While smooth walls look neat and graceful, they can easily reveal imperfections as well.
Orange peel texture, on the hand, can help cover up even the slightest spots, bumps, or repairs in the drywall.
However, to create a texture that looks like orange peel it’s important to choose a roller that can help you get the job done perfectly.
For applying orange peel texture, there are rollers available in the market that are labeled “orange peel rollers”. If you cannot find them it’s good to select the one that comes with a heavier nap.
Usually, a paint roller with a heavy nap of about 3/4 inch, is what you need to paint and create orange peel walls.
A paint roller with a thick nap (1/2 inch to 3/4 inch and above) is designed for creating a textured finish on the walls like orange peel, knockdown, or skip trowel.
As you increase the nap size of the textured roller, the amount of texture it creates will also get increase.
But if you choose a thin nap like ¼ or 3/8 inch, it will be doing just the opposite i.e. give you a smooth finish.
The amount of texture created will however also vary, depending on the type and quality of fibers on the roller.
What is Orange Peel Texture?
When talking of wall painting, orange peel is a kind of light texture that looks much like a skin of an orange.
Also called splatter, orange-peel texture is a great alternative to a smooth finish which is easy to clean and durable too.
It is commonly applied on wallboard either for adding a beautifully textured layer on walls or for hiding imperfections and blemishes.
Although it looks smooth from a distance, when inspected closely the finish appears to be dimpled with a slightly raised texture.
The beauty of this kind of texture is it does not make your walls heavily textured or filled with patterns that look unpleasant after some time.
And that’s the reason, it’s also a popular texture choice in rental homes as well as commercial buildings.
How to Apply Orange Peel Texture?
Applying the orange peel texture using a specialized paint roller isn’t very difficult, because it works much like any other roller.
Here are a few easy steps you need to follow for creating an orange peel texture look on your walls:
Step 1 – Prepare mud
Thin your drywall mud or joint compound paste with some water.
Make sure you keep the consistency thicker than the paint you will be using later.
Fill your paint tray halfway with an already thinned drywall mud.
Step 2 – Apply the mud
Dip the roller in the mud and roll it down the tray a few times to get the mud into the nap.
Apply the mud to the wall, working in smaller sections (or about 4 by 4 feet) at a time.
Repeat the process on other wall sections, making sure you overlap the edges of the first section nicely you have already done.
Step 3 – Paint the wall to create texture
Pour the paint into a roller tray.
Dip your heavy nap roller in the paint and roll the paint onto your walls slowly.
The fibers of the heavy nap roller will automatically do the job of creating an orange peel texture that is not heavily raised.
After you have applied the paint, allow the paint to dry for a few hours.
Closely inspect the texture to determine if you require an additional amount of texture.
This can be easily achieved with each additional coat of paint you apply with a roller labeled for orange peel.
How to Fix Orange Peel Texture on Walls?
Applying an orange-peel texture is a technique by which you can add a uniform covering of small bumps all over your finished wall surface.
Depending on how the texture is done and the skills of the tradesman, over time the texture on the wall finish can get damaged and need to be fixed.
If you need to repair the damages made to the textures like orange-peel or knockdown, there are a few effective ways to do so…
To fix small holes on the orange-peel textured wallboard or plaster you can use a spackle or ready-mixed wallboard joint compound.
Also, there are premixed Texture Touch-Up Kits like those offered by Homax.
These can be used not only to repair orange peel but also knock-down and other wall patterns in small areas.
You can simply mix them and use them with your hand as per the instructions provided.
If the texture damage is very light, you can even consider buffing out the orange peel with fine sandpaper.
Using an ordinary 3/8-inch nap paint roller is another good way to repair orange-peel textures.
Slightly stipple a coating of wet premixed wallboard compound across the surface and you are done.
While recreating the texture is not very difficult in most cases, it’s good to practice your technique on a piece of scrap wallboard, cardboard, or plywood before you plan to repair the actual wall surface.
c) Aerosol Spray
Water-based aerosol spray texture products are now available in a spray can.
These products come with different spray straws (for various spray patterns) to easily handle the damages on small patch areas.
You just need to shake the can and spray it over the area to fix the textured finish.
Once dry, you can lightly sand and refinish the area with a primer and paint to match the texture and surrounding areas.
Besides the above, textured walls and ceilings can also be repaired with a gravity-fed, manually powered pressure sprayer.
The technique is most suited for fixing large areas and is usually used by experienced professionals.
How to Avoid Orange Peel When Painting a Wall?
While adding an orange peel texture is a great option to hide blemishes and imperfections on drywall, there are many homeowners who do not like it.
They simply tend to avoid orange peel when DIY painting a wall with a roller.
For those who love to get a smooth finish and don’t like the orange peel when painting, it’s important to know what actually causes it.
The very first is choosing the wrong roller for the job.
If you choose the heavier nap roller size, most likely it will leave the texture or stipple effect that looks like an orange peel.
On the other hand, using a small nap roller like 3/8″ (or even smaller) will make the stipple smaller and will certainly help you avoid getting the orange peel textures.
1- Paint and paint thinners
Some paints (like hiding paints and eggshell paints) will tend to leave orange peels more than others.
Also, adding too much paint thinner than what is actually required can make the paint stay wet for longer which can cause finishing problems.
You should therefore make sure that you prepare the surface well, choose the right paint finish and thin it properly before applying.
Adding a product such as Floetrol can help in conditioning the latex paints and can be used if you want to limit the issues.
2- Choose the correct nozzle size
If you are using your paint gun for applying paint on walls, make sure you select the correct size nozzle and air pressure that dispenses out the right amount of paint at the right angle.
Your paint gun should not spray the excessive paint than required, failing which can cause the paint to look textured with an uneven finish.
3- Paint in the most appropriate weather conditions
Heat and cold can both affect the drying time of the paint adversely which can thereby result in an uneven textured finish on walls.
So, it’s important that you plan your paint on the day when the temperature and humidity are appropriate.
This should especially be kept in mind when you are painting exterior walls.
Few additional tips to stop orange peel from painting include:
- Add the appropriate thinning agent to the paint in the right quantity
- Stir and strain the paint to remove all the air bubbles before painting
- Allow the paint to dry on the surface before you apply the additional coats
Is orange peel texture outdated?
While orange peel texture was considered to be outdated, it’s again getting in trend in many areas of the United States and Canada.
Many homeowners are choosing to add this textured finish to their walls and ceilings because it can give your home a unique look.
If you’re considering adding orange peel texture to your home, just be careful and choose the right tools or you could end up with an uneven finish.
Can you do orange peel wall texture by hand?
You can add orange peel texture to your walls using a variety of different methods, but hand-texturing is definitely the most fun. The most common method is to use a special texturing sponge.
With a little practice, you can get the perfect orange peel texture every time. Just remember to go slowly and evenly over the surface of your wall with a sponge.
What’s the difference between knockdown and orange peel texture?
While the knockdown texture and orange peel use similar materials and follow the same installation process, the latter one is a much simpler finish and can be rolled on or sprayed on very easily.
Knockdown texture, on the other hand, will take more time and effort to install. The good thing however is it comes with more customization options and varieties.
The Bottom Line
Textured rollers are specifically designed to paint textures like orange peel and knockdown on your walls.
Since these rollers feature special foam covers with appropriate nap thickness, you should certainly use them for creating a specific pattern.
No matter whether you are using it on plaster, wallboard, or surfaces like brick, stone, tile, or wood; it’s good to spend some time practicing your technique and process.
This will hopefully help you achieve the right finish you are looking for.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.