How to do a knockdown texture

Perk up underwhelming walls and ceilings with one of three popular, DIY-friendly dimensional looks.

By Manasa Reddigari and Bob Vila | Updated Sep 25, 2020 10:49 AM

How to do a knockdown texture

The knockdown drywall finish, an early 1990s successor to popcorn and orange peel textures, has remained a hit with homeowners for its impressive appearance and practicality. The look is achieved by spraying, troweling, or rolling drywall joint compound onto walls or ceilings to achieve stalactite-like peaks, then flattening the peaks with a knockdown knife. The resulting mottled, naturalistic texture adds dimensional visual impact while also handily hiding any surface imperfections. As a bonus, the treatment helps to mute sounds.

Another part of the appeal? DIYers armed with basic drywall skills and some affordable tools and materials can create the look with ease! Read on for an overview of the knockdown texture technique, plus step-by-step guidance on pulling off the most popular type of this finish, to achieve a knockout effect in your home.

How to do a knockdown texture

Photo: via bradleypjohnson

Three Types of Texture

There are three main types of knockdown texture—splatter, stomp, and mud trowel—each with a distinct look and requiring unique tools and techniques.

During the 1980's and very early 1990's orange peel drywall texture was very common in new residential construction across the Southwest United States. During the 1990's and early 2000's, hand textures such as hawk and trowel, skip trowel, or santa fe, became much more popular. Now you very rarely see orange peel texture used in new construction in the Southwest United States, however it seems to have made a resurgence in other parts of the country. Orange peel texture is often found in hotels or large commercial buildings. Spray knockdown texture is slightly more common than orange peel even in those types of buildings.

Is it Orange Peel Texture or Knockdown?

Some people mistake knockdown for orange peel texture. How can you tell the difference? Both orange peel texture and knockdown are sprayed using similar equipment. However, as described below, orange peel is thinner and left to dry immediately after being sprayed. Knockdown, on the other hand is, smoothed slightly, or "knocked-down", with a large flat knife shortly after being sprayed. The globules of mud with knockdown are larger than orange peel and spread out across the surface. Orange peel covers the entire surface of drywall with a thin layer so the underlying drywall does not show through. With knockdown however, very small areas of exposed drywall are visible between the globules of sprayed drywall mud.

How to Apply Orange Peel Texture

Orange peel texture is very similar to Spray/splatter knockdown. Texture mud is pumped through a long hose to a special spray nozzle. Running parallel to the mud hose is a high pressure air line. In the spray nozzle the air and mud combine causing texture mud to splatter into thousands of small droplets. These droplets of drywall mud land on walls and gradually merge to form a consistent thin layer of mud across the surface. As the texture mud dries, it resembles the peel of an orange, thus the name.

When spraying orange peel texture, the tip is smaller than what is used for knockdown and the air pressure is slightly higher. This makes the droplets of mud exiting the nozzle smaller than knockdown texture, allowing them to merge into a uniform film rather than remaining as individual globules.

The most difficult challenge of spraying orange peel texture is keeping it consistent across the entire surface. Spraying an even orange peel texture is in many ways more difficult than spraying knockdown. The technique required is similar to spraying paint on walls. However, when spraying paint with an airless sprayer, you usually also back roll the surface to smooth out any uneven areas. With orange peel texture, you do not have this option since the texture must be left to dry in place.

How to do a knockdown textureAfter it has been sprayed, orange peel texture is left to dry as is. Because of this, it is slightly quicker to apply than knockdown. This is likely a big reason it is more common in hotels and large commercial applications where reducing labor costs is increasingly important. After it has thoroughly dried , it can be primed and painted as normal.

Orange Peel Spray Equipment

Spray Texture Rigs

Spray rigs are used by the professionals for the largest of jobs. For example, when spraying orange peel in hotels, hospitals, or other large commercial buildings, it is necessary to use a large spray rig with a capacity of 200 or more gallons. This type of spray rig is usually mounted on a trailer with a gas powered motor and air compressor. The texture mud used comes in powdered form and is mixed in the hopper similar to the way mortar mixers work.

Portable texture sprayers

Portable sprayers with tanks that can hold between 5 and 10 gallons of texture are useful for smaller projects where you need to spray at least a few rooms. Graco® makes several different models of sprayer with different size tanks and motors. These sprayers are a good choice for professionals, even as a supplement to a large spray rig. These smaller sprayers are great when you don’t want to fire up the large trailer mounted sprayer for a simple patch or small project.

