Drywall 101

Swirl Drywall Texture

Swirl drywall textures have been around in the midwest and eastern United States for decades. This texture is used most often on ceiliings but occationally is seen on the walls of appartment buildings. A swirl texture, as it's name implies, leaves a swirled pattern of half circles across the ceiling. Generally the pattern moves across the ceiling as a collection of circles laying on one another until the circles end into the wall on the other end of the room. A variation of this texture uses silica sand to create a rough look to the swirled drywall mud.

Click on the image below for a larger picture

Picture of swirl drywall texture

To produce a swirl texture the drywall surface must be prepared well. A light sanding is needed to remove any large imperfections. The drywall mud needed for the texture must be thinned considerably. The consistency of this mud is thinner than any other mud used in the drywall taping and finishing process Generally a tradesman will roll the mud on to the ceiling with a paint roller using a heavy nap roller cover. For larger jobs a heavy duty airless paint sprayer is used to spray the mud onto the surface of the drywall.

Once the mud has been applied in a thin layer on the drywall, the swirll pattern is created with a medium bristle brush. A wallpaper brush works well. Some tradesmen have used the bristles from an old ice scrapper. The length of the brush will determine the diameter of the circles created. Care must be given to overlapping the circles in such a pattern that no bare spots remain. It is helpfull to first lay out the direction and distance of swirls desired before starting. This ensures an even pattern and distribution of swirls across the ceiling.

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