Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to texture drywall?

$0.80 – $2.00 cost per square foot (surface area)
$280 – $800 texture all walls in one bedroom
$130 – $270 texture a bedroom ceiling

The average cost to texture drywall is $0.80 to $2.00 per square foot for spraying popcorn, knockdown, or orange peel texture. The average cost to texture walls is $280 to $800 for a bedroom. The average cost to texture a ceiling is $130 to $270 for a bedroom.

Get free estimates from drywall contractors near you, or view our cost guide below.

October 22, 2021

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 4 expert drywall contractors on HomeGuide.

Cost to texture drywall

The cost to texture walls and ceiling is $0.80 to $2.00 per square foot, which is $450 to $1,000 per bedroom and $600 to $1,400 for a living room. Retexturing walls cost $1.80 to $3.80 per square foot, including old texture removal. The cost to smooth textured walls is $1 to $3 per square foot.

Cost to texture drywall - chart
Cost to texture drywall - chart

Cost to texture drywall
Project type Cost per square foot
Wall texture $0.80 – $1.80
Ceiling texture $1.00 – $2.00
Remove popcorn & retexture $1.80 – $3.80
Smooth textured walls $1.00 – $3.00

Drywall texturing costs depend on the surface prep, texture type, coating thickness, and application method. Most drywall contractors charge a $100 minimum.

Costs are based on the wall or ceiling surface square footage, not the square footage of the floor space.

Popular wall texture types
Popular wall texture types


Drywall texture cost calculator

The following table shows the average cost to texture 500 square feet of drywall.

Average drywall texture cost calculator
National average cost $600
Minimum cost $400
Maximum cost $900
Average cost range $500 to $680

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

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Cost to texture ceiling

The average cost to texture a ceiling is $1 to $2 per square foot. Texturing a drywall ceiling costs $130 to $440 on average for a bedroom or living room, depending on the texture type, application method, and ceiling height.

Cost to texture a ceiling - chart
Cost to texture a ceiling - chart

Cost to texture ceiling
Room Dimensions Total cost
Bedroom 11 x 12 $130 – $270
Living room 12 x 18 $220 – $440
Garage 20 x 20 $400 – $800
Basement 30 x 30 $900 – $1,800

Cost to spray popcorn ceiling

Spraying a popcorn ceiling costs $1.00 to $1.60 per square foot. Popcorn ceilings are also called acoustic ceilings and offer noise-dampening benefits.

Knockdown texture ceiling cost

A knockdown texture ceiling costs $1.00 to $2.50 per square foot or $500 to $1,250 for 500 square feet. Knockdown is the most common drywall texture style and is also called California knockdown or splatter drag.

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Cost to texture walls

The cost to texture walls is $0.80 to $1.80 per square foot or $280 to $800 for an average bedroom. Texturing one bedroom wall costs $70 to $200. Wall texture rates depend on the height, texture type, coating thickness, and application method.

Cost to texture walls - chart
Cost to texture walls - chart

Cost to texture walls
Wall size Total cost
10' x 9' wall $70 – $160
11' x 9' wall $80 – $180
12' x 9' wall $90 – $200
18' x 9' wall $130 – $290

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Cost to texture walls and ceiling

The cost to texture walls and ceiling is $450 to $1,000 for a bedroom and $600 to $1,400 for a living room.

Cost to texture walls and ceiling - chart
Cost to texture walls and ceiling - chart

Cost to texture walls and ceiling
Room Dimensions Total cost
Bedroom 11 x 12 x 9 ft $450 – $1,000
Living room 12 x 18 x 9 ft $600 – $1,400
Garage 20 x 20 x 9 ft $950 – $2,100
Basement 30 x 30 x 9 ft $1,700 – $3,700
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Cost to smooth textured walls

Smoothing textured walls costs $1 to $3 per square foot on average. The cost to smooth textured walls depends on whether the old texture is removed or covered by a skim coat.

  • Wall texture that has never been painted can be sprayed with water to soften then scraped off until smooth.
  • Painted wall texture can be smoothed by applying a skim coat of drywall compound. Smoothing heavier textures may require multiple skim coat layers.

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Cost to tape and texture drywall

Drywall installation costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot, including materials and labor to hang, tape, finish, and texture the drywall. The average cost to tape and mud drywall is $0.35 to $1.10 per square foot, not including sanding or finishing.

Drywall should have a Level 3 finish before a texture is applied. A Level 4 finish may be required beneath thin or light textures.

Cost to retexture walls and ceiling

The cost to retexture walls or ceilings is $1.80 to $3.80 per square foot, including removing the old texture and adding a new texture.

Cost to retexture walls and ceiling
Factor Average cost per square foot
Remove old texture $1.00 – $2.00
Add new texture $0.80 – $1.80
Total $1.80 – $3.80

Retexturing walls or ceilings may include:

  • Drywall prices are $0.50 to $0.80 for materials such as new drywall, seam tape, fasteners, and outside corner beads, and topping compound.
  • Removing a popcorn ceiling costs $1 to $2 per square foot.
  • Drywall repair costs $100 to $400 to patch a hole, crack, or minor water damage.
  • Drywall installation costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot. Extensive damage may require installing new drywall.
  • Ceiling repair costs $200 to $500 for minor repairs or $400 to $1,200 for major repairs.
  • Interior painting costs $1 to $3 per square foot of surface area. Freshly textured walls require a primer coat before painting.
  • Asbestos testing costs $250 to $750. Test the drywall for asbestos before scraping or sanding walls or ceilings in homes built before 1986.

