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Drywall Texture Finish Mud Plaster. How to Cure-Fix Porous Dry Ceilings and Walls

Updated on September 15, 2017

Help! My Drywall Mud Texture Finish Plaster is Drying too Quick!

Dale Ovenstone: Updated October 2015

Manufactured, are certain drywall/mud/texture compounds, powders and ready mixed materials: (in the UK, texture finish building materials include ARTEX, WONDERTEX, to name a few) that are used for there flexibility (not as brittle, once dried, as finishing plaster is) and the length of time that a practitioner can work the material, once it has been mixed to the correct consistency, is ideal for creating beautiful Comb texture patterns and nifty comb sweeps as an attractive, bold 3D effect cover for ceilings and walls.

Of course, to texture like a pro takes dedicated practice, plus aspects of vital knowledge, of which I am about to share.

On occasions, as one practices the fine art of combing; rolling a band of the texture onto the width of the ceiling or the wall, and then drawing a specific texturing comb tool through the applied mud, creates a plethora of effective, bold designs and patterns, depending which comb tool you are using, and which pattern you are creating.

I am not ashamed to tell you that when I first started texturing a practice wall in my home using comb tools, way back in 1981, I found the pastime extremely fun and relaxing, I was fulfilled and delighted and in a way, as an artist willingly vents out his creativity, for all to see, I was happy.

But in the very early days, just before that, I used to stand there scratching my head and would ask myself that vital question, 'why is the darn texture drying off too quickly?' And this problem made learning the art of texturing, not fun at all.

In no time at all, I finally discover the answer was really a simple solution (no pun intended.)

Back to the here and now. Here is a letter I received off an endearing customers who purchased a set of comb tools from my website.

Take it away Anne.

Dale, very sorry to be getting back late, have been busy on the house upgrade, repairs & remodelling.

Decided I probably would not know what to do with the rose combs so thought that in long run the set of 3 regular standard combs might serve me better.

Please just send the video that shows me how to create the 3d effect oystershell pattern -- am not so sure I will have time to do lot of reading. As well would like to see your oyster shell technique live & direct so that I can follow suit--in your pictures & your youtube videos it is a beautiful design.

When you say seal the walls I'm not sure what that refers to.
Here in the USA common practice is to texture right onto bare drywall w/o any preparation to it. Would you do something different than that in the UK?

Also would appreciate your input on this. I've a ceiling that had popcorn drywall texture finish-got scraped and then painted. Do you think the texture will stick to painted surface? If not, would paint primer help?

Thanks, appreciate your time and follow up.

3D Effect OysterShell Drywall Texture Pattern!

I created this Drywall Texture effect using a set of 'Texturing Comb tools' straight onto a step down coved ceiling feature. Check out my youtube videos for creative comb tool tips
I created this Drywall Texture effect using a set of 'Texturing Comb tools' straight onto a step down coved ceiling feature. Check out my youtube videos for creative comb tool tips

A Video Example of a 3D Comb Texture

Walls Ceilings Preparation Prior to Drywall Finishes Plastering

Dear Anne.

I have shipped out your set of texturing combs. For peace of mind the package is tracked by Royal Mail. 'Nifty Tricks 'n' Tips Of a Professional Texture Practitioner' concerning creative drywall texture patterns, comb art and effects, as requested by yourself, will arrive when I send my next e-mail to you, and will contain a link for you to download the e-book.

On with the pesky problem of quick drying texture material.

Drywall texture drying out too quickly. Not enough time to create texture patterns using comb tools.

(These problems are usually a beginners nightmare, I suffered them bad myself, I lay the mud on, then work like crazy, just managing to drag my comb through the texture, nearly breaking the tool. I just about had enough, until one day I discovered something crucial that allowed me the opportunity to finally produce amazing textures on ceilings and walls.

It was my dear Uncle Paddy Jones (RIP.) He was a darn good plasterer. A strong man with years of building knowledge behind him.

