I've made literally thousands of drywall repairs. The texture in a can is for "popcorn", "cottage cheese" or "knock down" repair. That's not what you need. What you're looking for is the texture that a roller leaves. The short answer is you're using the wrong nap roller and maybe the wrong primer/paint........
There are usually three things that cause repaired areas to be visible.
What you need to do is feather the mud out over a large area. It usually takes 3 coats. Sometimes more. Absolutely positively do NOT use a sponge to finish the mud! Use a drywall sander..either hand sander, or sand pole. Both will have a foam backed pad that holds special drywall sand paper (they also make a sanding screen but if you're not careful it will leave rows of ridges). They make a type of mud that's low dust. It costs a little more and it will plug the sandpaper quicker but the reduction in dust is dramatic. Once you're done sanding take a DAMP not soaking wet sponge MOP (not just a sponge as that will apply pressure unevenly) and mop the affected area top to bottom if a wall or one direction on a ceiling. The goal is to remove any sanding dust and to lay any "fuzz" down the same direction. That's usually more of an issue with new drywall rather than a patch on existing drywall. Apply a heavy bodied primer/sealer with at least a 3/8 or 1/2" nap roller. This will help to match the texture of the surrounding area. Then apply your finish paint with a 3/8 or 1/2" nap roller.
The problem with finishing with a sponge is you can't get the patches flat because the sponge applies pressure too unevenly. What generally happens is the edges get sponged too much trying to feather the patch. What that does is cause a slight curvature around the edge of the patch. Ya gotta use a sander. Another issue that causes patches to be seen is not feathering the mud out enough. To give you an idea of what I mean is when I patch a hole where a recessed toilet paper holder was, I'll end up with a 3 foot diameter patch. The other common reason for patches being visible is the difference in texture. This is where most non-professionals have problems because they use the wrong nap roller or apply too little paint. I've seen many a home owner roll and roll over the same spot many times but applying very little paint. They can really stretch a gallon but they end up needing multiple coats. Use a good primer and long nap roller. I sometimes use a fan to speed up the drying process if I think the primer will run. Just make sure there's no dust or dirt to be blown into the paint. The quality of the paint makes a huge difference. For 30 some years I used MAB paint. It's VERY good. Sherwin Williams bought them awhile back. For convenience I mostly use Valspar paint from Lowes these days. I've gotta say I like Behr paint from Home Depot the best but we don't have an HD locally. Anyway, use the best grade of paint from any manufacturer and use a quality roller with the appropriate nap. I sometimes use a 3/4" nap roller to apply the primer so the texture better matches the existing wall. Pops
Re: Drywall repair in reply to George Marsh, 12-24-2012 04:55:33
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If you want texture, you need to put on texture and blend it so it matches. What it is sounding like you have is paint texture from years of paint build up with heavy nap rollers. To recreate that, you need to apply several coats of paint with a heavy nap roller.
What you could also have is a sand texture on the walls that has been over painted many times so it LOOKS like roller texture.
Like was mentioned above, without pictures, we are just guessing. FWIW, I think you should use the texture in a can. Do a couple practice sprays on some scrap cardboard to get the nozzle set up right and have at the wall. Nobody mentioned it but when it drys it shrinks down so your patch should look a little heavy and over done. If you screw up or the can clogs and splatters up the wall, just scrape it off with a 6" knife and start over. The cans let you redo things pretty easily, unlike many coats of paint or sand texture in paint.
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