Knockdown texturing is a drywall finishing technique created by applying watered-down joint compound or drywall mud to a surface; this creates a rough texture with peaks that are then "knocked down" with a trowel to create a mottled finish. This type of interior finish typically is found in homes on the American west coast and southwest. A knockdown finish covers imperfections and flaws on walls and ceilings in a more subtle way than an orange peel or popcorn finish.
There are a number of techniques for applying the coating to the drywall surface. Using the simplest method, a workman applies a soupy joint compound mixture to the wall using a trowel. Another way is to blast a splatter coat of drywall mud on the surface with an air compressor and hopper gun. An individual can also purchase a pre-mixed aerosol can of a watered-down knockdown mixture that is sprayed directly on the wall. In each of these methods, the workman allows the surface to slightly dry and then skims the surface in a random pattern using a wide trowel or knockdown knife.
A homeowner can apply paint after the surface dries completely. Some decorators prefer to paint the surface first and then apply the knockdown coat to leave a visually appealing two-tone surface.