CROWS FOOT OR SLAP BRUSH
TEXTURE WALLS & CEILINGS



Slap brush texture is the process of using a crows foot, panda paw or stomp brush to add a stippled look onto your freshly mudded walls and ceilings.


Dabbing the brush over your wet mud will give you a distinctive finish while at the same time add depth to the surface that the texture is being applied to. Some people also use slap brushing to hide imperfections that a wall or ceiling may have.

A regular type brush can be used just as long as its fairly wide (4" or so) and has long enough hairs or filaments.

Working with the proper brush is easier though and will give a more consistent look to your walls or ceilings.

Below you will find how to instructions for applying a panda paw, slap brush or crows foot design to your surfaces.


SLAP BRUSH TEXTURE TOOLS & MATERIALS



Each project is different so you will need to decide on the tools and materials that work best for your particular job. If you need to strip your old textured from your ceiling you might want to check out the removing popcorn ceilings page for some extra help.

  • Crows foot (or panda paw) brush
  • Painters plastic
  • Painters tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Rollers/covers (regular thickness & nappy or thick piled)
  • Two extension handles
  • Paint trays
  • Quality 2-1/2" sash brush (if needed)
  • Primer & paint (if needed)
  • All purpose compound mud (pan, & knifes)
  • Soap/water (if needed)
  • Very clean (or new) 5 gallon buckets or pails
  • Sea sponge
  • Cheap or old 2.5" paint brush
  • Heavy duty electric drill with mud mixer
  • Old close (or coveralls), gloves, & goggles

Amazon is an on-line retailer that most people know and trust. Because of Amazon's size they tend to offer better prices on tools and materials than your local home improvement centre. Just be sure to use their free or low cost shipping options.

Amazons selection is quite large and includes top quality brand name painting and decorating materials along with a five star rating system for both tools & products.


SETTING UP TO SLAP BRUSH TEXTURE



Doing a slap brush texture technique is a very messy project. Be sure to remove all furniture from the room that your working in. Items that cannot be placed in another area of your home need to be protect from over-spray and splatter.

Secure drop cloths to the floors along with taping plastic onto your walls (when doing ceilings). You can scrape the mess from the walls after your done, even so, plastic will save you from having to do so.

Wash all surfaces as needed and fill any holes, divots or markings that you see prior to beginning your slap brush texture project .

You can now prime the surface, be sure to use the proper primer for the job at hand (e.g. block stains, seal, or bond).


SPRAYING MUD ON TO SLAP BRUSH TEXTURE



For those who are a little more adventurous or have used a hopper gun in the past you might want to check out the drywall splatter page.

By using a gun to blow your mud on your project will be completed faster and the mud itself will be much more uniform and consistent. Once you have your mud on the walls come on back here and follow the slap brush texture technique that follows.

If you prefer to apply your mixed compound with a paint roller then those instructions are also below.


MIXING SLAPBRUSH TEXTURE COMPOUND



Place about a gallon of drywall compound into a five gallon pail and add a 1/2 cup of water. Use your drill and mud paddle to stir the mud into a milk shake (or thick paint) like mixture. To do so, keep slowly adding more water (as needed) until it looks the way you want it.

Thicker compounds will give a more detailed finish while thinner muds leave a less defined look and feel.

With that said, compound that's to thin will run down the wall while thicker muds will dry before you can roll them out properly.

Once your compound has been mixed to a nice smooth consistency (and you have tested it) pour it into a paint tray.


EDGING OR CUTTING IN WITH MUD



This step can be skipped if your skilled enough to roll tight into those hard to reach spots.

Edging (cutting a room in) with paint and a brush is a lot easier than using mud to get the job done. To do so, dip either a stiff brush or a chunk of sea sponge into your mixed compound then dab your mud onto wall or ceiling corners and above the baseboards.

If your intention is to do a single wall or just the ceilings be sure to apply some wide painters tape onto the surfaces that your not wanting mud sticking to.

Keep dabbing your mud on stopping in the section that your going to be rolling. Otherwise, if you edge to far the mud will be dried before you get the surface rolled out.


ROLLING THE MUD ON



As mentioned above applying a slap brush texture technique is messy work. Mud can fly or drip everywhere so be sure your dressed for the job. You want to roll your mixed compound on so that the mud is about 1/8th of an inch thick or so. Furthermore, try to apply your mud in 3' or 4' wide x 8' (depending on surface size) high sections.

Your roller will need to be saturated, even so, try not to put your mud on so thick that its sagging down the walls or dripping excessively from the ceilings onto the floors.

Be sure to roll tight at the ceiling, walls or or baseboards (depending on the surface being done). Cross-roll (side ways or horizontally), as needed, then roll up and down (vertically) filling in and overlapping the work that you just did.

When rolling don't push to hard on the roller unless that's the look your going for. Having a softer touch gives a more enhanced or defined texture while the opposite is true when adding pressure.

Another process, for those who don't want to roll the compound on, is to apply your mud with a trowel (or drywall knife) then stomp it down with your slap brush texture technique. You could also dip the brush right into the compound then shake or slap your mud right onto the walls or ceilings.

You will need to decide on what works best for your particular situation.


DOING A SLAP BRUSH TEXTURE TECHNIQUES



Place your crows foot, panda paw, or slap brush onto an extension handle and begin slapping, stamping, shaking, twisting or lightly sweeping. Each style used along with the amount of pressure applied will give you a different look on your finished surface.

To find the look your going for test each style or pattern used on a surface or somewhere other than on your main project.
Whatever slap brush texture process you prefer, rhythmic, consistent, repetitive movements will give the best results. Do so by rolling (or spraying) the compound on then apply a slap brushing technique to each mudded section.

As you slap brush overlap wet mudded sections until your walls and ceilings or the entire room is completed.


SLAP BRUSH TEXTURE SUMMARY



To complete your project faster and for the best results try and enlist some extra hands. One person can roll the mud (or spray) while the other does the slap brushing.

Both powdered compounds and pre-mixed muds will work fine for a slap brush texture projects. The type of compound you use is entirely up to you. Keep in mind though that some texturing products require a top coat of paint while others will not.

Also, powdered drywall compound can be very hard and dry quickly (or to slowly) depending on the type you buy. Even so, powdered muds are much easier to mix than a pre-mixed compound.

On the other-hand pre-mixed muds are softer and less difficult to repair.

When texturing ceilings do so in manageable sections (3x3, 4'x4' or 6'x6' etc.) and overlap each section to get the look that your going for.

Always practise on old drywall or other type surface. Even better try different techniques in an area or room that's seldom seen by others. As an example the garage, laundry room or a basement bedroom might be excellent places to test out your slap brush texture skills.

You can purchase top quality single or double slap brushes for an excellent price along with reading tool reviews at Amazon.com. Most quality painting and decorating items can be found there.

Your local home improvement sales representative is also a good resource regarding technique, tools and materials for the job at hand.


From slap brush texture to the drywall texturing page


Return to the painting ideas & techniques home page