It was the early days, I was trying to texture my mums bathroom, but not having much luck. She told me to go see her brother, Uncle Paddy.

'Dale,' he said, in his strong, Cardiff/Irish accent. 'You have to Uni-Bond the surface and let it dry before you Artex it,' he told me. 'Otherwise, it is too porous,' he continued.

Crucial knowledge for a newbie just like me. Thank you Uncle Paddy, you provided me the key to finally pursue my texturing career. Thank you so much.

Tips to stop texture drying too quick once you've applied it to the surface.

1: ask the manufacturer / store owner, a texture drywall person, anybody that you may know, if that particular texture material you are about to purchase has the flexibility and the longer, work-ability, to create such 'comb' pattern finishes onto your ceilings and walls.

If the texture material is correct for the purposed usage: (sometimes you may have to work with a few different texture (mud) materials to discover which one you prefer) then vital preparation of your ceilings / walls, prior to creating slower patterns using comb tools, is the key foundation for a professional finish.

2: if you want to make comb-texture patterns, it is not wise to put the correct decorative material/texture for creating comb patterns, directly, onto a 'porous' ceiling or wall, because that would be asking for trouble.

(A porous surface may be a new plastered ceiling / wall, a matt painted c / w, and usually a concrete wall, besides a few others. 3D texture art using texture compounds are mainly for interior usage (unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer.))

Priming/sealing of the surface to be textured, not only helps bond drywall texture onto ceiling (or wall,) but the major aspect of sealing such a surface, (by priming it first,) is to prevent the drywall texture from 'drying out too rapidly' as one attempts to create patterns with comb tools.

(There are certain products (powders and ready-mixed) specifically created for making texture finishes. These texture components consist of a special adhesion that glue itself to many 'normal' surfaces to be textured, once laid on and dried/set.

Some building surfaces (plasterboard, wallboard, to name a few) are manufactured to directly take wet compounds; such as plaster, texture, paint etc. But when creating patterns using comb tools and texture, the best method is to seal/prime the surface first, and let it dry to create a semi-waterproof barrier, which slows the rate applied texture takes to become unworkable.)

Even though it is quite normal to apply drywall texture directly onto the correct side of a wallboard / plasterboard, for preparation and for quicker drywall patterns, it is not really suitable whilst a practitioner is in early learning process of how to create artistic patterns and effects, using comb tools.

In the UK & Europe, ceilings and walls are normally painted using either 'Matt Emulsion' which, once applied and dried onto the surface, would have a flat matt dull lifeless appearance.

If one was to apply drywall texture onto this kind of surface, (drywall texture/plaster, being water based, meaning, the moisture content within the mixed material evaporates) the building material would 'absorb water from the texture, into the surface of the wall or ceiling') soaking up all of the water content) thus making it impossible to work the drywall texture for too long. This is not good.

The second finish of emulsion paint used in the UK, is called 'Vinyl Silk Emulsion' whereas, once the applied paint has dried off, the finish would be shiny and create almost a glare, catching the light.

If you could imagine applying drywall texture onto this kind of surface, the moisture content from the mixed texture would take longer to evaporate/penetrate, into/through, the surface.

(On occasions, summer's hot air, central heating pipes hidden in walls, under ceilings, hot radiators could dry texture out too quickly;)

From the examples above, and because certain textures have adhesive qualities, vinyl silk interior paint finish would prevent texture drying out, compared to matt emulsion paint. So the texture would be more 'playable' on the surface. This is ideal.

Whatever you do, always read the manufacturers recommendations of any building material you purchase.

When a surface is primed or sealed, a barrier is created which supplies both adhesion and non absorption of the lighter material.

PVA (building products) is an ideal water based solution which tackles the issues discussed above.

Undiluted, (& sometimes diluted) the solution/material acts as a glue for many surfaces, or, once diluted with water, acts as a 'sealer of porous surfaces', (also with adhesive properties) whereas one mixes parts PVA with parts water (as per manufacturer recommendations on the container, and for the specific kind of surface one wishes to work on) to create an adequate sealer onto a surface prior to texturing or plastering.

