What’s the Cost to Apply Skip Trowel Drywall Texture to My Walls and Ceilings?

Nick P. Cellucci
Written by Nick P. Cellucci
Updated April 11, 2022
 Furniture table at home
Photo: Svante Berg / EyeEm / EyeEm Premium / Getty Images


  • Skip trowel texture costs $630–$1,000 on a 500-square-foot surface

  • Skip trowel drywall texture costs $1.25–$2.00 per square foot

  • Ceiling treatments cost slightly more than wall treatments

  • Existing textures may need to be removed before application

  • DIY skip trowel application requires experience and several days

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

If your smooth walls and ceilings lack character, a textured skip trowel drywall treatment is a subtle solution that packs a punch. This mottled, organic-looking knockdown texture is applied by hand-dragging drywall into long, raised patches that hide imperfections while adding visual dimension. You’ll pay $690 to $1,000 on average for this popular look on the walls or ceiling of a single room.

National Average costMinimum CostMaximum Cost

How Much Does It Cost to Skip Trowel Drywall Texture by Room Type?

Skip trowel and other drywall textures can be applied to both walls and ceilings. Expect to pay $1.25 to $1.80 per square foot to apply skip trowel drywall texture to walls and $1.25 to $2.00 per square foot to apply it to ceilings.

While ceiling application tends to cost more per square foot than wall application, the total cost to apply drywall texture to a ceiling throughout a room is typically lower than the total cost for all four walls. This is because of the lower total square footage of the ceiling area. The table below breaks down average ranges for different-sized rooms throughout the typical home.

Room Type and SizeAverage Total Cost for All WallsAverage Total Cost for Ceiling
Bedroom (11 ft. by 12 ft.)$520 – $750$170 – $270
Living Room (12 ft. by 18 ft.)$680 – $980$270 – $440
Garage (20 ft. by 20 ft.)$900 – $1,300$500 – $800
Basement (30 ft. by 30 ft.)$1,350 – $1,950$1,130 – $1,800

How Much Does Skip Trowel Texture Cost per Square Foot?

The cost to apply skip trowel drywall texture ranges from $1.25 to $2.00 per square foot. The typical cost range for a wall application is only $1.25 to $1.80 per square foot.

Cost to Retexture Walls and Ceiling per Square Foot

If you want to apply a skip trowel drywall texture to a wall or ceiling that already features a different texture—like popcorn ceiling—you’ll need to factor in the removal cost. Retexturing already textured walls—including removing the existing texture and the addition of a new one—costs $1.80 to $3.80 per square foot on average.

Skip Trowel Finish Application Cost Breakdown

A man texturizing wall
Photo: Ixepop / Adobe Stock

Below is a breakdown of skip trowel drywall texturing project cost factors.


Drywall joint compound powder is a material mixed with water to create drywall mud. It can be purchased by the gallon and costs $0.20 to $0.26 per square foot of wall or ceiling you plan to cover.


When you hire a professional drywall contractor to install a skip trowel drywall texture, the cost of labor alone ranges from $0.99 to $1.80 per square foot. Most drywall contractors charge a $100 minimum for this type of project.

Retexturing Costs

If you’re having your walls or ceilings retextured, you may be responsible for a variety of additional costs, including the following:

  • Removal of the old texture: $1–$3 per sq. ft.

  • Cost to repair minor holes, cracks, or water damage: $100–$400

  • Cost to install new drywall for major damage: $1.50–$3.50 per sq. ft.

  • Minor ceiling repairs: $200–$500

  • Major ceiling repairs: $400–$1,200

  • Asbestos testing: $250–$750

Cost to Apply Skip Trowel Drywall Texture Yourself

If you have one to three full days and basic drywall experience, adding texture to walls or ceilings can be an affordable DIY project. However, because skip trowel is a hand-applied texture that uses a knife or trowel rather than a sprayer, you’ll need practice for organic-looking curves. Find an area to test your application method before moving to walls or ceilings in your home.

You can save $0.99 to $1.80 per square foot by doing the job yourself. Here is a list of tools and materials you’ll need and the costs to expect for each:

  • Two 18-inch or wider curved-blade drywall trowels: $25–$30 each

  • Drywall joint compound powder: $0.20 to $0.26 per sq. ft.

  • Five-gallon bucket: $5

  • Drop cloth: $15

For the best aesthetic results, rely on the skill, experience, and patience of a professional drywall contractor.

Cost to Install Skip Trowel Drywall Texture Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor 

If you plan to install skip trowel drywall texture as a DIY project, you’ll spend about $50 on tools and an additional $0.20 to $0.26 per square foot of wall or ceiling space on materials.

The average cost to hire a local drywall contractor to do the project for you is $1.25 to $2.00 per square foot or $1.80 to $3.80 per square foot if you require retexturing. Most contractors charge a minimum of $100 for this type of project.

Skip Trowel Drywall Texture Questions and Answers

Can you skip trowel over an existing wall texture?

You can skip trowel over walls with an existing texture as long as the texture was not heavily applied. A heavily applied texture will be visible through any new drywall texture if it is not sanded down before the new texture is applied.

How do you clean skip trowel drywall texture?

To properly clean and maintain your skip trowel drywall texture, dust the surface weekly with an electrostatic duster or vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Never scrub the surface. Stains can be removed by gently applying a mild detergent solution with a paint roller, removing it with a damp roller, and drying with a dry roller. Avoid indoor smoking and limit the use of fireplaces.

What are the pros and cons of skip trowel drywall texture?

Pros of Skip Trowel Drywall Texture

  • Adds unique character and interest to a room

  • Covers damage, imperfections, and repair work

  • Costs less than drywall replacement

  • Increased surface area dampens sound between rooms

  • Doesn’t require repairs or repainting as often as smooth drywall

Cons of Skip Trowel Drywall Texture

  • Easily damaged by furniture rubbing against the wall

  • Tedious to remove if you decide to change the style

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.