Hand held spray hoppers

How to do a knockdown texture

Hoppers are lightweight and easy to operate. They can be used by do it yourself homeowners to repair small patches. Since the mud is gravity fed to the nozzle rather than pumped under pressure, it is difficult to get the same texture effect as with larger sprayers or spray rigs. Some professionals have found success spraying orange peel with a hopper by using very thin mud.

Spray texture in a can

Homax® sells drywall texture spray cans that work just like most aerosol cans. You can buy them specifically for knockdown or orange peel texture. Though they are convenient for small patches or repairs, it is very difficult if not impossible to match the original texture using this method. If used, they are primarily for small patches. You should always test the texture on a scrap piece of drywall before spraying the patch.

Soft bristle brush and paint stick

When it comes time to match texture on drywall repairs, most professionals simply pull out their small air compressor and hopper. However, if the patch is very small, a few inches in diameter, you may be able to match orange peel texture with a soft bristle brush and a paint stick. If you have ever pulled your fingers across a wet toothbrush, you are familiar with how it splatters water in the opposite direction. Similarly, a soft bristle brush can be used to splatter thin mud on a drywall patch. To do this, the mud must be very thin, almost watery. The brush is then dipped in the mud and a small stick can be used to pull the bristles toward you, in the opposite direction of the patch. As the bristles spring back into place, they splatter mud in the opposite direction.

How to do a knockdown texture How to do a knockdown texture

Should it be used in new construction

Whether or not orange peel texture should be used in new construction depends on several factors. However, it is good to remember that orange peel texture is very difficult to match. Like all sprayed textures, the final product depends on the consistency of the mud, the ambient temperature and humidity levels, the air pressure used, and of course the skill of the tradesman. It is almost impossible to recreate conditions exactly like they were when the original texture was applied. Though orange peel texture may be appealing for it's quickness of application and apparent ability to cover underlying imperfections. The ease of matching this type of texture in the future should be given consideration. Particularly in areas that get a lot of traffic or are subject to updates and repairs.

How to do a knockdown texture

One of the hardest job in decorating home is choosing the perfect drywall finish for your ceiling.

If you are also having the same experience, these following types of drywall surfaces and textures will help you in choosing the most suitable one.

The best part is that these types of texture are also applicable for ceiling and also for your wall. Let’s get started.

Skip Trowel

How to do a knockdown texture

A skip trowel is probably the most known drywall finish among other types of textures. This style use a plaster and plasterer’s tool to produce the texture.

Sometimes, it is often puzzled with the knockdown texture (explained listed below). This type of drywall texture is also known as mud trowel knockdown, santa fe, or spanish knockdown texture.

This need to be tried by somebody who has experience with plastering techniques, since you need to utilize a trowel to produce the surface, and it can be hard.


How to do a knockdown texture

This type of wall and ceiling texture is slightly different than the skip trowel technique we have discussed before. Basically, the material and the tool are still the same; a hawk and a wall knife or a trowel, however, for a larger area like wall or ceiling you may want to use knockdown tool.

The difference is that after you layer the surface of the wall or ceiling with plaster, you will dab that wet layer with a brush, trowel, sponge, or styrofoam to make a pattern of peaks on it, and then you just need to knock those peaks down with a knife or a knockdown tool.

One important thing to remember, you just have to slightly grazing across the top to knock down those peaks, you don’t want to give too much pressure because that will ruin the texture.


How to do a knockdown texture

Swirl texture pattern might be the most beautiful texture among all. Besides its outstanding look, this will create a detailed pattern on your ceiling. You can choose either smooth or rough pattern, depending on your preferences.

To make the swirl pattern, the key is only to rub the coating with brush if you prefer a rough look, or you can use a sponge if you want more smooth look. For the pattern, you can optionally choose the swirl, whether it is a full circle or half. The common types of swirls to choose are sand swirl and perlite swirl.

How to do a knockdown texture

What makes this texture special is that the base color of the surface has different color than the pattern. Yes, of course, it means this needs more jobs to do, but the result will never disappointing.

Firstly, you will cover the wall or ceiling surface with a color, and then you will add the pattern on it once the wall dries with different color. You can obviously use the same color, though.

