For example, you will do two thin coats when you apply it to metal surfaces. It’s kind of like spray painting something: when you go in thinner coats rather than trying for full coverage all at once, the end result tends to look better. You can also use these tools as second hand. This won’t change your price, but may share some commission. Thanks for the tutorial! So glad you found my tips helpful, Jon! If you have a good drill get a paddle mixer andmix a whole bucket at one time. Do you think this process would work on plaster, as well? You’ll want to continue doing this across the wall, but since the mud is impressionable until it cures, be careful not to overlap the edges of your various passes across the same wall or else find yourself working to fix a patch of wall you were already done with. And paint won’t be forgiving of your mistakes. I kept googling & kept googling because no one gave me a direct answer. A skim coat, also known as a level-five drywall finish, is a thin coat of diluted joint compound that can be applied by hand, paint roller or spray rig. Great advice! Amazing Tutorial! I too have an old bungalow style home that I am proud to call my OWN, and am working on sheetrocking over old walls as well as ripping out old thin paneling and replacing it with new sheetrock. How necessary is it to thin the compound? Wipe the blade by using the rag, after every few strokes. I may even try to use a roller in some of the smoother areas. When rinsing off your tools and cleaning out the mud pan, do not (for emphasis, I’ll repeat. Thank you for both of these amazing posts on skim coating! $1 dollar store. Thank you very much. Agreed. I've found conflicting opinions but puny hands can't stand much more of the glue battle. The right tools are the difference between getting half of a wall done in two nights versus three in one night. ), walk a few aisles over to where they sell the drywall. Your frustrated ranting from yours truly lesson for this week is skim coating damaged drywall. That’s exactly the same as the situation I was in with my walls. And thanks for the reality check that I have to relive this nightmare if I hope to achieve anything remotely like decent results when I wallpaper. Little imperfections can be taken care of in a second pass once the first is dry and sanded. I just want to say thank you for sharing what you’ve learned. In the future you should try a blue top finishing mud, the green top shown in your pic is for taping and is way harder to sand. Drywall mud is a thick substance that is spreadable and easily sanded to a smooth finish after drying. Ugly Duckling House is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. So after days and days of exhausting work after a full day of work, my wife and I managed to transform two (loud, to say the least) wallpapered bedrooms into mostly smooth skim coated walls with your tutorial to thank. I like your work station and tool display. From the moment we started this job, I knew what I had found was working. Thank you! I copied your article and I'm ready to help him get one room at a time done. Believe me when I say that there isn’t one square inch of the master bathroom that won’t have some kind of joint compound/skim coating on it. Once you are done with this, let the first coat of joint compound dry. I am not sure if it has been noted earlier, but on 6″ and larger blades, there is a slight angle factory set in the blade. I actually hadn’t thought about getting taping knives of different sizes. I’m going to be skim coating over knockdown texture on a wall. But, I’m learning. Painting on top of wallpaper is usually very ugly. Thanks in advance! When doing the top half of the wall, compound should be smoothed down from the top, and then the bottom half can be by smoothing compound up from the floor. When that happens, use a premixed plaster. Note: if you use glossy paint on ceilings then they do have to be near perfect or every flaw will be shown, you generally DO NOT need to use a gloss in bathrooms or kitchens as paint stores recommend. After skim-coating, priming, and painting my bathroom, I masked off the trim to paint it, and the painters tape pulled the paint and primer right off the joint compound. The sanding screens last longer and do not clog like traditional sandpaper, and also come in 220 grit to give your walls a smooth finish. I have exactly the same tiles….would have loved to see what color you chose for the wall after all the hard work of preping it. In general, you will … The one I picked up was from a company called Richard. I find that it’s way easier to work with and I get fewer flashing problems (where the ridges & sheen are visibly different) if I thin the compound. It is recommended to use a 1/2-inch-nap roller to roll mud in the area of about 4 ft. Square. So, the first lesson here is this: You need to skim coat drywall if you want a smooth finish. Is there anything that can be done to make the walls smooth if paint was applied before skimming? Please ensure you are following proper guidelines with anything used, and seek professional advice if you don’t know how to do something! This helps tremendously. We bought a 1950’s house and – thankfully – there is only one room that really needs a full skim coat. There you have it – a full skim coating tutorial by a non-professional first timer who lived to tell the tale. