This is the BEFORE picture of my basement. I actually don't hate the green it was painted when we moved in, but after two years of living with it, I was ready for a change. The walls were pretty hammered, so instead of fixing every ding/hole individually, I decided to take on the not so small task of re-texturing the walls all by myself.
Here's a quick how to. I used light weight joint compound (drywall mud) for the texture. Using a 6" plastic paint scraper spatula thingy I smothered the walls with it. You want to thinly and smoothly cover a 3'x3' section at a time. Then with the clean side of the paint scraper, drag it slowly over the top of the wet drywall mud to create the different lines and/or spots. Try to avoid leaving paint scraper lines. You just want the natural looking lines that appear while slowly dragging the scraper downward. Hmmm. That sounds confusing. Maybe I will video tape myself doing it sometime for a better explanation.
Next, let the mud dry completely and then sand over all the walls lightly with a swiveling sandpaper stick? Wipe dust particles off of walls with a damp cloth. Now you're ready to prime. Priming on top of drywall mud is very important. I used two coats of primer because the mud soaks it up like crazy. AND primer IS less expensive than paint. Then I used one coat of beige colored paint on top of the primer. You only need one coat because you will be covering any imperfections with the glaze.
Last but not least, GLAZING. USE DISPOSABLE GLOVES FOR THIS. Get yourself a few cheap sponges. I prefer to use the car washing sponges at Wal-Mart, cut in half. I bought a quart of Van Dyke colored glaze from Kwal Paint and only ended up using 1/3 of it for the whole living room in the basement. Dip one end of the sponge in the glaze and don't be afraid to just start working it onto the wall in small sections. Really get into the different grooves that you made with the drywall mud. You want the grooves to be darker. The glaze is oil based, which makes it easy to play with since it won't dry fast. Then using the other end of the sponge, wipe it off. Use circular motion and heavy pressure to put it on and circular motion and lighter pressure to take it off. If you like the darker look, do it dark. If you like a lighter look, do it light. Clear as mud, right?
This is the accent wall. I didn't glaze the accent wall. The red is from Behr Paint called Red Red Wine. It took like three coats.