Characteristics of Knockdown Ceiling Texture

A very popular finish is knockdown. Common in new residential construction in the central portion of the United States, this is also a very common finish in remodeling jobs when replacing a prior popcorn finish. In fact, it seems that popcorn has basically been replaced by knockdown - even in entry-level home construction, where it once was considered a “premium” finish. Basically, knockdown and splatter are really ‘one in the same’, with knockdown simply requiring one extra smoothing step to get its unique leather-like look. 

Knockdown and splatter finish is characterized by a consistent round-droplet pattern on the surface. The droplets can range in size from that of a dime, to as large as silver dollars. Knockdown is typically applied in a medium density look, allowing the original surface to still show around the droplets. Another desired characteristic is a good “reveal”. This can basically be described as the thickness of the droplet. More is better. 

Material consistency for knockdown finishes can range from very loose, to very thick. Wall applications tend to be with the thicker material, whereas the material needs to stay in place and also provide a good reveal. Ceiling mix can be thick or thin, although a thinner mix tends to work better. It provides a better reveal due to the effects of gravity on the thinner mix. Thinner mix also gives you more time to finish the application before the material starts to harden, so you can complete the knockdown smoothing step. 

Texture sprayers for knockdown will really depend on the size of the droplets and the thickness of material being used. A finish with large droplet size will typically need a good flow of heavier material, but little air. On the other hand, a finish with a smaller droplet will require more air to atomize, although not as much as orange peel. Nozzle sizes generally run from 6mm to 8mm for small to medium sized droplets, and 10mm to 12mm for the large droplet finishes.

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