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So we'd like to get our walls looking as though they were plastered 120 years ago, with a certain sandy bumpiness thing going on.  I'm not skilled enough to use actual plaster, and the local plasters charge an arm and a leg (plus several toes) to re-do a room. We aren't looking for a totally smooth effect, but one with a certain amount of texture and hand-application marks.

Right now the walls are all sheet-rocked (previous owner...don't ask).  This stuff ( http://www.unearthedpaints.com/collections/plasters/products/clay-r...) is good, but expensive and you need a lot to really cover a wall completely.  The room we're workign on is pretty durn big, so it would be expensive to use the product in question.

I've a vague recollection that I'd read somewhere about the notion of mixing joint compound with a standard latex paint and applying that via roller to create a textured surface on an otherwise flat sheet-rocked wall.  Has anyone tried this?  How did it work?  And what compound did you use?  Of the top of my head, I'd think a durabond 90 would be the best bet, but all advice/info is appreciated.

Thanks.

Richard

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You can get textured paint at Home Depot, Lowes etc. I have used it before. Its more like a thick latex. You can do a lot with it. I have used the standard roller, a sort of plastic wire mesh thingy, and then knocked it down with trowel. This gave a stucco look. Stuff hides a lot of errors in the sheetrock and taping process.

You can also use a sponge and swirl it. I am sure there are other methods to get a different look. Then you paint it. Not sure of the cost, but it could not have been too bad as I used it in one large room on sealed drywall and then throughout the rest of the house over a sandy finish to keep the stucco pattern  going.

Hi Richard,

I actually have done this various ways myself.  Yes, you can mix the paint into the durabond but you have to use a drill mixer to do it.  I think the hassle and mess is not worth saving a few $$.  My favorite product is Sherwin Williams Faux Impressions Dimensional Basecoat (I used it almost everywhere in my current home over old cracked plaster because I wanted a troweled look)  It is really fun to use and easy to work with and makes a great base for color washes and glazes.  I've even applied it thru stencils for a raised design.  You can trowel it on thinly like a skim coat and a little goes a long way. Not cheap but lots less than the Earth plaster.  Wait for the 40% off sale at SW store! I've experimented with it extensively and can share expertise if you are interested.  I'll try to upload a pic but it will probably be huge, sorry!  Better with paint than computers :-)  Thought I had better pix of other rooms but can't find now-

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Hi Jill,

I know that this was posted quite some time ago, but I am hoping you might be able to help me. I am about to take on a room in my home finishing it with the SW Textured Fresco products. I am trying to calculate how much Dimensional Basecoat I will need. The product specs for the Dimensional Basecoat say 1 gallon covers 50-100 sq.ft. based on application - but on Sherwin Williams' site they say for a 400 sq.ft. room you will only need 2 gallons - i.e. 200 sq.ft. per gallon. This seems like a significant difference, and while I would prefer to buy less I don't want to short myself (during their 40% off sale.)

Hoping you can shed some light on this from your experience.

Thanks!

Joanna

Joanna -

I can tell you when I did my walls, I bought based on the 50 sq.ft estimate, and ended up with WAY too much.  Like 3 times too much.  So unless you're planning on completely re-plastering your walls, I'd use the 200 sq.ft. estimate.

Richard

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. The difference is hundreds of dollars! I'm quite excited about (and daunted by) this project.

Thanks!

Joanna

Hi Joanna,

I've found it really goes far if you do a fairly thin skim coat.  Two gallons 'should' do it if you go easy.  That's the beauty of it I think; that you can apply paper thin coats...you don't have to cover every square inch.  If possible try to keep it away from woodwork and moldings, window frames and corners. You could do one wall and then gauge how far it's going.  It's better to have a little left over than not have enough!

BTW if you have plaster walls with any hairline cracks like I did---the cracks need to be filled and repaired separately before using the stuff...it seems like the stuff will cover cracks but they will re-appear and ruin your work.

Always happy to help.  Write back if you need more 'advice'

Jill

Jill -

So do you trowel it on like plaster, or roll it on? to be honest, I'm much more into rolling than troweling, since I've no confidence in my trowelling abilities. The rolling part was one of the things I liked about the earth roll-on plaster.

Thanks.

Richard

Actually you are supposed to roll it on with the sea sponge roller. wait a bit then knock it down with a trowel. It's very thick and awkward (for me anyways) to pick up with a roller so I usually just apply it with a wide spatula and fool with it on the wall until it has marks I like. When it's dry I usually sand lightly with a drywall sponge to get rid of any nibs or rough places.  I'm always going for an old worn look.  You can add more layers if you want more dimension, or use it thinly and smooth it for a subtle texture.  It just makes a beautiful surface to paint.  I think the earth plasters have the color mixed in it already and I would rather use my own palette than theirs.  I like to do aged finishes; slightly tea/smoke stained or ragging and it's a great base for that.  S Williams has some brochures that show different effects.  You could experiment in a small room at first for a small investment before you do the big room.  You can do it!  It's very forgiving and workable. It probably IS just paint mixed into drywall compound  :-D

Jill Here's a pix of living room you can see it's really subtle

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Jill-

I realized that I had one more question, and that's about the texture of the finished base coat.  What's it like?  Sandpaper?  smooth plaster?  Something else?  What I'm hoping to do is end up with a texture that's a bit between sandpaper and smooth, with some roughness to the touch, but without obvious dents or 'gullies' in the surface.

Thanks.

Richard

Richard,

Check with your local paint store. There are different applications. The thicker stuff provides a plastered, stucco like look. What you may want is a thinner paint that you add a grit to to give you the expected outcome. You go with a fine sand to a popcorn like texture.

The walls in my previous 1970's house had that sandy finish. I hated it because if you happen to just bounce your hand off it walking down the hall, it took the skin off a knuckle or two. I used the heavier paint and lightly rolled it on and knocked down the peaks with the trowel. Looked great.

Hi Richard,

I thought we'd see pix of your finished rooms by now, what's the hold up?  lol only kidding!

The finished base coat (with the SW Faux Impressions) is smooth and buttery. Not rough or gritty.  There is a certain grainy texture to it you can see close up. If you want to add more texture you can then roll paint with SW Cashmere...this has a really lovely period nubbiness that I adore.  (I mostly use SW paints at home and also professionally...like the predictability)  I will say that unless you intend to glaze or do some other ageing effect like ragging or color wash the dimensional basecoat might not be worth the expense/bother.

There are other brands maybe Ralph Lauren? make a paint with grainy texture. I forget what they call it.... You can roll that and get a good look.

Jill

Jill -

I've finally got the room almost ready to paint.  Kids, life, other projects, more unpleasant surprises in the walls, all of these have slowed me down.  But I bought a bunch of that SW dimensional basecoat and am experimenting with it.  One more question for you, though: after you put it on the wall, how long do you wait before you knock it down with a trowel?  It's pretty damp, and seems to me that one would need to let it set up for a while before pushing it around with a trowel.  what's your experience been?

Thanks.

Richard

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