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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I have a room which requires to have a textured finish on the wall and I am trying to match the same texture used elsewhwere in the house.

The walls are plaster (fibrous hair) with plaster texture but I don't know how this particular texture style has been achieved (refer to photos).

Would anybody know on how this pattern can be achieved ?


Late Deco.


1 Posts
Matching texture/hope I'm not too late...

I'm guessing the house was built in the 30's or early 40's...

The texture was hand applied after the base coat was allowed to set and still damp to the touch.

It looks like a small dobber or float was used, probably 3-4 inches wide and 8 - 10 inches long. There may have been a type of loose fabric on its surface. Your best bet is to use a white float (white sponge with a handle used for plastering) then use some hot mud. 60 minute would probably be okay, depending on the size of the ceiling you are doing.

If you want to go for perfection, tie some T-shirt fabric to the float (the knot away from the working surface) leaving some short loose ends so they can dip into the mud.

Add a heaping double handful of plaster of paris to a 5 gallon bucket of hot mud and mix in a lot of water. The pattern is pretty sloppy but also has some body to it so don't make it too runny.

Take a spare piece of sheetrock (4x8) and start with the application. If you can hang it from the ceiling it would be best. Begin at one end dobbing the mud on in a non random pattern. Don't jump around the board and try to keep a wet edge as you are working.

You will need to study your sample very closely to try to use the same wrist pattern the original had. If you look closely you can see the rectangular patterns. This particular texture is continuous so don't leave any area without mud. Sometimes go light and sometimes let it build. Double "dob" as needed.

In some areas you're going to have to really slop it on in order to match the original. This is why the sample board is so important. Play with it and don't let yourself get intense (about it). If you keep it fun, you'll get a better product.

While you're dobbing, watch that the edges of the pattern round out, if they remain sharp you don't have enough water in the mix. If it's dripping and not thick, obviously there is too much water.

After the whole sample is applied, leave it alone for a few minutes. The material will "take up" and begin to set.

Don't play with it too much during this period.

After everything has set up, if the texture still doesn't look muddy enough you can roll a coat (3/4 inch paint roller) of all purpose or topping mud over the entire area to blend everything together. This mud has to be very loose, slightly heavier than paint.

The sample picture appears to be a continual texture meaning that since it was plaster everything ran together covering the entire ceiling. This was common back then and as long as you use your mud/roller trick, you should be able to blend everything nicely. Just be careful to wait until everything is well set and hard. Otherwise you will flatten the texture out.

After you're happy with the sample, attack the ceiling.

Another thing I used to do was "for a small fee" I would skim coat the existing ceiling(s) and give them "a more modern home" with a brand new texture.

This way, they would get an updated ceiling, I would make another $1000.00 (or whatever was fair) and everyone was happy. This is sometimes better than leaving a patched area the doesn't match and you never feel good about.

I specialized matching textures in Portland (Ore) for 17 years and your ceiling is as tough as it gets.
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