Modern Drywall Texture Types: 9 Options to Choose From


Textured walls have always been a sure-fire way to add warmth to your space while letting your personality shine through. And it’s no difference when it comes to modern drywall texture types.  

There is no shortage of options and methods for you to choose from to do exactly what you want in your home. 

Modern drywall textures include orange peel, sand swirl, combed textures, and lace patterns. Venetian plaster is a popular classic option. You can use a variety of tools and sponges to achieve the desired effect. Flat textures are also as contemporary as you can get. In this case, you can create a focal point with a bold color.

What Is Drywall Texturing?

Drywall texturing can be described as applying a finish to drywall surfaces for aesthetics or hiding seams and other imperfections. 

Small blemishes and imperfections are only natural when it comes to drywall. But there is a difference between that and a bad job altogether. 

At the same time, adding textures can breathe new life into rooms that would otherwise lack personality and interest. Although recent trends gravitate towards flat walls with color as the focus, unique wall textures can give rooms a sense of timelessness.

A texture to a wall can bring character to a room or even your home that colors on their own can’t. Texturing can even aid in hiding construction flaws that can save costs on pricey repairs, by enabling an uneven wall or ceiling to blend into appealing textured patterns.

DIY Heaven

One of the great things about adding textures to your drywalls is that it’s DIY-friendly! Although not the case for every single method, many of the techniques are easy to learn and require only a bit of practice. 

However, if doing things yourself isn’t for you, there is no harm in hiring an expert to do the job for you, perfectly the first time. 

9 Modern Drywall Textures

There is no shortage of different types of wall textures out there to suit whatever your taste and personality are. Here are the top modern drywall textures you can choose from:

1. Orange Peel 

The orange peel texture isn’t anything new, but it still has its place amongst modern drywall texture selections. It’s as popular as ever and makes for a classic break from the standard drywall finish. 

It bears a similar resemblance to that of the skin of the classic fruit – a subtle uneven texture – and is relatively easy to apply yourself if you have a drywall texture sprayer handy. 

Top tip: You can also use a texture sprayer to create the sought-after popcorn texture on your ceiling. 

2. Sand Swirl

If you’re all about making statements through your décor, the sand swirl texture might be for you. 

This method entails adding sand to a primer, allowing it to rest overnight, and then applying it to your walls. To get the swirl, you can apply the mixture with a thick bristle brush.

The sand swirl textures are bold and stand out. Typically, condensed patterns tend to look better but loose patterns made with brushes can work wonderfully, too. 

3. Spray Sand

The spray sand texture is quite similar to orange peel, but is a little more uniform and condensed without the lengthy cracks. This gives it more of a refined and more modern look.

While there are several ways to apply this texture, one of the most common is mixing primer with sand, allowing it to sit overnight, and then spraying the mixture on the drywall.

4. Lace

Loosely resembling a not-so-modern stucco texture, lace is a subtle pattern that gives off somewhat of a romantic feel. Lace is a great texture to try out in something such as the bedroom or a sunroom.

To get this texture, you have to thin out drywall mud with water. Add it to a sprayer and spray it onto the wall. When it’s dry, go over the pattern with a drywall knife and knock down the spatter lines to get the texture.

5. Hawk And Trowel

The hawk and trowel method will create a modern, rock-looking design on your wall. This is an excellent choice if you want to add a natural aesthetic to bedrooms or small bathrooms.

This texture requires switching back and forth between a hawk and a trowel. It requires quick application between the two tools, but worth your while if you can master the technique. 

We would advise some practice if possible.

6. Santa Fe

The Santa Fe texture is a good choice if you’d like an aged look to modernize your walls (oh, the irony!).  It features random swirls and indents that give off a pleasant look and feel to the room that shouts chic.

For this texture, use a large, curved drywall knife and apply a thin layer of mud onto the wall. Embrace the imperfections as this is what adds the identity to texture. Ultimately, about 60-95% of your drywall should be covered with the mud mixture.

7. Comb Texture

The comb texture is an artistic technique that is great for reforming a plain wall. The name stems from the comb-like stroke patterns that stay behind on the wall.

It’s pretty straightforward to do it yourself, but caution is needed. There is a fine line between it looking great and it looking like an abandoned project, so we do urge some practice if possible.

To get this texture type, you start by rolling the drywall compound onto the wall in a small section. Then, you take a trowel with teeth and use it to make your pattern.

The most popular pattern is repeating half or full circles, but you can customize the strokes to your liking.

8. Keep It Plain

In some cases, the best texture for drywall is no texture at all. A less-is-more type of thing. With some recent trends gravitating towards flat surfaced walls anyway, you wouldn’t be “out of it” if you decide to leave your walls as is.

The experts do say that should you keep your surfaces flat, a big focus should be on eccentric and vibrant colors.

Flat textures also include marbled or concrete patterns that you can achieve with a variety of paint products.

9. Venetian Plaster 

The Venetian plaster texture is arguably one of the most pleasing finishes on this list. It is a kind of texture made by mixing plaster with fine marble dust. The mixture gets applied with a spatula in layers. The applied layers are then polished to create a smooth, silky surface that adds extra depth.

Venetian plaster is a plastering technique that has been around for hundreds of years. It’s a more refined method and even though “ancient”, it serves as well as any other texture as a modern finish.

It’s a fairly high-end technique in comparison to other texture finishes and can be on the complex side. So, we’d humbly advise you to get an expert in for the application.

The result will show textural variants and color nuances and some areas will be so highly polished that they’ll give off a majestic glow. 

Why Textured Walls?

Textured walls are generally integrated into rooms or homes for aesthetics or when you want to make a statement. But there are practical reasons, too.

You can also use texture to hide minor wear and tear. Aside from the visual utility, textured walls are useful in places where small imperfections are present. Imperfections that are easy to cover up without needing repair. 

Many decorators use textures as an accent. When it comes to textures, you don’t always want too much of a good thing. So, it is worth keeping in mind to use textured walls as either an accent or in only a few rooms at home.

Size matters. Think of the big features of your space when choosing a texture for your walls, particularly size. Overly textured walls tend to make a small room seem closed-in. Keep this in mind if you’re limited on space.

The important thing is to make sure to maintain balance. Done right, texture can bring a ton of personality and a sense of exclusivity to your space.

Why Add Texture To Drywall?

The drywall industry is valued at over $46 billion just in the United States. It’s big business so it’s no surprise that 25 billion square feet of drywall products were sold in the country in 2017.

This construction material is utilized as walls in buildings. It has thin, coated panels of gypsum board that are separated by sheets of specialized paper. Each layer of the board is separated by gypsum rock interposed between the specialized paper.

However, due to the way in which drywall is originally made, it can come off as a bit “plain”. And by no means are we saying that there’s anything wrong with that if it’s what the room requires. 

What we are saying is that if you’re looking to spruce your rooms up with wall texturing, you’ve got options.

To End

Much like plaster walls, drywall can be decorated in a number of ways. You can create a variety of modern textures on your walls and ceilings, either across the room or only on a statement wall. Orange peel, sand swirl, spray sand, and lace are the most popular patterns, but you can also opt for something classic, such as Venetian plaster.

Joe Taylor

Over 2 decades of remodeling experience, Joe is an expert in home improvement. He is now the Managing Editor of PlumbJoe where he writes guides for homeowners. His hobbies include climbing, running and playing the piano.

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