The History of Drywall

Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer with a big remodeling project to tackle or you’re a professional looking for new techniques, there’s plenty to know about different types of drywall, how to apply it, and how to remove it. We’re going to be taking a look at Popcorn, Orange Peel, and Knock-down drywall textures today. If you’re in need of a reliable drywall spray rig that’s customized to your specifications, call us at American Spray Technologies today. AST spray rigs reduce your job time and make applying a drywall texture a piece of cake, thanks to powerful, dependable performance time after time.


Popcorn Drywall Texture

You can spot a popcorn drywall texture pretty easily, thanks to its thick formation and appearance. This is created by keeping the drywall mixture in a thicker state. Then, after the compound has been applied to the wall, the mix has not been knocked down.


Removing or Repairing Popcorn Drywall Texture

Popcorn drywall saw the most popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, though this creates an issue when you’re working with this texture. If this texture was applied prior to the 1990s, it’s a good idea to get a sample of the drywall tested for asbestos, which was heavily involved in many construction projects in decades past, before we knew of the dangers it presented. If you’re doing this DIY and the test comes up positive for asbestos, you’ll need to have a professional come in to remove it safely so as to not expose your family to the carcinogenic dust.

If the test comes up negative for asbestos, you can start the removal process. Since this is a pretty messy task, it’s a good idea to cover the room with drop cloths or plastic sheets to avoid making a permanent mess. To get started removing a popcorn drywall texture:


  1. Cover the room and remove all light fixtures.
  2. Use a drywall joint knife to remove the drywall.
  3. Press the knife against the wall and push away from yourself evenly. Continue this process until the surface is as smooth as you want it to be.
  4. Sand the whole surface twice. As you do this, ensure there are no rough spots or holes in the drywall before you continue. If you do find a gouge in the wall, you can repair it with a drywall compound. Once you have applied that, sand it down again to get it even with the rest of the wall.


Orange Peel Drywall Texture

Orange peel drywall is characterized by a rough but compact appearance. Orange peel drywall texture is never knocked down or smoothed out. As such, it is left as is when it is applied to the drywall. To apply this type of texture, use a high pressure spray gun such as the pole gun. If you’re not a professional contractor, it’s recommended you practice on a few extra panels to ensure you can get the desired effect when you apply it to the permanent surface.


Removing or Repairing Orange Peel Drywall Texture

Orange peel drywall texture is probably the easiest texture to remove, as it isn’t very difficult to smooth the texture out with a new mud. Once it’s smoothed out, you can apply a new or different texture without trouble. Be sure you consider the current thickness and density of the compound in your current finish prior to removal. If you find you’re having trouble removing an orange peel texture, you may need to replace the drywall as a whole.


Knock-down Drywall Texturing

Also known as “skip trowel” drywall texturing, knock-down textures are typically flat or otherwise smoothed out surfaces. They share a similar look to an orange peel texture, but are smoothed out with a knock-down blade, which looks a lot like a large squeegee. To apply a knock-down texture, the blade should be used about 15 - 20 minutes after you have applied the drywall compound to the surface. If you do not wait long enough for the compound to lose its glossy sheen, you will not be able to get the desired knock-down effect. It’s recommended for DIYers to have a professional contractor apply this style of texture to ensure it is done right the first time.


Removing Knock-down Drywall Texturing

The removal of a knock-down texture largely depends on the thickness or weight of the texture. It is possible to retexture the drywall by applying a thin layer of mud to create a smooth surface to work on. However, if you find this does not achieve the desired effect and the knock-down texture remains, you may need to replace the drywall as a whole, which can be a very in-depth process to tackle.


It’s pretty amazing how much the feel of a room can be changed, simply by adding a drywall texture. American Spray Technologies offers a wide range of texture spray machines, with many customization options available to fit your needs. So whether you need a portable Kodiak M2 or a durable trailer mounted rig, you can find the right rig for the job. Create your own custom rig now!