Drywall Texture Mud Finish COMB Patterns-Ceiling Creations: Fan-Shell

Drywall Texture Comb Tools to Create Ceiling and Wall Patterns

Some folk new to drywall texture finishes using comb tools, may ask: 'where exactly on my ceiling, or Wall, should I begin my first fan, or shell design, using drywall texturing (artexing) combs?'

Artexing in the UK

Drywall texture finish, mudding; or as known in the UK, ‘artexing’ is a creamy coloured ‘non plaster’ based coating for ceilings and walls, which is flexible once the product is mixed (if you purchase texture in ‘powder form’ instead of ‘ready mixed.)

The material is also workable for a longer period of time, more than plaster is, (once conditions are right.)

Once applied to the surface, and the texture coating has dried onto the ceiling or wall, it is less prone to cracking, like plaster does; as it relies upon its slight (ever so) ‘flexibility’ compared to plasters ‘brittleness, once fully set’

Full Demonstration of How to Set-Up Comb Patterns

Steps for Combing Ceilings or Walls

The correct set up of your very first two row of combed fans, (or oyster shells) is paramount, and thus creates an essential uniformed finish to the textured ceiling or wall; both diagonal and every other direction, to the eye of the viewer

We call this the focal point:

1: Stand at the door entrance to the room you intend to endow your desired comb pattern, and then decide, visually, which way you want to run the textured comb pattern. (If you are texturing for a customer, do make sure they agree, before you begin texturing, to avoid costly time consuming mistakes later on.)

2: Once you have decided the direction the pattern is to run, (each fan/shell, usually runs down the ‘whole’ length of the ceiling; fan/shell by fan/shell, one at a time.)

For Comb Texturing Ceilings:

3: Go into the room to be textured, and continue to the very corner of the room. Place your back against the wall (if you are using your left hand for combing, (as I do) slide right over towards the ‘right corner side of the wall’ (where your right shoulder touches the wall, and your back touches the back wall) & this is where you will normally begin your first comb, drawn through the texture to create the desired fan or shell pattern.

For This Example:

4: Hold the texturing comb tool in your left hand, your right shoulder & your comb tool touches the 'right' hand side of the wall, at the corner of the ceiling. Look upwards, and then begin your fan, or shell. Working across from the 'right towards the left hand side' of the ceiling.

In summary: Tips & Tricks.

Once your back is against the wall, you should be looking right down towards the end of the ceiling; & that is where you will end up creating the final pattern once you have nearly finished.

When you start your very first fan, or shell, your comb tool should touch/rest, against the right hand side wall (if you use your left hand for texturing, like I do) your comb tool should be an inch away from the very wall part of the ceiling, that your back is rested against.

So really; you are working from the right, towards the left side, across the width of the ceiling, working towards the very end of the ceiling, whereas your back is always facing away from the pattern you are now creating.

Just take a look at the two video samples for visual clarity


Full Demonstration: Where to Begin Combing My Ceiling?

Read More Drywall Texture Tips n Tricks

Any questions you would like to leave I will certainly reply.

Happy texturing. Feel free to read more articles about manual drywall texture finishes using hand held comb tools, vital ceiling wall preparation, plus many nfty decorating ideas. Go On, Create a Craze.

Many regards, Dale Ovenstone

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Comments 2 comments

red mermaid profile image

red mermaid 3 years ago

A very informative hub, you excell at writing D.I.Y in the form of simple instructions, easily followed by the reader.


Inspired to write profile image

Inspired to write 3 years ago from Wales UK Author

Thank you red mermaid for your comment.

Regards Dale

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