Ceiling Texture

Unsure how to tackle your ceiling?
From popcorn to orange peel, you have so many types of ceiling texture from which to choose- and no they’re not all food themed.

“Surely there can’t be that many ways to decorate my ceiling?!” I hear you say…

Well there are. There are a lot.
Ceiling Textures
A ceiling can be the starring role or silent extra of your room. It’s your job to decide which role it will play.

Should I Texture My Ceiling?

Well, many think textured ceilings are out of date. I must agree that just like honey oak cabinets and carpeted stairs, these days ceiling textures are less common. Most modern home owners opt for a smooth and simple ceiling. An understated alternative to the swirling patterns ripe in the 1980’s.

However, it’s important to consider ease, sound proofing, cost and many other factors before making your decision. Afterall the ceiling is considered as the fifth wall in a room.

The benefits of a textured ceiling

The overall benefits are,

  • A unique style
  • Easy coverage of imperfections
  • Great for repairs
  • Adds dimension
  • Better sound proofing
  • Many design choices
  • An elegant look (in certain cases)

Whether you like the look or not the benefits to a textured ceiling are undoubtedly great. There are also many styles to choose from! We can find one you like.

Let’s check them out now.

Most Popular Drywall Ceiling Texture Types

While decorative ceiling tiles can greatly enhance the look of your interior design, it is often expensive. A drywall ceiling with texture is a good alternative that is affordable and beautiful.
Following are the most common types of ceiling texture styles.

Skip Trowel Ceiling

Probably the most popular drywall finish. A “go to” texture for many homeowners.
Skip Trowel ceiling texture
This style touches the home with a little Mediterranean dazzle. It’s also known as the Spanish Knockdown or Sante Fe. Skip trowel can have a light or heavy consistency, depending on your personal preference. It’s spaced out patches are easy to spot.


  • Less messy / costly than other techniques
  • Desirable look
  • Great at hiding any ceiling flaws


  • Hard DIY
  • Possible professional application

Smooth Ceilings

Simple and stylish. A smooth ceiling is desired by many modern homeowners. It gives the room a fresh and chic vibe. This style is perfect for a new build or ultra modern apartment.
Smooth Ceiling Texture


  • Popular
  • Stylish
  • Lends the attention to the rest of the room


  • Expensive – due to the labour needed to produce a completely smooth surface
  • Must be primed and painted
  • Un-customisable
  • Harder to hide imperfections

Popcorn Ceiling

This is not a tasty treat. The popcorn texture is also known as cottage cheese or fine aggregate texture. This is due to its lumpy nature.
Popcorn texture
Super popular in the 70’s, many homeowners now find this style outdated.

Although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, this texture has many great benefits! Well, 70’s flares are back in fashion… maybe popcorn ceilings will be too.


  • Cost effective
  • Does not require painting
  • Covers lumps and ceiling bumps well
  • Absorbs and muffles sound


  • Outdated
  • Difficult to clean

Fish Scale Ceiling

Eye catching and artistic! The Lady GaGa of the ceiling celebrities. Also known as the “Fan” or “Shell”, this texture is named after its sweeping semi-circle circle pattern.
Ceiling Texture type: Fish Scale
This texture is chic and elegant. Very popular in large houses and apartments. It adds a little extra oomph to any room.


  • Pleasing to the eye
  • Elegant
  • Good at covering lumps and bumps


  • Requires professional application
  • Occasionally too distracting

Knockdown Ceiling Texture

Named after its application technique, a knockdown ceiling is created by splattering the mud onto the ceiling to subsequently knock it down with a large knife. This exposes small areas or drywall.
Knockdown Texture
It’s rugged pattern can look pretty cool. Although it’s often found on both walls and ceilings in hotels.


  • Great wallpaper replacement
  • Unique and interesting look


  • Expensive / difficult application
  • Needs painting

Orange Peel Texture

Feeling fruity?
Maybe this ceiling texture tickles your taste buds. Its name derives from the textures similarity to the skin on an orange.
Orange Peel Texture for ceiling
Popular in the 80’s it is very similar to the knockdown texture. However orange peel is very thin and it spreads across the whole surface with no drywall revealed.


  • Quick to apply
  • Hides imperfections


  • Many dislike the aesthetic
  • Outdated
  • Hard to match

Comb Ceiling

The most personable ceiling texture. Using a texturing comb tool you can create waves, arcs or straight lines with this technique. Good news is it is pretty beginner level friendly!


  • Easy to DIY
  • Attractive style
  • Customisable


  • Thin Coverage – could leave imperfections

Lace Ceiling Texture

A gorgeous texture. This texture uses different tones of the same colour to create a “lacey effect”. When one colour dries a pattern is created over the top in a different colour to create a lace effect. Not only is it elegant, it’s a great way to mask cracks in the ceiling.


  • Beautiful finish
  • Hides imperfections
  • Wealthy style


  • Difficult application
  • Out of place in modern settings

Spray Sand Texture

A super easy ceiling design. It also looks impressive! One to make your neighbours say “No way… you did that?!”.

All it takes is mud mixture and a spray gun. Leave it overnight and bish bash bosh, you’ve got an attractive ceiling.


  • Easy application
  • Impressive design
  • Can DIY
  • Hides flaws well


  • Messy

Outdated vs In Style

Looking at the list it’s clear there are pros and cons to every style If you’re keen to go with something more modern here are my top choices-

  1. Smooth Ceiling – undoubtedly the freshest look for 2020
  2. Skip Trowel Ceiling
  3. Comb Ceiling
  4. Lace Ceiling – For a feature in a minimal room
  5. Spray Sand – Best for DIY

How to Texture a Ceiling?

There are several methods to add texture to your drywall ceilings. The easiest method is to use a texture roller. You can get these with different patterns.

Tools that you need:

  • A regular roller sleeve with at least 1/2-inch nap (the thickness that overs the roller)
  • The roller handle
  • The texture roller
  • Joint compound
  • A container to mix the joint compound
  • A long handle paint brush

Here are the steps:

  1. Mix the joint compound (drywall mud)
  2. Using the roller apply the sufficient thickness of joint compound on to the ceiling.
  3. In case there are too many patch works on the ceiling, consider priming before you add texture.*
  4. Before the mud dries, pick the roller with desired texture
  5. Dampen the roller before you start you work.
  6. Roll the texture roller over the joint compound.
  7. Roll it only in one direction. Never roll it back or roll over the area again
  8. You may want to keep the overlap between the two rollings to minimum (approximately 1/2″). However do not leave a gap in between.
  9. Finally use the brush with long handle to remove the excess mud from the corners.

*Priming: This is because areas with different porosity will absorb the joining compound unevenly and the drying time will vary accordingly.

How to pick the perfect texture

Well there is no right or wrong way to do this.

But there are things you need to consider when making your decision-

  1. How much money do I have to spend?
  2. What style do I want to portray?
  3. Am I going to DIY or do I require professional application?
  4. Does the texture fit with the rest of the house?
  5. Do I have lots of imperfections to hide?
  6. Do I want to make a statement or keep it minimal?
  7. How much does the aesthetic of the ceiling outweigh other factors?

By asking yourself these questions you should be able to narrow it down to a few styles.

Then it’s your choice!