Spray Sand

How to do a knockdown texture

It’s a less expensive method to end up the drywall, all you need is just a dry texture mud product and a mixture machine. You will need to set the consistency of the spray before you start to spray it using spray gun across your wall or ceiling.

Your ceiling and your wall will end up look like any of those luxurious texture.

The type of drywall surface and texture you choose depends on the space of the room and its decoration. Just mix and match which type of texture finish that most suitable with your home decoration.

If you cannot do it by yourself, be sure to call the professionals around your area and they will do it for you.

Kinds of Textured Paint

Textured paint is one of the most popular types of paint in the market today. Textured paint is utilized in a range of various applications and for lots of various factors. Here are a few of the various types of textured paint that is offered in the market.

1. Premixed Textured Paint

One of the most typical types of textured paint comes in the type of premixed. Premixed textured paint will come in a container and it currently has whatever in it that you require. With this type of paint, it will not typically supply you with a lovely textured surface area from close-up.

2. Self-Mixing Paint

Another popular type of textured paint includes blending it yourself. The most popular additive to put with this type of paint is sand.

3. Smooth Textured Paint

Another type of textured paint includes utilizing a smooth texture. This type of paint does not really include anything such as sand to produce a rough texture. Numerous times, you will not be able to use it with a routine paintbrush or paint roller.

4. Alternative Finishes

Textured paint is likewise readily available in a number of various surfaces simply like standard paint. You might select a textured paint with a shiny surface.

For tips, how-tos, loads of inspiration and access to the resource library full of free machine embroidery designs and PDF patterns.

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Who doesn’t love a cozy sherpa or blanket when the weather gets chilly? Plush outerwear and home decor make the perfect holiday gift. Plus – they’re also great for personalizing with a name or a monogram using your embroidery machine. The only problem is that plush, nappy fabrics aren’t the easiest fabrics to work with. Embroidered letters and designs can easily get lost within the texture of the fabric. So, to make your stitching really stand out, you may want to use a knockdown stitch.

But what is that? And how do you make such a thing?

Products mentioned in this post

Don’t know what a knockdown stitch is?

A knockdown stitch in machine embroidery is a base layer of stitching designed to go underneath a name, monogram or embroidery design. It’s function is to hold down nappy fabric to make the primary embroidery design more prominent.

Knockdown stitching is typically done in a basic shape like a circle, square, quatrefoil, etc. For example, a rounded monogram might be stitched on top of a circle-shaped knockdown stitch area. But, it can also be in the shape of the embroidery design intended to go on top.

How to do a knockdown texture

Photo provided by Sue Rosenbaum Pitman and used with her permission

The area inside of a knockdown stitch is not 100% dense. It’s more or less a light matrix of stitching. The lightness of this first layer of stitching makes it possible for you to stitch the primary design on top without the area becoming to rigid from so many layers of stitching.

Knockdown stitch areas are commonly done in a thread color to match the material underneath. However, there is no hard fast rule that says it must be done this way. A knockdown stitch area that contrasts the material underneath and/or the color of the monogram can look really sharp.

When to use a knockdown stitch

You may have heard that water soluble stabilizer is the perfect solution for getting nappy fabrics to stay put underneath embroidery designs. This is true, however that water soluble stabilizer will wash away! The long fibers of a fabric can hide elements of an embroidery design.

You can see this effect in the example below. The same embroidery design was stitched on two different towels.

The first one was done with just a water soluble topper, the other with a knockdown stitch. It doesn’t even look like the same design! The version on the right stands out so much better against the nappy towel texture! Because the embroidery design has a lot of detail and thin lines, the version on the left gets lost within the towel nap. Never tried embroidering on towels? Here’s how.

How to do a knockdown texture

Two versions of the same embroidery design stitched out on a towel: one with a knockdown stitch and one without. Photo provided by Jan Humphries and used with her permission.

The lesson here? Whenever you have a design, name or monogram with significant detail or a lot of thin strokes, and you want to stitch it on a fabric with a lot of texture, you should definitely use a knockdown stitch.

The other lesson? You may just like the look of a knockdown stitch. Some people use them as a decorative element even when the design or lettering would have held up on its own.

How to make a knockdown stitch

There are two ways to create a knockdown stitch. You can either buy it as a file, or you can create it yourself if you have the necessary digitizing software to do so.

Purchasing the file

Buying a knockdown stitch file is just like buying any embroidery design file. They are available in many shapes and sizes, you just need to find one that is appropriate for the design, name or monogram you are stitching out. For example, if you are stitching out a monogram with the largest letter being 3″ tall, a 3.5″ – 4″ knockdown shape would be an appropriate size to use in the background.

There are several digitizers who offer knockdown stitch files in a variety of sizes and styles.

    . Each of the shapes has a generous satin stitch border to cleanly finish the area. without the satin stitch border.
  • If you prefer to purchase individual files, check out the offerings at TMM Designs. You can buy just about any shape you can imagine.

When your purchase a knockdown stitch file to work with your embroidery design, you have two different options for stitching it out. You can either stitch out the two files separately, or you can combine the files in a program like SewWhat-Pro and then download the composite file. The benefit of bringing both designs into the software is that you can preview how they look together. This can provide you with the assurance that your embroidery design will not exceed the borders of the knockdown stitch.

Generating it yourself

It’s really not rocket science to create the knockdown stitch area yourself. You just need to have some inexpensive software to help you do it.

Both SewArt and SewWhat-Pro allow you to create a knockdown stitch but do so in different ways. The software you choose should depend on the shape you are trying to achieve.

If you are trying to generate a basic shape, I would suggest using SewArt. There is not a specific “knockdown” setting. You simply create your desired shape (rectangle, circle, etc…), and then turn it into a fill with a very light fill. The fill type you should choose is X Stitch fill with sep-10.

In SewWhat-Pro, there is a specific tool to create the knockdown stitch to work with any design. The feature is located under the tools menu, it’s called “Nap Tack.” The benefit of creating your knockdown stitch in SewWhat-Pro is that you can set it up to follow the contour of your main embroidery design.

Knockdown is also a feature in Embrilliance Enthusiast. You can find the feature under the Utility tab in Embrilliance.

SewArt, SewWhat-Pro and Embrilliance Enthusiast are just three of the many different embroidery digitizing programs, but most of them will have this feature. I just mention these three due their low cost and ease of use.

How to do a knockdown texture

Drywall textures are primarily used to add character to ceilings, however, they can be done on walls as well. They cover up blemishes and add flair to otherwise flat, boring drywall. There are many styles to choose from and some are more DIY friendly than others. Most textures can be done using only hand techniques, however, different applications will be done faster with a spray gun and compressor. Choosing which texture suits your needs will depend on the state of your ceiling, whether you want to match an existing style or have a style preference, and, of course, your level of experience. Here are a few common drywall textures and how to achieve them.

1. Popcorn

A “popcorn” ceiling is sometimes referred to as a “cottage cheese” texture and is very good at hiding imperfect or stained walls. It can also help with sound dampening because of the thick application. It was a popular look from the 1960s-80s and is still used for its versatility, though it’s considered a bit dated and many homeowners spend more money removing this texture rather than applying it. Also, popcorn ceilings have been known to have asbestos, and can be difficult to paint and clean because they tend to collect dust. For best results, use a texture sprayer and compressor with specific popcorn ceiling texture mix from the hardware store.

2. Orange Peel

How to do a knockdown texture

This is a very common and basic texture, named because of its resemblance to the dimpled skin of an orange. It’s often used to cover imperfections in any drywall without the need for fancy, time-consuming hand techniques. Drywall mud is thinned with water to a consistency like a thick milkshake and applied through a sprayer and compressor or with a special roller with a thick “nap.” Look for a roller with at least ½” fibers and remember that as the size goes up, the greater the texture. Wait for the first coat to dry before applying a second coat.

3. Knockdown

Another DIY-friendly technique is the “knockdown,” also known as the “California knockdown.” This texture adds more warmth and dimension to your ceiling as it resembles a stucco finish with dimples that have been flattened. The application starts as the orange peel technique, but before it completely dries a finishing knife is applied over the mud just enough so that the bumps are partially smoothed over. The downside is you will have more cleanup to deal with than the orange peel, but the end result will be a contemporary style.

4. Skip-Trowel

The term “skip trowel” is sometimes confused with the knockdown, however the difference is in the initial application. A skip trowel texture is applied by hand directly onto the drywall with an 18” curved knife, and mud is applied very thinly in layers. The angle of the knife to the drywall causes the mud to skip across the surface, leaving behind a multi-layered texture. A true skip trowel leaves small round circles spread over one another on a smooth surface.

