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Creative Drywall Textures: How to Cure Porous Ceilings and Walls

Updated on June 3, 2018
Inspired to write profile image

Author. Blogger. Video maker. Creator of artisan ceiling wall textures tutorials and how to's

My Drywall Mud Texture is Drying too Quick. What Can I Do?

2018: Creative ceiling and wall textures using comb tools are becoming popular in many countries thanks to free video tutorials and the availability of texturing comb tools.

Folk either love it or they hate it. Some folk prefer a flat plastered surface whilst some folk prefer a bold textured finish. Many who attempt texturing walls and ceilings are enthused by the creativity of the methods involved.

In the UK texture finish compounds for creating artistic finishes include brands such as Artex and Wondertex. Used for there flexibility and the length of time that a practitioner can work the material once it has been mixed to the correct consistency, are ideal for creating imaginative patterns and comb sweeps as an alternative attractive cover for ceilings and interior walls.

To texture like a professional takes dedicated practice plus aspects of vital knowledge of which I am sharing here.

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 as an artist willingly vents out his creativity for all to see. Yes, texturing made me feel creative and happy.

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

In no time at all I finally discovered 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 customer who purchased a set of comb tools from my website.

Take it away Anne.

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

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

Please just send the video that shows me how to create the 3d effect oyster-shell pattern. I am not so sure I will have time to do lot of reading. As well would like to see your oyster shell technique live and direct so that I can follow suit. In your pictures and your youtube videos I notice the texture 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 I would appreciate your input on this. I have a ceiling that had popcorn drywall texture finish which 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.

Yours, Anne

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

Ceiling and Wall Preparation Prior to Creative Drywall Finishes

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 of which 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 comb 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 mother's 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 the wall 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 the compound to the surface.

1: ask the manufacturer / store owner. Ask a texture drywall person. Ask 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 ceilings and walls.

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 an easier and professional finish.

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

A porous surface may be a new plastered ceiling or wall. A surface that is porous and dull looking. For instance, if you splash water there, it would dry in rather quickly.

Priming, or sealing of the surface to be textured not only helps bond drywall texture to the surface, but the major aspect of sealing such a surface 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 once laid on and dried, or set.

Some building surfaces, plasterboard, wallboard, 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, dull and 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 thus soaking up all of the water content, 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. Once the applied and the paint has dried off the finish would be shiny and creates 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 or penetrate into the surface.

Also, on occasions the summer's hot air and central heating pipes hidden in walls and under ceilings, hot radiators etc, could also dry texture out too quickly.

Because certain textures have adhesive qualities, Vinyl Silk interior paint finish would prevent texture drying out too quickly compared to Matt emulsion paint. So the texture would be more playable on the surface. This is ideal. Please note. Both these kind of paints are water-based.

But please always read the manufacturers recommendations of any building material you purchase and intend to use.

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, and sometimes diluted, the solution acts as a glue for many surfaces. Once diluted with water acts as a sealer of porous surfaces (also with adhesive properties.) One mixes parts PVA with parts water as per manufacturer recommendations for the specific surface one wishes to work on to create an adequate sealer onto a surface prior to texturing or even plastering.

I hope you found this information helpful. Please watch the video above and share your comments here

Go on, Create a Craze! 2018

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 imageAUTHOR

      Dale J Ovenstone 

      4 years ago from South Wales UK

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

      Thanks for commenting

    • markeleazer profile image


      4 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dale J Ovenstone 

      8 years ago from South 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


      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dale J Ovenstone 

      8 years ago from South Wales UK

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

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      Dale J Ovenstone 

      9 years ago from South 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 

      9 years ago from Central Oregon

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


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