Drywall textures include hand-applied textures such as skip trowel, hawk and trowel and Santa Fe textures, and machine-sprayed textures such as splatter knockdown and orange peel textures. The skip trowel texture involves spreading a layer of drywall mud with a knife angled to leave small circles on the smooth surface.
A skip trowel texture is very similar to the hawk and trowel texture that leaves multiple layers of textures that overlap in straight lines rather than in circular patterns of the skip trowel style. The Santa Fe texture results from applying a top layer of drywall mud and skimming it in various locations to reveal the lower layer.
Machine-applied textures use compressed air to splatter drywall mud to create different textures. For the splatter knockdown texture, compressed air splatters drywall mud in random patterns and a flat knife creates the knockdown effect. The orange peel texture results from regulating the air pressure to splatter the drywall mud in a consistent pattern that resembles an orange peel when it dries.