5. Slap Brush

How to do a knockdown texture

The “slap brush” is a general term used to describe ways of adding patterns with brushes pushed up against the mud after it has been rolled or sprayed on. There are many different names for this particular method: “stomp brush,” “crow’s feet,” or “rosebud,” just to name a few. The end result will depend on the type of brush you use and the way it’s applied against the mud, but generally the brush is pushed upwards from a pole so that uniformity can be achieved.

6. Sand Swirl

The “sand swirl” is another stylized pattern that will take time and skill to apply properly. Again, two people are needed: one to roll on a mixture of perlite, which is primer mixed with sand, and a second person to create the arched pattern. Like the comb, the pattern is usually a series of rounded hand motions, but the swirl uses a bristle brush to create a looser pattern than the geometric comb. You can use thinned mud instead of the perlite mix, but it will result in a thicker, less glossy look.

7. Comb

“Comb” textures are highly stylized techniques that create lines of different widths most commonly producing a rainbow shape. Use drywall comb tools specifically made for this application as the trowel must have a series of small teeth to create the strips of lines. A repetitive rainbow arc is the most common look used, however, one can experiment to create different shapes. The comb should be done with two people: a roller (or sprayer) and a comber so that one person can focus on applying the mud while the other person does the pattern. The comb is normally done by an experienced drywaller, but try it out on a spare piece of drywall if you want to test your hand at it.

Drywall textures can be a relatively inexpensive way to add interest to bare ceilings or walls, however, keep in mind that most of the techniques require a certain level of experience with hand trowels and drywall mud application. Any of these methods will go faster with two people. For new DIYers, try out textures on a smaller area first, if possible. And remember that things will get messy, but the end results can be well worth it.

How to do a knockdown texture

For many homeowners, smooth wall and ceiling surfaces are the default choice. While attractive, smooth surfaces are difficult to get right. Any imperfections you happen to make are glaringly obvious. This is where texturing comes in.

Wall and ceiling texture covers up minor imperfections. It even does a good job of reducing the visual impact of major errors. For do-it-yourselfers who find themselves challenged by the art of finishing drywall, texture can be a lifesaver. Spray texture—in the form of handheld spray cans—is a quick, easy way to apply texture.

Texture Delivery Systems

Large-scale ceiling and wall textures are applied by painting or drywall professionals using special spray equipment. There are ways to duplicate the look with a paint roller, but it’s a lot of work—especially when you’re applying texture to the ceiling.

Spray texture is not recommended for large areas. Most cans only cover 75 to 125 square feet. An average-sized bedroom would use four or five cans. But spray texture cans work well for small patches.

For example, if you’ve patched a drywall or plaster surface and need to blend the area with the surrounding texture, a can of spray texture can do the trick. You just have to choose the right type of texture for your surface.

Practice your skills on pieces of scrap cardboard before attempting to apply spray texture to walls or ceilings. While this does use up a small amount of the texture material, it is well worth the cost in order to achieve the look you're after.

How to do a knockdown texture

Wall texture trends tend to change a lot. Just look at the walls in an old home and compare them to walls in a new build. Chances are the texture on the walls is different in more ways than one. Like any trend, wall texture can be changed.

Popcorn wall texture, popular a decade or two ago, can be removed and orange peel texture, more popular now, can be added. And because individuality in design is more prevalent than ever, you are free to mix and match design styles and aesthetics, which includes changing up the wall texture any way you like it.

Get Ready

Before you texture your walls, make sure you know which wall texturing technique you’ll be using and you have all of the supplies. It’s easiest to texture walls in an empty room, but if that’s not an option, move everything to the center of the room and cover it with tarps.

Tape off your baseboards and ceiling and tarp your floors. The texturing process can get messy, so you’re going to want protective eye and hand ware and old clothes to attack this DIY in.

Orange Peel

How to do a knockdown texture

The most popular textures, orange peel wall texturing looks a lot like it sounds. If you think of what an orange peel looks like, that’s what the texture on your wall looks like when applied correctly. To achieve orange peel texture on your wall, you’ll need a drywall mix or sand, primer, and a sprayer.

As with any style of wall texture, you can do as much or as little as you like when it comes to the application. If you want an intense orange peel you can do more drywall texture on the walls. If you want a more subtle orange field, use less mix.

