Faux plaster or stone finishes for sheetrock

faux plaster or stone finishes for sheetrockJohn has been busy sheet-rocking in the boys bathroom, which is really exciting, because that means paint is coming soon.  One of the ideas we’re tossing around is doing a decorative finish on the wall with kind of a plaster-look finish.  This morning I found several different tutorials for adding a bit more texture to a wall using sheetrock mud  (aka joint compound).

Here’s one way to do it that involves adding a tube of caulk and some bonding primer to your joint compound, which actually makes good sense to me, since it sounds like it would really help the textured layer adhere to the wall.  However–no pictures here.  I’d really like to see some ideas for actually making the patterns on the wall.

Here’s a tutorial that uses Ardex, something I’ve never heard of.  Turns out it is also used for giving formica countertops a facelift that looks a lot like concrete.  I like that this tutorial has pictures.  You can see the pattern is really random, and it looks pretty simple to do.

stone stencilThis tutorial from Home Depot has some close photos of how to pattern it– we’d just do step 1 and 2 I think, since we’re not really planning on adding a glaze to the wall.  I think it also might be a good idea to add caulk and bonding primer to the joint compound like the first tutorial.  Maybe also add some tint to the joint compound?  Not sure.

Finally, I happened across this fabulous raised plaster stencil  that allows you to do a faux stone finish on a wall.  I am guessing this is pretty labor intensive, but I’d love to try it, perhaps on just one wall in the bathroom? Here’s the etsy shop where you can buy this cool looking stencil.

Have any of you done textured finishes on sheetrock?  I’d love to hear your experiences.


  1. Have a 1932 built house that has textured walls in the living and dining rooms. At one point in my 11 year ownership, I thought I wanted to ‘smooth out’ the walls. Had two people come in and give me a quote, because something that needs a professional to do, and was shocked at the price I was quoted. $7,000 and $8,200!! Well I decided to love my walls and people comment on how unusual they are all the time. And let’s not even get into how long it took to paint two rooms abeautiful grey color (when the light hits just right look purple) that are about 14×14 each. I will tell you anyway- 70 hours – a small brush has to get into every single little groove. NEVER will they be repainted again while I live in it. But twice in 82 years is phenomenal. You see the house has only had three owners so all the information is in a nice neat folder about its history. I painted over the original white when I bought house because I feared lead paint.
    My advice to you: if you do texture walls be sure it is something that can be easily changed out.

  2. I’ve done marbling before, on lamp bases and picture frames — but never on a large surface like a wall. I hope you’ll post photos of your finished project!

  3. I’m sure this advice is too late by now. Texture is one thing. My FIL is a plasterer by trade and has textured all of the walls in our houses as we’ve remodeled, using just plain plastering mud. Nice.

    Our current house has some kind of sand finish on the wall. It’s scratchy and rough and IMPOSSIBLE to clean! If a smudge or any dirt (small boys!) gets on it, wiping it with any kind of rag, cloth or paper towel leaves lint and color streaks (of the rag) behind on the wall. Even worse than the smudge. Also hair (teen girls!) sticks to it like crazy. Hate it.

    Hope you find a lovely (easy to clean and paint!!) finish and share it with us!


    • Thanks for the wisdom. I also had a home once where the walls had a sandy finish. Not fun. My husband ended up doing a knock-down finish on the walls- just like is common on many ceilings. It has a nice added texture, but was easy to do and should be easy to keep clean. We are almost, almost done with the bathroom finally and I will share the completed project in the next week or so. Things always take longer than you expect, don’t they?