We are getting close to finishing a large home addition. The walls and ceiling are sheet rock, but we would like to have some sort of finish that is different than the standard orange peel texture. Any ideas on a good looking sheet rock finish?
Peter P. ~ Chicago, IL
Hi Peter. There really is no end to the options available if you want your interior walls to have a finish other than plain painted sheetrock. The first issue to consider is the sheetrock itself -- there are several finishing methods that can provide texture to its surface while providing a little depth to the material. The textures can range from fine to rough and can be done in patterns or consistently across the walls. The texture can then be left natural or painted in your choice of colors.
Of course, there is always wallpaper to consider. There are numerous patterns available including solid colors, woodland scenes, flowers, and just about anything else you can imagine. If you're planning a DIY project, some wallpaper can be a bit challenging so you may want to consult with the professionals at your local paint store.
Speaking of paint, there are also many faux wall finishes that can be done with paint these days. The finish is another method that can also be used to provide interior walls with depth and character. I saw a painting contractor use paint to create a faux-leather finish on family room walls that looked just like the real thing. Chicago should have quite a few high-end painting contractors that can provide faux finishes for your interior walls. Painted murals are also popular, but finding a painter capable of doing a good job can be difficult and the work can be a bit pricey.
Don't forget about trim when you're considering wall finishes for your sheetrock. While most homes just have baseboard, window casing, and perhaps some crown or chair railing, good trim carpenters can use various sizes and styles of trim to create designs on your sheetrock walls. The trim can be painted to match the other wood in the room or to blend in with your wall paint color.
If you are planning on selling your home anytime soon, you may want to check with a Chicago real estate professional before deciding on your wall finishes. They may be able to tell you what is trendy in the area right now and may also know what finishes to avoid.