How to Skim Coat a Wall: 8 Steps to Skim Coating a Wall
Rejuvenating your walls to its former look and feel of smooth plastering after all those years of wear, tear, texturing, painting and wallpapering is a task only a professional skim coat company can undertake. With the right tools, materials, and methods, the skim coating can be a cost-effective project you could undertake on your own but, it is not really the best option especially if it's a ceiling that previously had popcorn installation. We know that some popcorn ceilings that were installed in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and even some in the 2000s could possibly have asbestos in them. Also, a perfectly smooth wall of skim coat is just a task the average person will not be able to pull off unless there's real professional guidance and physical help every step of the way.
So, even if you are thinking of doing it yourself, please still have a professional do it with you.
What Is Skim Coating?
Skim coating is a widely used home improvement solution that uses a thin layer of joint compound to smooth out textured walls or repair damaged drywall to its original smooth surface. Skim coating walls employ various techniques and materials and yet are not as costly as most home renovations.
Professional Tools and Supplies for Skim Coating
Mr. SkimCoat uses several methods to skim coat walls: Below a list of the common tools we always have on us for any project:
- Drop cloth: We use paper or a drop cloth below our work area to protect our floor surface from drips between the mud pan and the wall itself. We sometimes also use painter’s tape to frame the target surface with the drop cloth thus protecting the trim and molding. Equally important, using a drop cloth really helps reduce the cleanup time for the crew.
- Drywall compound: We always have on hand either ready-mix products or dry-mix drywall compounds. This is fully dependent on the surface area the crew has to cover versus the budget of the project.
- Texture sprayer: We use texture sprayers all the time. They are the most efficient method to achieve a thin layer of drywall mud on the surface of the wall surface. They make the project completed much faster.
- Paint roller: We use paint rollers as well when skim coating. Our crew is made up of experts who know how to paint. The paint roller application is a familiar experience to them and helps speed up the project whilst others are using the texture spray in some areas of the project.
- Paint tray or five-gallon bucket: The crew mixes up the drywall mud before applying them to the wall surface. We prepare the mixture in a bucket that can be easily moved around the work area. This is to make sure we have enough mixture to complete the entire walls or sections.
- Putty knife: We use a squeegee-like tool to remove excess mud and fill any areas where the first coat could not fill the gaps and valleys normally in textures. This is done after we have applied the first coat of mud. We use the putty knife or drywall knife because it helps us reach edges and corners where taping may have been inadequate or just cumbersome to reach.
After removal of the popcorn, intensive preparation work is done to ready the ceiling to best receive the level-5 finishing - skim coating. Our skim coat experts can then come in and make your ceiling smooth again with a variety of colors to select from!
8 Steps to Skim Coating a Wall
After we have all of our tools, materials, and supplies assembled for the project, we test on a small area of drywall or a cut-off piece of gypsum before we tackle entire walls. Here is our step-by-step process to finishing a masterpiece of a well skim coated wall.
- Preparing the work area - We spread up a butcher paper or the drop cloths to save us time later when we are done and cleaning up. We make sure it covers all walking surfaces. We apply tape on all trims and outlets to protect overspray or drips from getting into contact with the mud when plastering.
- Drywall compound mix - For time efficiency and faster project completion, when mixing the joint compound to a thin, yogurt-like texture, we utilize one of our favorite tools combos. Securing a mixing attachment to a power drill. This method will cause a lot of splashing. That's the reason why we use the tool only in a prepped area.
- First coat of mud application - Where the crew uses a thick nap paint roller to apply the first coat, we always work on small sections of the wall at a time. This will ensure a consistent coating with close to the same drying times. Where we use a texture sprayer, large sections of the wall can be done quickly as the layering is thin and dries up faster.
- Properly lighting the work area at an angle - Here is one of the tricks we'd like to share with you. To make sure the skim coat is evenly applied and cover up unwanted texture, we place a light source at an angle to the target wall surface. Where there are bumps and peaks, they will appear in shadows.
- Trowel the first coat - Using our edged tool - normally a trowel or taping knife - we are able to smooth down the initial coat and fill the mud into any gaps and creases the roller missed if we did not use a texture sprayer for that section.
- Sanding the wall between coats - First coats always develop noticeable lines where your strokes may have overlapped. Drywall sanding between coats is the best fix for this after we complete the first coat and waited for it to dry up. Where it's hard to reach the sanding area, we use a pole sander. This is a tool that extends our reach and helps smooth out the walls before the second coat application.
- Primer and Painting - All coats have been applied and allowed to dry. The next step is to prime and paint the walls or ceiling to the decor specifications.
- Cleaning Up - As simple as it sounds, this is actually an equally important step of the project. If not done properly, debris, spills, drips, and remaining mud in the container can accidentally ruin the completed walls. We have all the equipment and strong dust vacuuming tools to make sure the home is dust-free, fresh, and immediately ready to be inhabited.
Our experts at Mr. SkimCoat Inc. are here throughout the week and on call during emergencies to provide you that smooth finish on that wall or ceiling you have been dreaming of.Just call us or use our webform to contact us ASAP!