Jun 16 , 2020

How to Skim-Coat Walls

How to Skim-Coat Walls

If you’re a skilled drywall taper or plasterer, you probably use a hawk and trowel to skim-coat walls. We don’t expect to change your mind if you use those tools as second hands. But if you’re a remodeler who does only occasional skim-coating to fix wrecked walls, you know it’s a tough skill to master. Plus, here’s how to choose the right joint compound for your project.

The method we show isn’t faster than traditional skim-coating — you have to do two or three coats and let each one dry in-between. But it’s idiot-proof, and the walls will end up flat and smooth. So if you’re a contractor who’s given up on skim-coating and you always call in a taper for the task, you can save on labor by tackling it yourself next time. It only takes a regular paint roller and a squeegee knife. The 14-in.-wide squeegee knife we used is called a Magic Trowel.

Before you start on this project, if you’re having some issues with your drywall check out this video:

Family HandymanDrywall Installation Mistakes You've Probably Made Before This article walks you through the 'Do's and Don'ts' of drywall installation. It will help you avoid seven common mistakes people make when tackling their drywall projects. Enjoy the foibles of our enthusiastic but sadly misguided drywall installer as he shows you the right way and the wrong way to get the job done.

Start by Prepping the Walls

  • With this method of how to retexture a wall, you don’t just spot-prime; you roll the entire wall with a stain-blocking sealer.
    • Pro tip: If you’ve always used solvent-based sealers like traditional BIN and KILZ, it’s time to try one of the water-based stain killers. Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer works well, and you’ll avoid any griping from your customers about the smell.
  • Roll a fast-drying, stain-sealing drywall primer on the walls. The primer seals loose paper and promotes better adhesion of the joint compound.
  • These are thin layers that won’t fix holes or torn-away paper, or make uneven sections level. Patch these problems with setting-type joint compound.
  • Let the compound harden (it doesn’t have to be dry) before you start skimcoating.
  • Don’t rush on to the next step; let the sealer dry thoroughly before applying any joint compound.

skim coat paint primer

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