Sand Swirl

How to do a knockdown texture

A combination of primer and perlite can be used to create a sand swirl wall texture. Sand swirl wall textures are large swirls in your wall made using a knockdown knife or a texture brush. This particular type of wall texture is great for rooms that want lots of character and texture, without having the walls overshadow all of the other decor in the room.


How to do a knockdown texture

If you want to get creative and let your artistic side shine through, maybe the comb technique is right for you. A comb wall involves using a special texturing comb to draw your own shape or pattern into the wall texture.

If you ever seen walls that look like they have detailed shapes and line work, it’s likely comb walls. You will need a special wall comb, and a little bit of creativity to make this one work.


How to do a knockdown texture

Perhaps the most common and easiest form of wall texturing is knockdown wall texturing. Knockdown walls look a lot like traditional stucco walls. In order to have perfect knockdown texture on your walls you need to start with a very clean wall.

Once the walls are cleaned and dried mix up your wall texture compound with water to create something similar to the texture of oatmeal. Once your texture has been apply to the walls, use a knockdown knife to smooth out some of the larger chunks and bumps so that there are no jagged parts on your wall.


How to do a knockdown texture

Venetian wall texture is great if you want a rustic yet elegant look in your home. Every time we see a wall with Venetian texture and paint we definitely feel like we’re in an Italian Countryside.

Now, all praises being sung, this wall texture is not something for beginners to attempt. Venetian wall texture requires special wall texturing compound that includes marble dust and the application process is time-consuming and very tedious. Are the end results incredible? Yes. But is this something a new DIYer should tackle? Nope.

When it comes to texturing your walls, you can make the call for how much is too much and how little is too little. You can also leave your walls totally flat and that works too.

How to do a knockdown texture

Contrary to popular belief, you can apply latex paint over enamel. But you must do the required preparation work first to avoid peeling paint in the furture. Clean, dull, dry and prime the enamel surface before you paint. These steps are crucial when you convert from an oil-based enamel to a latex paint. Don’t skip the prep work or you will regret it later. You can use either latex or oil-based primer. Top it off with a high quality latex paint to make the switch with ease.

Cover the floor with drop cloths. If the item to be painted is small, place it on the drop cloth. If you are painting ceilings or walls, move the furniture to the center of the room. For exterior work, cover the sidewalks, decks, bushes and everything else that you do not want to be spattered with paint.

Prepare a bucket of hot water and trisodium phosphate, also referred to as TSP, per the manufacturer’s instructions. Prepare an additional bucket of hot rinse water. Wash the surface using a cloth soaked in the TSP mixture. Use a clean cloth soaked in the hot water to rinse the surface. Allow the surface to dry completely.

Use a block sander with fine grit sandpaper to rough up the entire surface. Sanding breaks up the enamel to provide an anchor that the primer and paint can adhere to. Wipe the surface clean of sanding dust using a clean, damp cloth. Allow the surface to dry.

Pour primer into a paint pan or paint pail. Use an angled paintbrush to cut in, or outline, the perimeters of walls, ceilings or any other place where a roller will not fit. Roll a coat of primer onto the surface using the appropriate size roller for the area. Work in sections small enough to be covered by one load of the roller. Allow the primer to dry for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. Apply a second coat of primer. Allow the primer to dry completely.

Clean the primer from the paintbrush, paint pan or pail. Refill the container with paint. Insert a new roller cover on the roller handle. Use the angled paintbrush to apply a smooth line of paint to the perimeters of walls and ceilings. Apply paint to small areas where a roller will not fit. Use the roller to apply a coat of paint to the larger areas. Roll over the brushed cut line to texture and blend the marks left by the paintbrush. Work in sections that are covered by one load of the roller, but do not attempt to stretch the paint too far. Allow the paint to dry for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. Apply a second coat of paint and allow it to dry completely.

How to do a knockdown texture

Hanging drywall is a relatively straightforward project, even for do-it-yourselfers. And because it is an interim step in the overall process of finishing a wall, any mistakes that do occur can still be covered up. But the final task of finishing drywall can easily frustrate even very skilled do-it-yourselfers. Finishing is the very last stage, and this means that you have no more opportunities to fix flaws. This is it. You need to get it right.

Drywall finishing requires a good deal of craftsmanship, which is why the gypsum wallboard industry and drywall professionals have codified a set of professional standards that breaks the process of finishing drywall into five distinct levels. Serious do-it-yourselfers should take note of finishing levels if they want their finish to look as professional as possible.

