagnant.

Drawbacks Of Texture On Drywall

We’ve talked about the functions and benefits of texture on drywall, but we can’t leave out the potential downsides.

Decreased Buyer Appeal

Unfortunately, textured drywall doesn’t always have the most appeal for potential homebuyers.

Textured walls and popcorn ceilings can decrease your home’s resale value in some cases.

Challenging To Remove

Taking texture off of drywall isn’t a DIY project. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to do without causing damage to the surface of the wall underneath.

You’ll usually need to hire a professional to complete this task.

Difficult To Paint And Clean

Texture on drywall can trap dirt and other debris, making it hard to clean.

A textured surface can also be more difficult to paint because paint can’t adhere in the same way it does to flat surfaces.

Dated Appearance

Some types of texture have an old-fashioned, out-of-style appearance. However, this can vary and is quite subjective.

Trends tend to go in and out of style very quickly, and some forms of texture look fantastic in contemporary homes.

How Do You Paint Drywall Without Texture?

Paint has many of the same benefits as texture because it adds visual interest and dimension. While it doesn’t hide imperfections, the positive side of this is that you’ll notice problems before they get worse or spread.

When you paint drywall without texture, the smooth finish means it will be easy to clean, paint, repair, and replace later on.

Something to note when painting untextured drywall is that the surface can absorb paint and require many layers if you don’t take the time to prepare and prime the wall.

Here’s an overview of the process.

1. Sand The Walls

Lightly sand the walls using 220-grit sandpaper.

You don’t want to paint a completely smooth, slick wall; you need a little bit of texture for the paint to grab onto. 

2. Clean And Rinse The Walls

When you’re done sanding, it’s time to clean and rinse the walls. Mix warm water with mild liquid soap and use a sponge to clean them. Next, dampen a sponge with clean water and use it to rinse the walls. Finally, dry the walls using a lint-free towel.

3. Prime The Walls

You’ll need a primer-sealer intended for drywall use and a ⅛” to ¼” paint roller for this step. Simply apply the primer and let it dry completely.

4. Paint The Walls

Choose a breathable interior paint in your color of choice and paint the walls using a paint roller or gun. Once the paint has dried completely, apply another coat if needed.

Should Walls Be Smooth Or Textured?

The choice between smooth and textured walls is really up to the homeowner. Whether walls should be textured or smooth is a subjective question, and everyone has a different opinion.

Some say that textured walls are out of style, while others claim they’re becoming trendy again. Regardless, smooth walls are still the standard for commercial home builders. 

Generally, smooth walls are more timeless, while textured walls go in and out of style. Still, if you like the look of textured walls, nothing should hold you back from adding them to your home.

Conclusion

If you’re wondering whether drywall needs texture, the answer is no. Although it’s not necessary, textured drywall has some benefits, like added visual interest and dimension. Texture on drywall can even camouflage the mistakes and imperfections created during installation.

Still, there are a few drawbacks to textured drywall. Some potential homebuyers prefer smooth walls, so textured walls can hurt your home’s resale value. Textured drywall is also harder to clean and paint, and it’s very challenging to remove without damaging the wall underneath.

An alternative to textured drywall is to paint the walls instead. You get many of the same benefits of textured drywall without the disadvantages.

Jessica Allen

Jessica is a freelance writer and editor who has years of experience writing about home improvement and interior design. When she’s not typing away in her office, you can find her doing yoga in her backyard or curling up with a good book.

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