Related information: how to cure ceiling / wall porosity, unsightly cracks, flaking, peeling paint or texture. DIY, upgrades, remodelling related problems? Read the article below.


How To Re-Cut Your Drywall Texture Comb Tools-Make Them Last Longer

Interior Ceilings and Walls-Decorating-Which Paint Should I Use

DIY Tools How Corners Cutting Cornice Mitres Crown Moulding-Fix With Adhesive-Glue For Coving Ceiling Feature

Which Drywall-Texturing COMB Tools Art Effects Compound Mud to Use USA CANADA

Ladies DIY Construction Builders Home Repairs Decorating & Remodelling!

Drywall Texture Finish and Plastered Wall Ceilings-Flaking Peeling Paint

Edited and updated in September 2017

Dale Ovenstone

Go on, Create a Craze!

3D Effect OysterShell Comb Drywall Texture Pattern created onto s step down coved ceiling feature!

3D Effect oysterShell comb pattern onto a 'step down coved ceiling' your home improver's re-modellers diy enthusiasts step by step downloadable guide enabling you to create this ornamental cornice, coving moulding medallion feature onto ceilings
3D Effect oysterShell comb pattern onto a 'step down coved ceiling' your home improver's re-modellers diy enthusiasts step by step downloadable guide enabling you to create this ornamental cornice, coving moulding medallion feature onto ceilings

Drywall Finish Texturing Combs

A centre rose comb texture effect. Using a set of 3 standard texturing comb tools!
A centre rose comb texture effect. Using a set of 3 standard texturing comb tools!
Set of 3 drywall texturing comb tools:- 1 standard 2 rose
Set of 3 drywall texturing comb tools:- 1 standard 2 rose | Source
set of 3 combs 3 standard 1x10" 1x6.5" 1x3.5"
set of 3 combs 3 standard 1x10" 1x6.5" 1x3.5"


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    • Inspired to write profile image

      Dale J Ovenstone 2 years ago from Wales UK

      Thank you Mark. On my youtube channel I have plenty of textured comb effects

      Thanks for commenting

    • markeleazer profile image

      markeleazer 2 years ago from CENTRAL FLORIDA

      Dude I am sooo blown away I have seen some old to newer textures here in Nc and Florida however this is the grandest texture of all here in America are decent textures but I often have said to my peers if you can come up with a better looking texture you would always have work fantastic.

    • Inspired to write profile image

      Dale J Ovenstone 6 years ago from Wales UK

      Hello HRoger thank you for your comment.

      The actual DVD & the combs I send out has been very popular both in the United States & in Canada folk seem to love learning attempting drywall texture comb effects & finishes for them self.

      All the best.

      Regards Dale

    • HRoger profile image

      HRoger 6 years ago from Online where I can be!

      Wow Dale!

      This is some amazing stuff man! I really find that amazing, the 3D Effect OysterShell Drywall Texture Pattern is just something I have never seen before! I have seen similar things since I worked as a Wood and Laminate Flooring installer in Florida for almost 6 years. This is something that would greatly match with some beautiful floors. The 3D ceiling is just gorgeous; the ideas and tips are even better!

      Thanks for sharing! Voted up!


    • Inspired to write profile image

      Dale J Ovenstone 7 years ago from Wales UK

      It sure is a fascinating hobby too. Thanks for your comment.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 7 years ago

      Great Hub. It's really amazing all the work and effort that goes into these ceiling and wall designs. It's very intricate and looks like it would take awhile to complete.

    • Inspired to write profile image

      Dale J Ovenstone 7 years ago from Wales UK

      Artexing texturing combs, a bucket of drywall texture, a well prepared ceiling or wall, then let your imagination flow lol. Thanks for the comment LillyGrillzit .

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      I love these tools for a beautiful and artistic finish upon ceiling and wall! Gorgeous and exciting


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