Drywall Finishing Levels

  • Level 0: Level 0 implies that no finishing of any type has been done. At this level, drywall is simply fastened to the walls or ceiling.
  • Level 1: This level means that drywall joint tape has been embedded in joint compound, but nothing further has been done.
  • Level 2: This next level means that you have skimmed a thin coat of joint compound over the tape and covered the drywall screw holes. You can stop at this level if you intend to cover the wall surface with tile, or if it’s in a garage intended to be used for storage or a workshop-type space.
  • Level 3: At this stage, finishers apply a coat of joint compound to the tape and screws. Walls that will receive a heavy texture, such as knockdown texture, can end at this level. It would be pointless to progress beyond this level since texturing will produce a finish that is rougher than level 3.
  • Level 4: This is the classic drywall finish. Here, you apply another coat of joint compound to the tape and screws and sand the dried compound. This is the level that typically is used when a wall surface will be painted or covered with wallpaper.
  • Level 5: This highest possible level of drywall finishing involves applying a skim coat, if applicable.

There are three ways to apply a skim coat:

  • Use a roller: Thinned joint compound is rolled onto the wall with a thick-nap roller. Excess is scraped off immediately.
  • Use a taping knife: A series of six or eight dabs of mud are applied, each about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Immediately, the mud is smoothed across the surface, then excess mud is scraped off.
  • Spray finish: Professionals have spray equipment to allow them to spray on drywall compound. This type of equipment can be rented at rental yards or even at some home improvement stores.

How to do a knockdown texture

The Spruce / Lisa Fasol

Where Drywall Finishing Levels Apply

In a perfect world, all drywall—every square inch of it—would be mudded and sanded down to a mirror-smooth surface. While this is possible, it's not cost-effective. If you're hiring out the work, every step requires an additional visit from the drywall worker. For do-it-yourselfers, it's yet another day or two you add to the entire project. The nature of the space and how you use it may dictate the level of drywall finish that's appropriate:

  • Garages and workshops: A level 1 or 2 drywall finish may be completely sufficient in garages and workshops. Why mud and sand a space that is rarely ever seen? On the other hand, a car aficionado or an obsessive tinkerer might enjoy having a workspace that is as clean and smooth as any other wall found in the residential part of the home.
  • Wainscot-hidden wall surfaces: Are you putting in wainscoting? Then you don’t have to put a premium finish on the lower 45 inches of your walls since it will get covered up anyway. A level 1 finish is fine for these areas.
  • Cabinet-hidden walls: Because kitchens are often blanketed with cabinets and appliances, much of the wall space doesn’t need a level 5 finish.
  • Ceilings: Conversely, ceilings tend to get raked by natural light through the windows, highlighting pops, bumps, and depressions. For many homeowners, nothing less than a level 5 will do on their ceilings. At the very least, ceilings always call for a level-4 finish.

Watch Now: How to Properly Finish Drywall

When Is a Level-5 Drywall Finish Needed?

A level-5 finish is a skim coat of joint compound (also known as mud) applied to a finish that you would normally leave at level 4.

There are two instances when you need a level 5 coating: when the finish will be glossy; or when light is be angled low enough to highlight bumps and depressions. A level-5 finish is like icing on the cake. It's a premium finish that you will not get by default; you absolutely will need to discuss this with your contractor or drywall installer, as it is not normally considered part of the finishing process.

Drywall finishing levels, in numeric terms, are not a normal part of the conversation between homeowners and contractors. Instead, you might discuss the final look or effect that you're aiming for. You might indicate that you want the dining room walls to be as smooth and flawless as possible or that the garage can have largely unfinished walls. It'll be up to the contractor to translate your requests to the drywall technician.

How to do a knockdown texture

If you have a small site, need extra living space, want to capitalise on views, or would like more yard area – maybe for that sparkling pool you’ve always dreamt of? Then a Mincove double storey home is the answer.

How to choose the right double storey house plans for you

To make sure you know exactly what you want in your Mincove small double storey house design, you will first need to address a list of questions. Really get down to the nitty gritty of what it is that you do and don’t need for the long and short term. This will absolutely help you to make the right decision.

