The apartment I'm in now is build in Ohio in 2012. It has a textured wall that I'm not too fond of. It reminds me of popcorn ceilings. I'm curious how such wall are fabricated and using what material. Is it just drywall joint compound sprayed on and then painted?

How likely is it to contain asbestos? I believe asbestos was banned from drywall joint compound in 1977 based on my research.

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Can you also tell if the wall is painted or is it just bare drywall mud exposed? Thanks

2 Answers 2


There are a few ways to apply texture. The most common method I've used is a texturing roller. Spraying is messier and harder to get consistent.

If the building was built legally in 2012 it does not contain asbestos in significant quantity in any of the construction materials.

The wall is painted.

  • thanks. How can you tell that the wall is painted? It's a white wall but I have no clue what bare drywall mud looks like. Supposedly if they used white drywall mud (unpainted), how can one tell that from a white painted wall? Nov 3, 2023 at 17:34
  • 4
    The first indicator that it has been painted is that gouge on the wall in your picture, which reveals a whiter white beneath (pure un-tinted bright white paint is rarely used in apartments...) A second test would be to drag a wet finger across the wall texture, unpainted would result in plaster residue on your finger. Nov 3, 2023 at 17:57
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    I was going off the gouge, and also the fact that it's all one color instead of two colors like it would be if it were texture on top of drywall, and also the visible lack of rough texture from sanding.
    – KMJ
    Nov 3, 2023 at 18:00
  • @dataengineer22 it would be spotty, rough textured, white dust would brush off onto your clothing if you scraped the wall, a damp rag would lift off material, and it would be very easily stained. It would also not pass final inspection. I'm more concerned with what's behind all the uneasiness about the wall. It's not the wall, unless rotten paint was used. Nov 3, 2023 at 18:04
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    You don't generally cover the whole wall with compound. You cover and smooth the joints, any dents, and then add the texture.
    – KMJ
    Nov 3, 2023 at 21:01

The texture shown in the picture on your post was sprayed on using a compound that was mostly water and a common and readily available powder or paste.

There is virtually no dangerous asbestos in that mixture.

Since the structure was built in 2012, there is most likely no asbestos in any part of the building.

You can relax, The only way that wall will hurt you is if you decide to tear out chunks and eat it or if it falls on you.

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