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Texture paint cost

Texture paint costs $0.10 to $0.30 per square foot for the material alone, depending on the type and application thickness.

Texture paint cost
Texture paint type Price per square foot
Popcorn $0.10 – $0.30
Orange peel $0.13 – $0.30
Knockdown $0.20 – $0.26
Sand $0.19 – $0.20

*For materials only.

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Texture coating cost by type

Texture coating cost depends on the type and application method. Sprayed textures like knockdown and orange peel cost $0.80 to $1.50 per square foot, including labor and materials. Hand-applied textures cost $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot and require more skill, experience, and time.

Texture coating cost by type
Application method Cost per square foot installed Texture types
Sprayed $0.80 – $1.50
  • Knockdown
  • Orange peel
  • Popcorn / acoustic
  • Splatter drag
Hand-applied $1.50 – $2.00
  • Skip trowel
  • Hawk and trowel
  • Santa Fe
  • Stomp / slap brush
  • Crows foot
  • Rosebud
  • Swirl
  • Comb

Spray drywall textures

Sprayed textures are applied with a pump that uses compressed air to feed drywall mud through a nozzle. The pattern is determined by the nozzle and sprayer type.

  • Knockdown / splatter drag – created by spraying a splatter pattern then using a knife to smooth the peaks
  • Orange peel – a lightly dimpled texture that resembles the surface of an orange
  • Popcorn / acoustic – a knobby, stippled surface that dampens sound

Hand-applied drywall textures

Hand textures are more customizable and are applied with a trowel, knife, or brush. Some hand textures require a sprayer to apply a layer of drywall mud before other tools are used to create a pattern.

  • Skip trowel – applied in a thin layer with a knife or trowel held at a slight angle to create a raised layer with random curves
  • Hawk and trowel – a multi-layered pattern that resembles waves or curves
  • Santa Fe – low profile texture that resembles an adobe surface
  • Stomp / slap brush – applied by pressing a large circular brush firmly against the surface then pulling it back sharply
  • Crows foot – a stomp brush texture applied with two brushes mounted side-by-side
  • Rosebud – a stomp brush texture applied in a uniform pattern with a small circular brush
  • Swirl – created with a medium or thick bristled brush swept in circles or arcs
  • Comb – applied with a toothed trowel or comb to create grooves in arced or half-fan shapes

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Frequently asked questions

What is drywall texture?

Textured drywall finishes are created by applying joint compound with a sprayer, trowel, or brush to create a raised pattern on the surface. Texture adds dimension, looks like traditional plaster, and hides the seams and flaws in drywall.

Do you have to texture drywall?

Drywall does not have to be textured. However, a textured surface hides flaws and doesn't require repairs or repainting as often as a smooth surface. You can paint drywall with or without texture as long as the joints are mudded and the surface is primed first.

How much does knockdown texture hide?

A knockdown texture hides flaws, seams, uneven areas, and minor stains on walls or ceilings. Light shining across a smooth surface accentuates the flaws, while a knockdown texture conceals them instead. A heavier layer of knockdown texture hides the most flaws.

How long does wall texturing take?

Texturing drywall with a sprayed coating takes less than one day for an average home. Hand-applied textures take 1 to 3 days, depending on the texture style and the number of drywall laborers.

Can you texture drywall DIY?

DIY drywall texturing is feasible but time-consuming and messy. Achieving a good finish requires skill, experience, precise timing, and specialized tools. Hire a professional drywall contractor for the best results.

  • Sprayed textures are the easiest to DIY and provide the most forgiving results for inexperienced users. Renting a texture sprayer costs $75 to $95 per day.
  • Most hand textures require experience to apply correctly. Practice on a large piece of cardboard before attempting to texture a wall or ceiling.

How much texture paint do I need?

One gallon of premixed joint compound—also called drywall mud—covers 50 to 100 square feet of wall or ceiling surface, depending on the texture's thickness. One pound of powdered joint compound covers 30 to 40 square feet after thinning with water.

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Finding and hiring a drywall texture contractor

Before hiring a drywall texture contractor, be sure to:

  • Get at least three in-person estimates to compare.
  • Look at their reviews on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Choose a company that is licensed, bonded, and insured.
  • Select companies that have been in business for at least five years.
  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
  • Avoid companies with the cheapest quotes as quality may suffer.
  • Never pay in full before the project starts. Follow a payment plan instead.

Questions to ask

  • How many drywall texture projects have you done?
  • Can you provide a list of references or a portfolio of previous work?
  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • Which texture do you recommend for my home, and why?
  • How long will the project take?
  • How long will the surface take to dry?
  • What do I need to do to prepare my home for the project?
  • Does the quote include cleanup costs?
  • What additional costs can I expect that aren't in the estimate?
  • How do you handle damages that happen on the job? What happens if you get drywall mud on the floor or furniture?
  • Do you offer a warranty or guarantee your work?

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