How to Mix Drywall Mud for Texture Spraying

Texturing walls and ceilings is popular in the U.S. due to its decorative applications and patterns it creates. Before you begin your texture project, there are many contributing factors to achieving your desired texture finish. Some of these include equipment selection, nozzle selection, airflow setting, material flow setting and the actual material. An important step is mixing your material correctly and paying close attention to its consistency throughout the job. Throughout this article, we will discuss the types of texture material, pattern sizes, guidelines for mixing and equipment. You will be spraying texture like a pro in no time!

The most common drywall mud can be purchased in pre-mix or powder form. Regardless of the type of material you are working with, the bottom line is to mix the material and thin until the desired consistency is reached.  This is an essential step to achieve the best finish. Let’s look further at the characteristics of the two types of texture compound.

Pre-mixed joint compound starts out thick with a paste-like consistency. This type of mud will come in a bucket or box with everything in it that you need. However, most pre-mixed joint compound needs to be thinned to meet the pattern criteria. Some benefit of pre-mixed material is convenience, requiring less mixing and less water needed on the job site. 

Powdered joint compound, commonly used for wall and ceiling texture, can be broken down further into standard and fast setting. Standard joint compound material is primarily composed of gypsum and used for drywall. On the other hand, fast-setting material contains unique chemical compounds that react and set quickly when exposed to water, hence its name. Powdered material will come in a bag and need to be thinned according to the manufacturer’s directions. Typically, most contractors spraying texture do not prefer fast-setting material because of constant and thorough cleanup required and fast setup time.

Generally speaking, thinner drywall mud creates more output and a finer finish, while thicker drywall mud creates less output and a coarser finish. The tips listed below provide additional information to help guarantee your success with texture spraying!


The Right Mixing Tools

Choosing the right mixing tools is important to achieve the right consistency. Standard drills could be damaged if used to mix heavy muds. When mechanically mixing material, go for a heavy duty drill or a mixer designed exclusively for texture and drywall mud that provides enough power to get the job done.


Equipment Matters

The thickness of material can impact the performance of your spray equipment and overall productivity. Most equipment can spray thin material without a problem. However, larger pumps will be more forgiving and productive for a job requiring thicker material to be sprayed.     


Testing Consistency

As seen above, mixing texture material to the right consistency is crucial for a successful overall finish. One way to test consistency is using the finger test. After mixing, simply run your finger through the center of the material. If the material smoothly folds back on itself, this indicates a medium to light mix. When a mixture does not fold back on itself and a line where your finger was still stands typically means the material is too thick.  Refer to the video below for a visual of this easy test!  


Start On The Thicker Side

You can always add more water to thin out the material. Once water is added, there is no way to “remove” it without starting over. Starting with a thicker material will give you all the control in adjusting the consistency for your desired finish!   


Mix Mud Periodically

Some material may thicken as it sits, which can slow production or impact your finished consistency. Mixing the material frequently shears material and aerates to keep the material fresh as you complete the job.    


Mixing Powder

An important aspect to remember is to add a few inches of water before adding the powder texture material into the mixing container. This ensures the material will not clump or stick to the side of your mixing container. Lastly, be sure to save some material in case the mixture is too thin and needs to be thickened.


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