What size house would be ideal for your needs?
Are you looking for small double storey house plans or something larger?
Is a flexible living space required for your lifestyle?
Do you have children, or are you planning on having some in the future?
Do you have family or friends that you will invite to stay?
Do you work from home and need an office space?
Would you like an entertaining area?
How important is kitchen size in your home?

We have 2 storey house plans that suit 10m, 12.5m, 15m block widths and beyond as well as plenty of options to suit your needs, including – 4 bedroom 2 storey house plans and 2 storey 3 bedroom house plans.

If you can’t find your perfect double storey house plan here, please talk to us. With a multitude of designs developed and built over more than 18 years as local builders, the possibilities for your new Mincove Home are endless.

Impressive Double Storey Houses

We pride ourselves on doing exceptional work and promise to always leave you impressed. When it comes to 2 storey house plans, Mincove Homes can help with a range of options that will match the needs of you and your family perfectly.

By partnering with leading suppliers and working alongside the best tradesmen and women, our completed homes boast impressive visual looks, great functionality and all the comfort that you could possibly need.

We proudly work in the local areas of Wollongong, Goulburn, Albion Park, Calderwood Valley, Nowra, Shell Cove and Illawarra, leaving home builders with designs that exceed expectations. Look to our trusted team for an exceptional level of quality and customer service across all projects.

Speak to us today

Get in touch with Mincove Homes to find out more about our 2 storey house design plans. Visit one of our display homes or contact our custom home builders today.

Do I need an architect to design my house?

Not at all! With innovative designs for every block of land, regardless of the size and shape, Mincove Homes can bring your favourite double storey house designs to life without the need for you to deal with an architect. When you buy a two storey house design from Mincove Homes deal with surveyors and builders so all you need to do is choose your selections and finishes that make up your dream home. Our two storey house plans cover a wide range of styles and aesthetics, from homely and traditional to angular, modern designs, meaning you can get a house that feels custom built for you, but at prices affordable for everyone, especially if you take advantage of one of our package upgrade promotions.

Are two storey house plans a better choice than a single storey?

A double storey home design offers some advantages over a single storey. Most importantly, a double storey floor plan means you can squeeze extra living space into a small site. That can save you money where the cost of land is too high for an equally spacious single storey home, or it means you can have extra space on your property to use. Maybe it’s time for that large vegetable patch, or a swimming pool for the kids. Double storey house plans also mean that the upstairs bedrooms can perhaps make the most of any sea or mountain views, of which there are plenty across New South Wales.

Where can I build a two storey home?

If you don’t know where you want to build and live, Mincove Homes would be happy to recommend some of our favourite places in New South Wales. Illawarra and Shoalhaven are wonderful coastal regions where you can enjoy an upstairs ocean or escarpment view with our double storey house designs. The Southern Highlands is perfect for wine lovers, and Goulbourn offers you all the amenities of a large population centre without the hustle and bustle of city life. We have built excellent reputations in all these areas where we are known for quality workmanship and great pricing on double storey house designs.

Can I design my own double storey house plans?

All of Mincove Homes’ double storey home designs are fully customisable to make sure that you get the house you want. Everything from outdoor areas to the total internal floor space can be customised, giving you a completely tailored double storey house design. Most small modifications can be made at a small cost, but significant changes to the design of your two storey house design will involve some additional cost, which our team will discuss with you. To start planning a house based on our two storey home designs get in touch today.

The rusty axe is a tool and melee weapon that was added in update v0.01 to The Forest.


Gameplay [ ]

This axe is slower and deals less damage than the modern axe, but has higher knockdown power and the highest block level for a weapon, similar to the club and the turtle shell. This can be used to prevent all damage from cannibals and mutants when blocking. The rusty axe, like the crafted axe, will chop down a tree in 13 hits (9 for the modern axe, 17 for the plane axe). It can also be upgraded and combined with cloth to add extra burning damage. Like all other axes and the katana, it can be used to dismember dead corpses.

Location [ ]

The rusty axe can be found in Cave 5 – Submerged Cave. The walking entrance is located here How to do a knockdown texture. The axe is found a the end of the cave, in the small area with decayed corpses trying to approach a crucifix on the wall. The rebreather can also be found in this cave.

If you already have the rebreather, you can take the cave 5 swimming entrance in the Geese Lake How to do a knockdown texture as a shortcut. Dive in the underwater hole and follow the path until you reach the rusty axe area.