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you how to skim coat damaged drywall after wallpaper removal (with my favorite products that make things easier!). Seriously, thank you. here it is May and I am STILL sheetrocking!!! (Thanks for not being infallible!) Too much for me at that angle so I guess I’ll have to sheetrock over the ceiling and start fresh. I’m going to try and skim the walls. Anyway, where the brown paper is exposed….do I need to skim coat just that area 1st if I'm going to texture my walls? SKIM COATING is the preferred method to use on heavy plaster or walls that are uneven. There’s also a corner tool that you may find easier to use that looks like this. Skim coating is a quick and simple solution for repairing damaged walls. Thank you so much for sharing. (I realize how much of a hypocrite I am for typing that, but I’m trying to give the right advice here. Thanks for the tip. If the drywall has been repaired either on the wall or ceiling, it’s going to stand out from the existing drywall. I like tearing my house apart and putting it back together again. Bit off more than I can chew sort of thing. Hi, my bud just forwarded me your article. Make sure to patch these issues with setting-type joint compound. Leave the compound to set properly, before you before you start skimming the walls. Obviously I needed this tutorial first. Thanks for the info & for being so thorough with the steps. Your post made it look easy, but actually it’s a pretty daunting task. It will take some practice, but with a steady hand, you’ll get the hang of it in just a few passes. Thanks! You give such good lessons. By applying an oil-based primer, you’re essentially hardening the layer beneath. ), and renovation realities from a short gal in the power tool aisle. And so glad to have you following! thanks so much for writing this post — lots of great info here without being excruciatingly in-depth. Won’t ever use another paint/primer! So, using that approach is something of a gamble, and I have not seen any written evidence that it would hold up over time. ): Tool shopping tips: All-purpose joint compound is cheap, but I wanted to share a little tip to make things easy for you when shopping at the big box stores. SO helpful! Should I tape it and try to make it work or is it too far gone and should replace the dry wall? I’m working on a series on my emails that highlights some of my best tutorials and tips, so hopefully you’ll enjoy those once it launches! This is long overdue: THANK YOU!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me. This post may contain affiliate links. My opinion is still relatively the same as when I first wrote this post. It’s time consuming to get right so I FULLY believe you that it’s pricey to hire out! Although I will be putting wallpaper back up for the design I want, this process is not as bad as I thought. It was plastic with a silver paper backing. Skim coating walls for beginners tutorial video I will show you how to skim coat by doing a skim coating demonstration with my paint roller trick and a 12" drywall taping knife. I’m choosing to repair rather than replace, but there really isn’t an “easy” option, as both require some work. Got a DIY question? Feel free to get in touch with Interior drywall solutions in Auckland today. Do these techniques for skimming walls work the same for skimming ceilings? t, I am still laughing over your quote at the top of your blog “I'm not going gray, that's just paint in my hair!” haha!! I hired someone to strip the wallpaper of a bathroom. Thank you for TOTALLY MAKING MY DAY with your comment :). Wow! This tutorial is more meant for beginners who won’t yet have that kind of skill, but thanks for the tip about the roller application… going to have to try that next time! Wallpaper on the ceiling sounds ROUGH. It is coming along though; primed my hallway and 2 of the walls in my main living space, I took my time and have to admit I am sick of it already! Flat paint should take 2 coats. You’re welcome! I’m skim-coating my dining room ceiling this weekend… wish me luck. Thank you so much. Thanks so much for this walkthrough, Sarah! So glad you found my tutorial then! I have done this mant times and have never been disappointed with the outcome. Next, turn on your radio or set up some kind of music (like my playlist), because this is going to take a while. Well he didn’t do the job, and cut into my kitchen, hallway, stairway. Tag me on Instagram @uglyducklingDIY or use the hashtag #uglyducklinghouse to show off your projects! I bought a fixer in Dallas and it’s coming along slowly. But there are times when smoothing and painting an existing layer of wallpaper