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I need to make some wall repairs in our house (lath and plaster). After making the repairs, I'll need to add texture over the repairs. After doing a bit of research, it looks like this is a so-called "knockdown" texture. I know that you can apply an initial texture in many different ways before doing the knockdown. Any thoughts on how to achieve this result?

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  • I know it as "skip troweling." wikihow.com/Skip-Trowel-Texture – Hari Ganti Feb 19 '18 at 18:57
  • It's a variation of knockdown with some rather long "lands". Does that pattern persist throughout? – isherwood Feb 19 '18 at 19:13
  • @isherwood Yes. Same pattern in the entire room. – birdus Feb 19 '18 at 19:35
  • That looks more like a dry stipple, with a knockdown. Can you post a wider angle picture? – tahwos Feb 20 '18 at 22:44
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Expect to experiment to obtain the finer points. You can do that on the actual repair surface. If an attempt doesn't come out well, wipe it off immediately while it is still wet and workable. Then let the wall dry (10-30 minutes depending on ambient temperature and humidity) and repeat.

Start with the wall clean, free of dust and dirt. Depending on the project, you might prime the surface first to better match the old work.

Prepare the mud to be fairly soupy—perhaps 10% wetter than mud is usually worked for joints. Load a trowel lightly with mud, spread it across the trowel evenly, and spatter it by throwing at the wall in such a way that it spreads out as it travels (as with an exaggerated flourish). Professionals don't throw it, but spread it on the wall very rapidly. (I find it easier to throw.) Don't worry about leveling the applied thickness at this stage. If you make a mistake or otherwise don't like the layout, scrape it off with the trowel, then a damp cloth, and let it dry somewhat before trying again in that area.

Once you like the texture layout, let it set for awhile: usually 10 to 20 minutes under typical ambient conditions. Then knock it down by running the trowel edge lightly over it (scraping off excess) to make the correct thickness.

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    Exactly what I was looking for. After reading your instructions to throw the mud onto the bare wall, that makes sense. I can see how they achieved that finish (maybe in 1908 when our house was built!). I'll give that a whirl. Thanks! – birdus Feb 19 '18 at 19:37
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    Typically it's done with a sprayer (for consistency). For a small repair, try any technique that's reliably repeatable. Be aware that the trowel is held at a very flat angle and dragged over the surface. Very little material is removed. – isherwood Feb 19 '18 at 19:39
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    @birdus I'd practice on a scrap piece of drywall first. If you've never done it before, you don't want to be soaking your wall with bad attempts. Screw the practice piece right over the area you plan to do, so the lighting is the same. – tahwos Feb 20 '18 at 22:47

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