When you’re patching drywall, matching an existing texture can be pretty difficult. Many variables come into play that can cause the new drywall patch to be visually different from the drywall that surrounds it. With that in mind, we have gathered five tips to help you make a more seamless patch with a matching texture. If you’re looking for a drywall spray rig customized to fit your exact needs, American Spray Technologies has what you are searching for.

Use the same thickness of drywall

This is the first and possibly most important tip. If you use a different thickness than the existing drywall, it stands to reason that it wouldn’t match up correctly. Before you get started, measure the thickness of the existing texture and use the same drywall size for your patch. For example, if the wall was hung with ½ inch drywall, you should use ½ inch drywall for your patch.

While this process is pretty easy when dealing with drywall that was hung directly to the studs or other backing, patching plaster walls gets a bit more complicated. That is because plaster may not be an exact measurement that is easily matched. To compensate for this, you may need to use thin wooden shims or thick paper that has been folded to match the thickness of the existing plaster walls, which you will then put your drywall patch over so that the wall is level with the patch.

Coat the minimum amount necessary of the existing texture

After installing drywall to your patch, you will need to tape and coat it so that it will blend into surrounding surface. You will need to apply mud to the existing texture that immediately surrounds your patch to ensure the patch is flat with the existing surface texture. When doing this, use the smallest amount necessary to coat the existing texture.

However, that does not mean we recommend sacrificing a flat transition to minimize the amount of coating you use. You may need to coat a wider area to ensure that both levels blend as flat as possible. It’s important to remember: the less you need to retexture, the easier it will be to control your new texture. That means you have a better shot at making both textures match.

Remove lines between the patch and existing texture

As you coat your drywall patch, a line will typically appear between the edge of your patch and the existing texture. If you are coating a smooth surface, you would be able to feather this line (or lap-mark) out so the new coating seamlessly blends into the smooth surrounding area. However, if the surface you’re coating is textured, it won’t be possible to feather it out completely. That is because drywall mud will get trapped in the crevices of the texture, creating an uneven and undesirable appearance.

When you have finished your final coat on your drywall patch, and before you texture it, it’s important to scrape the excess mud away from the existing texture where it has become trapped. Doing this at the edge of where your patch meets the existing texture will help make for a more seamless appearance. There are several different methods you can employ to do this. The first method utilizes a drywall knife to remove the drywall mud. It is removed from specific areas to ensure the seam between the patch and existing area is as random as possible. However, that method can be quite tedious. Others find more success when they use a slightly damp soft bristle brush to rub along the line between old and new.

Whichever method you decide to use, your end goal is to make the line between the existing drywall and your patch look like a random transition. It is important to avoid an immediate or harsh transition between your smooth new drywall patch and the texture that surrounds it.

Utilize the same methods and tools that were used to make the original texture

Though it may seem obvious, the best way to match an existing texture is to utilize the same tools and methods used to make it originally. For instance, if you are trying to match a stomp knockdown texture, it is typically pretty easy, as there are only a few types of stomp brushes that are used. When you look at the pattern in the stomp, you should be able to notice if it was done with a round rosebud style stomp brush or an oblong crow’s foot stomp brush.

If the texture you are trying to match was done by hand, it can be more difficult to tell which tools or methods were originally used. Hand drywall textures can vary quite a bit depending on region and the tradesman’s individual style. Even if you can see the texture was applied using a hawk and trowel, matching the technique is still difficult due to how unique a hand texture is to the individual that applied it.

Sprayed textures like splatter knockdown or popcorn texture are more easily identifiable, as you can tell if it was applied with a spray rig or a hopper. However, it is still tough to determine the exact air pressure that was used or how much force was used to pump the mud through the hose originally. It can even be tough to determine which size spray nozzle was used. Due to the number of variables at play with spray textures, they are the most difficult to match. This means it is critical you match those variables as they relate to the original texture as closely as possible so as to make a smooth texture.

Newer tradesmen may find it is difficult to tell the difference between different techniques that were utilized because that knowledge comes with experience. If you are new to the world of drywall, try experimenting with different tools and methods to learn what changes in technique result in different styles.

Use the same consistency of drywall mud as the original texture

After you have taken the other tips into consideration, using the same consistency of drywall mud is one of the most important factors to be aware of when matching a drywall texture. It is so important because the viscosity of the drywall mud can make or break your patch. Even if you followed the previous tips, a mud that is too thin or thick will make your patch less smooth and more obvious. The last thing you want is a patch that clearly sticks out, apart from the rest of the wall.

This is tough to handle, as much of matching the exact consistency comes down to making an educated guess. The only real way to get a feel of how to match mud consistency is through experience. Mixing different types of texture mud and applying different texture styles is the best way for a tradesman to get the experience necessary to make that guess. However, with that experience, you will be able to look at a type of texture and make a strong estimation as to how thick or thin the mud was when it was originally applied.

When you’re learning how to match drywall texture, it’s important that you take your time with this step. Start off by applying the texture to a small area and examine it closely. As you examine it, try to imagine what it will look like after it has dried. Let it set for a few minutes, but don’t let it dry out entirely as textures may look different while they dry. If it doesn’t seem like this texture is matching perfectly, remove the texture you just applied, add some water, and try again. Once you believe you have matched the consistency, you’re ready to texture the whole patch.

Matching an existing drywall texture can be difficult, but it is possible with practice and experience. Follow our tips and we think you’ll have a much easier time with applying your patch. If you’re a tradesman looking for a customized drywall spray rig to apply your textures, call us at American Spray Technologies. Whether you’re looking for a portable Kodiak M2 texture machine or you need a rugged and durable trailer mounted rig, we have what you’re looking for. We manufacture the texture spray machines that drywall contractors depend on, so you know you can depend on them, too. We hope to hear from you soon.