If you have been following my blog, you know I kinda sorta renovated my guest bathroom largely by accident (full details here). Today I am super excited to share details on one of the projects involved in that renovation: DIY Orange Peel Texture.
Per usual, I ended up DIYing my own orange peel texture because I was flat out of options. It is not a project I really wanted to do but I lacked both the time and money to call in the pros and was thus, forced to do it myself. The condition of the guest bathroom walls was pretty abysmal. Not only were they tropical orange, but they were “smooth” and did not have any wall texturing. I’m pretty sure originally the bathroom had wallpaper and when that was removed they just painted the walls without texturing first. The problem was that the walls were not really smooth. There were probably 20 different horrendously bulging wall patches in the bathroom that make the description “smooth” a bit misleading. The walls looked like bubbling orange window tint. I tried so hard to get a good picture of those lumpy walls but something about the tropical orange kept my camera from being able to focus. None of my pictures captured it at all despite all the angles I tried.
Orange Peel Application
The most common application method for orange peel texture is to spray it on. Professional painters use special texture guns that use compressed air and a hopper to feed the mud. The other DIY friendly option is to use those little individual spray cans. Like I said, I was out of time and money so option one, calling a pro, was off the table. I did consider the spray cans but those are actually pretty expensive if you have a large area to do and I also wasn’t overly confident that I could create a consistent texture pattern with them. The other application method, and the one I opted for, is to roll on the texture.
Honestly, I had no idea you could roll-on texture but my husband, who works in commercial construction, mentioned that the paint crews on his job were using a roll-on application and suddenly my brain gears started spinning. I did some googling and low and behold, it is 100% possibly to DIY orange peel texture using a roll on application. Turns out, it is easy and cheap too. Here’s how it is done:
DIY Orange Peel Texture
- Rustoleum Restore Roller ($4)
- Paint Roller
- Paint Trey
- 5 Gallon Bucket
- All Purpose Joint Compound ($8)
- Scraper/Texture Knife ($5)
- Sand Paper/Electric Sander
- Wall Patch Kits
- Drill and Mixer Attachment
Once you have your supplies, the first step is to prep the walls. Prepping the walls just means to create as smooth and even of a starting surface as possible. To do this, remove all towel racks, mirrors, decor, and anything else not permanently attached to the walls. Then fill all the nail and screw holes with joint compound. If you have any bulging wall patches like I did then this is also the time to address those.
To blend in a bulging patch, first use and electric sander to sand off any excess joint compound. Then, using a large texture knife, spread new joint compound over the old wall patch and extend it a few inches past the current patch in order to blend it into the existing wall plane. Once the joint compound is dry, sand it smooth and hopefully you will be good to go. If not, repeat the same steps again or go ahead and cutout the patch and re-patch it using a wall patch kit.
2. Tape Edges
Tape around doors, countertops, cabinets, or anywhere else you don’t want to texture. The joint compound actually comes off very easily with just water but to get those nice clean lines you will definitely need to tape.
3. Mix Joint Compound
After the walls are properly prepped, mix the joint compound and water in the five gallon bucket. Most likely you will not be able to use all of the joint compound in one go unless there are several people working. If this is the case you will need to measure how much joint compound and how much water you are mixing so that you can recreate a mix of similar consistency. This is a step I didn’t realize I needed to do and it resulted in some slight variation in my texture thickness. Since I did not actually measure out my mix each time I cannot tell you exactly how much joint compound and how much water. However, I would start with a 50/50 mix of joint compound to water and see how thick that ends up being. I would highly recommend using a drill with a mixer attachment during this step. I can’t even imagine trying to mix this by hand. I’m not sure its possible actually.
I found the texture was easiest to apply and had the best results when the mix was about the consistency of pancake batter. I like my pancakes thin and light so I add a lot of milk to my batter and end up with a pretty thin and runny batter. The consistency and thickness of the mix (and subsequently the texture on the wall) is really just a matter of personal preference. The one thing I did learn though is that a thicker mix/texture was somewhat harder to apply, did not cover as much area, and sometimes resulted in a spiky texture that I had to lightly scrape after it dried. On the other hand, get it too thin and it may drip, run down the wall, or not provide enough of a texture to make it worth it (I never found myself on this side of the extremes). Regardless though, as long as you keep the same mix ration from start to finish I think you will be very pleased with the results.
4. Get Rolling
Now that your walls are prepped and your joint compound is mixed, the only thing left to do is to get rolling. It is best practice to use natural breaking points such as corners rather than stopping in the middle of a wall and letting the texture fully dry before starting again. Surprisingly, I found this process to be very forgiving and I was easily able to re-roll any areas that did not look quite right after they dried. For instance a few times I noticed areas where I had gone very very light on the texture unintentionally. I just re-rolled those areas even though they were already dry and they looked perfect after that.
The corners were the hardest part for me. Some I was able to roll with the regular roller and they turned out great. Other areas were just harder to reach and my results weren’t as good. I used two different methods in that case. First, I found a sponge in the drywall section of Home Depot that had a very similar patter to the restore roller. I was able to dip and and hand sponge the corners to get a nearly identical pattern. One area where a cabinet butted up almost flush to the wall was too tight for even the sponge. In this area I used one of the orange peel spray cans and was pleased to see that it also blended in quite seamlessly with the roll on texture.
Priming is really more like the first step of the painting project but I am including it here because it is essential to prime over texture. It will be tempting to skip priming because the texture seems nice and white and like it would be a great base to whatever paint you are going with but trust me, you do not want to go that route. Texture is extremely porous and will eat up sooooo much paint if you do not prime it first. Definitely prime it, do not skip priming!
That’s it, easy peasy, DIY orange peel texture via a simple roll-on application.