Texture and Primer

For a long time I was doing really great at keeping up with blogging about progress on the house, but I’ve since fallen a bit behind. I’m going to do my best to catch up though, and today we have a thrilling post about texture and primer (which actually happened about two months ago).

So the last time I updated y’all on the inside of the house it had just been drywalled.

drywall - open floor plan with high ceilings

drywall - living room and fireplace

The next step was texture. I know that texture is very different based on where you live, and around here walls are textured…usually in a bumpy texture called orange peel. I remember when Adam and I moved to upstate New York, none of the houses had texture. All the walls were completely smooth, which I thought it was weird…and kinda awesome. (There was also a serious lack of closet space, ceiling fans, and overhead lighting, which I did not think was awesome.)

In the original bid for our house all the texture was quoted as orange peel. Adam and I don’t love orange peel…it doesn’t feel very original or unique, plus it’s just kinda ugly. Upgrading to a different texture is expensive though…which is basically the same story for every single element of building a house.

I had always kind of had it in mind that I wanted our house to look like a hundred year old farmhouse with additions, so I requested texture based on what “time” each section was built (if that makes sense). Here is a picture to help…

farmhouse with additions - interior texture plan

Hand trowel texture (like plaster) is something that would have been done back in the day and is the closest we can get to a smooth texture, so I had the main section of the house was done that way. The mudroom/laundry addition (on the far right) will be getting shiplap, which means I had them skip the texture completely in that section. The bedroom wing (on the left) would have been the most recent addition, so that got orange peel. All in all the changes cost us $1,000 over the original bid.

I didn’t get any pictures of the texture going on (they did it crazy fast and I missed the whole thing), but here is what the orange peel texture looks like in the bedrooms and hallways…

wall texture

And here it is after a coat of primer…

what does orange peel texture look like

Here is a close-up of the hand trowel texture, which is pretty much a smooth with a few lines in it.

hand trowel wall texture

It’s hard to get a picture of because it basically looks like nothing, so here is a slightly pulled back picture that includes a worker’s hand print.

“hand” trowel texture

Get it…HAND trowel? I know I know….such quality entertainment around here. Tell your friends.

So this is what the main part of the house looks like after all the plaster dried…

open floor plan with high ceiling

Hand trowel texture from far away

I am loving how light and bright it is.

The inside of the house from this stage on is up to us to finish, the builder is basically done on the inside. We originally planned to be all gung-ho about it and DIY our little butts off….but they are big jobs, we have a deadline (it has to be finished by September so we can close on our construction loan), and extra time and energy is hard find these days. So we are getting quotes on all the jobs as they come, just to make sure the savings are actually worth the effort. Most of the time they are, but sometimes the task is something Adam is really dreading (like hanging all the tin up on the ceiling) and it is easier for him to work a few overtime jobs and me to pick up an extra sponsored post and pay someone to do it. ANYWAY, all that to say that we got a quote to have someone prime and paint our house, and it was $8,000. Jiminy Christmas…ain’t no way.

So Adam did his research and bought a paint sprayer. We already have a little one for smaller projects (this one), but to paint a 2,900 square foot house with 27 foot ceilings we were going to need something way bigger and more powerful. He ended up buying a Graco Magnum X5 airless paint sprayer, which cost less than $300 on Amazon.

Graco XD paint sprayer

Adam isn’t easy to impress when it comes to tools (or anything really) and he RAVES about this thing. I can’t vouch for it because I’ve never used it, since he told me to keep my dirty tool-breaking hands off it (which is a smart move on his part and great news for me, as I have no desire to paint the entire house.)

priming walls with a paint sprayer

He ended up being able to prime the entire house (every wall, ceiling…everything) in total of about 4 hours.

priming new drywall

Isn’t that crazy? I mean, painting a single room with a brush takes that long. If he can paint in about the same amount of time we will be saving 8K for basically a long days work and a $300 paint sprayer.

Priming Walls with the Graco X5

Oh, and last but not least, this is the primer we used…

cheap primer that works well

After trying out different primers and learning from friends who just went through the same thing, everyone agrees this was the best primer for drywall. It also happens to be the cheapest primer in existence, at $35 for 5 gallons. we used 10 gallons, so it only cost 70 big ones to prime the whole house. I’m beginning to think Adam should quit his job as a police officer and start painting houses for a living.

Similar Posts


  1. you guys are magical! house looks great :) also………that WHOLE post and not a word about that incredibly fashionable sock on Adam’s head. your comedic genius demands it. heehee.

    1. Hahaha….it’s funny that you mention that, because I spent forever trying to come up with something to say about it! He looks ridiculous. When I first saw it I was like “what the hell…just wear the respirator.” He refused to wear it, but has no problem with the head sock, lol. (It’s leftover equipment from his Army days)

      1. Actually…the sock was in the bag with the respirator….at least he used something that touched the respirator:)

  2. I am so jealous of all these posts, I wish I was in your position. It looks like lovely property and a great house. Although I am not sure about living in the heat you endure in the summer. I sure love your real estate prices compared to California. Great Post by the way late or not, it’s fun seeing it come together. Adam great job on saving money painting, I bet your arms are sore. Have a great weekend.

    1. It IS hot in the summer (and sometimes all the other seasons), which is why porches and shading the windows was so important. The sun will turn your house into an oven if its beating directly into your windows. I hear California weather is perfection, though I’ve never been. It’s on the list…one day I will get there!

  3. A whole house in 4 hours? That’s CRAZY!! And yeah, I was fully expecting a comment on the head-gear. Something comparable to the socks&sandals running commentary, lol.
    How interesting to do the house in the style of the various eras. I would never have thought of that. My favorite is the hand troweled. Your house looks so huge at the moment. I know looks are deceiving when the house is empty, but right now it looks like a mansion!
    Good idea to price compare the various jobs. Sometimes it is easier to do more of your regular job to pay someone else to do theirs.
    It’s great to see it coming together!

    1. Oh man, the socks and sandals. The other day I caught him wearing his knee high green army socks with his strappy chaco sandals. I took a picture to use for future humiliation (not that he cares) but now I can’t find it. Thats okay….it will happen again…and again…and again, haha.

      The main part of the house looks ridiculously huge right now, I totally agree. It’s the high ceilings, white walls, and emptiness, because the actual footprint isn’t crazy at all. Our friends Darin and Jody have already moved into their house and with everything in place it is a great size. Small enough to feel cozy and open enough to feel grand.

      1. I think you should try for a picture of him in socks, sandals AND head sock. That would be awesome!

  4. I’m from Ontario, Canada and I’ve never heard of ‘textured’ walls. We have popcorn ceilings which everyone is trying to get rid of. I was told it was a coverup for bad drywalling seams.

  5. So can you use the spraying technique with older homes? Or is just for a new home where the paint won’t spray places it is not supposed to? Thanks.

    1. You can absolutely use a paint sprayer in older homes, but it will require a good amount of prep work to make sure the overspray doesn’t get everywhere. You would want to buy a hand masker (like this) to add paper or plastic over cabinets, windows, trim…anything you don’t want to paint. You would also want to cover furniture or remove it from the room.

  6. The house looks great! Nice work! The hand trowel texture is very unique and suites the rest of the house well. Great pictures of your progress! Thanks so much for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *