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Caribbean Décor: Is Trowel-on the New Alternative to Paint?

by Lou-Ann Jordan Feb 6, 2023

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Giving your home an uplift does not necessarily mean structural changes.

One of the most common ways of giving your home a fresh new look is by adding a fresh coat of paint, whether you maintain the original colour or change it. Painting is also a relatively inexpensive way to update your indoor and outdoor style or décor. Notwithstanding, weather conditions and materials, giving your home a new paint job should last about five to 10 years.

Interestingly, in recent times, a new technology has become increasingly popular in the home décor industry. It’s commonly called trowel-on by homeowners and contractors. Like paint, the trowel-on application is an option for uplifting homes. Its usage continues to be on the rise as many Caribbean homeowners are making the switch when looking to refresh their exterior.

Also, some new homeowners are foregoing painting their external walls and are choosing to use trowel-on instead. The solution’s textured finish works well for interior and exterior surfaces, offering aesthetic dynamism to any design.

If you’re looking to add colour to your home or building and trying to decide between conventional paint and trowel-on, then this article is for you. Here, we point out a few benefits and drawbacks of trowel-on.

What is Trowel-on

First, what exactly is trowel-on? It’s a mixture of styrene acrylic, an engineered plastic substance, and paint. The thick liquid compound is hard and brittle and creates a textured finish. Its texture varies with options such as ultra-fine, fine, coarse, or ultra-coarse. 


  • Trowel-on is a long-lasting compound. Once it goes on, you’re not required to do retouches for an extended period.
  • It’s a one-step process as it comes pre-coloured and only requires a single coat.  
  • The textured finish gives surfaces a quality, designer look (appearance) when applied.
  • Maintenance is relatively easy because of its durability. Pressure washing can be used to maintain cleanness, removing dirt and debris lodged over time.
  • There are numerous possibilities for aesthetic designs when used for interior surfaces.


  • Although the trowel-on’s durability is a benefit, it can also be a disadvantage. With paint, you can change your colour as often as you like. However, trowel-on doesn’t allow for an easy transition to a new colour should the need arise.
  • Trowel-on is a heavy-bodied or dense mixture. It is heavy to move, to apply and it adds its degree of weight to any structure on which it’s used.
  • Another key drawback is that unlike paint, which allows for DIY application, it requires expertise. Thus, you’ll need to consider the cost of hiring someone.

There you have it, some of the benefits and drawbacks you may experience if you’re considering using this new solution. Also, it’s difficult to say definitively whether trowel-on is better than paint. However, because they produce different results, some people use it as an alternative to outdoor colour, while others use it in the interior alongside paint for contrast.

Therefore, when decorating your home, based on the desired style or effect you’re hoping to create, you can choose either.

If you’re considering doing a bit of an upgrade and are looking to purchase trowel-on or paint, why not browse Findyello’s “hardware”, “paint-retail” or “paint-wholesale and manufacturers” listings?