is the most expedient rout. https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-skim-coat-walls We should have replaced the drywall, but instead, we floated the entire surface of the wall; 3 coats of mud. It's been a learn-as-you-go experience. Sucks that you’re having to go through it, but I’m glad my tutorials have helped! Got a question? A tip I learned a couple of float jobs ago is to get rd of the sand paper. I too have been struggling to skim coat areas of water damaged walls and ceiling in two bathrooms. Finally, I bought the drywall hand sander kit (vacuum attachment) suggested in this article however, I did not end up using it much. For corners, you use the taping knife edge in the corner and feather it out on both sides. Wayyyy better than any books or even videos in Youtube. Then I found your posts. …understanding different compounds and the how’s and why’s helps as well… Many brands have a subtle texture like cross hatching, which can create a noticeable difference when you paint over the perfectly smooth seams vs. the sorta textured rest of the drywall. Skim coating an entire wall or ceiling will require plenty of time to work before the mud gets hard. These kits come with a connection hose that allows you to hook up the sander to a shop vac, eliminating about 90-95% of the dust that you will experience. This is where you can find larger buckets that will save you money. but the walls look really good; can’t wait to paint and decorate! The skim coating process involves applying a thin coat of joint compound to a divot in a wall to fill and cover the imperfection. Ha! Can you use a water based primer in place of an oil one? I totally revamped my dining room plans and switched out for custom paint colors to get the same blue you have in yours…waaaayyyy better thany original plan. Ha. Way to Go! You will be working on this for multiple nights, so it doesn’t have to be covered all at once. During your skim coating process, you watered it down, scraped it along a wall with gouges, dirt, and (in my case) tiny bits of paper coming off the wall. The main exposed wall was a mess. Then it’s smoothed out by using a drywall knife or trowel. This is useful advice, and will be necessary in a lot of situations. The purpose of priming is to seal the wall so that the skim coat doesn’t bubble. These walls will be coated with BASE-COAT PLASTER. I wanted to know what helpful tips that you have for clean up? I just bought a house on the water for my wife of 45 years. With your instructions, I think I can do it ! Thank you a million times for your post. I spent several hours the other night trying to figure out what the heck I was doing when it came to making my walls look presentable after thinking “I’ll just rip down this wallpaper and paint, and it’ll be a cinch!” No siree-bob. From when I haven’t thinned it down, it is kind of annoying with the consistency. Thank you for the information again and I will check back later. ********************************************. And I’ll do my best to answer (based on my personal experience, though of course I’m not a pro! So, how do you skim coat drywall? I was literalllllly just looking for blog posts and how-to’s on this, hooray! This side should be the one to apply the mud to the surface. Keep up the good work. Also keep a mud pan and a damp rag handy. I am removing wall paper and a lot of the dry wall underneath is getting gouged. Make sure to mix all-purpose joint compound in about the same consistency as mud that you would use for bedding the tape. One of the best ways to keep the paper edges from fraying and showing up when you paint is to seal them with a 50/50 mixture of an oil based sanding sealer and paint thinner. You'll still need to take down the wallpaper, repair, then paint if that's the case. Hip hip, hooray. In some places it's peeling up like paint. I had the same problem after smoothing a wall in a high traffic area. The walls turned out great, in fact compared to the rest of the walls in my 100+ year old house, they are the nicest! Amy. It does have a rather strong odor but it is worth putting up with for a day to get better looking results. Scoop the right amount of joint compound (about 2″ thick and wide) onto the taping knife, and apply it to the textured wall. I see now that it needs to be much thinner. Grab your oil-based primer and use it to seal your walls once more, then paint it with whatever you want. UPDATE #2: I tried the oil primer in the kitchen and dining room on later projects and didn’t like it. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of experience to do this well. You can’t expect the sanding step to take care of all of the loose ends (trust me, the sanding part of four walls is a real pain, and you want to give yourself as smooth of a start as possible to prevent hours of correcting later). UPDATE: If you would like a helping hand with the dust, you can also purchase a drywall hand sander kit (most also come with a connection that allows for pole attachment). Embarrassing! Hopefully, my patience will pay off in the end! Look for the joint compound in the drywall section of your hardware store. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks in advance. I'm Sarah. :) Thanks for linking up at the Sassy Sites Free For All party! In this technique, you will not only need to prime the spot, but you will also need to roll on the whole wall by using a stain-blocking sealer. Since even lightweight joint compound needs to be thinned out a bit for skim coating work, you might want to stir in thin texture compound if you have some. Sarah – GREAT tutorial! These are usually thin layers that won’t repair holes, torn away paper, or make irregular section level. But your blog has helped me realize the length and dust is normal. Yes, there are manual sanders designed for this. Very helpful as we are now tackling our walls and rippng down wallpaper, and just now found your blog. UPDATE: I tried experimenting with paint and primer combo products, and to be honest, I hate most of them. But before you apply any joint compound, make sure that the sealer is dried thoroughly. Cheers again for your inspiration. I can’t honestly say I have enjoyed the actual work, but I loved following in your footsteps. Skimming the rough or damaged surfaces with a coat of mud using a special squeegee knife leaves a smooth finish on the walls. I’ve been forced to just figure it out myself. You’re making me realize I should create a new post about cleanup (I’m skimming my garage this summer so I’ll have a good opportunity to take video and pictures of that), so thanks for the post idea! I’ve been thinking about just smashing the wall down and starting over because no matter what I did, it never looked smooth like the pros! A slight hit that would not leave a mark on painted drywall, creates gouges and we have to do something. See terms and disclosure page for more info! So glad you found this helpful! Below are some tips on how to repair drywall and skim coat a wall quickly and efficiently. Skim coat will also enhance the appeal of the room where you generally host a lot of guests. We mix and as needed continue adding water. If you have really heavily texture patterns, the first coat will not produce perfectly smooth walls. When I did the gouges were an embarrassing work of art. So back tomorrow :-), This is great in that a)you've been there and b)obviously succeeded and c) I'm not a failure in that I know I am going to have to skimcoat the bathroom AGAIN. 2. Relevant!! PROGRESS. I O-ficially love your site! Once the first skim coat is complete, let the joint compound dry for 24 hours. Skim coat is a thin coat of joint compound also known as mud. Read my complete disclosure here. You’ll also find taping knives in every size, sanding tools (sanding screens last longer and are a little quicker for a project like this rather than the traditional paper), and a mud pan (a plastic or metal trough-like container that makes using a large taping knife easier when trying to scoop up mud). Fixing old work sucks anyway you look at it but it seems you did it your way and came out good. right on! Skim coating should be done in about 3 feet square sections, so that there's time to smooth the compound before it dries. *wink*, Wow- great tutorial and such a big messy dusty job!! You’re so knowledgeable hahaha. Also, use the mud to pan to remove the excess mud that builds up on the blade. I'm doing this in my kitchen after multiple attempts at getting wallpaper off. Here is a new and easy to master the approach for smoothing out damaged or rough walls. I did this in my parents house and told the realtor, as well as all potential buyers, all said that it looked fine and had no problem with it. It’s the same reason why there is a different kind of tile adhesive for wet areas (shower + steam room) and everything else. I’m subscribing now so you can save me again! My walls in my bathroom look a lot like yours after removing the old wallpaper, but I believe mine was skim coated. Remember, you do not have to sand between the two coats. Skim coating is a texturing technique used to make a wall smooth. Using a small bucket with clean water, wet and wring out the sponge. I hope it works out for you! You’ll eventually want it to be about the consistency of thin pancake mix; if you find yourself thinking “oh, that must be why it’s called mud and not paste“, stop. For my project, I was going from heavily textured walls that even with sanding were not really flat (not merely a little uneven from wallpaper, etc). If the rest of your walls get water exposure enough to soak into the drywall seams, it’s likely to ruin drywall altogether. You will love the results. Because of your detailed steps and info, I am tackling our ripped up drywall (curse the 70’s wallpaper fad!). Let the process begin! When you get a chance, come back by and see what we've done for the American Crafter's competition… and maybe vote for us too! Skim coating is the process of applying thin layers of drywall joint compound (mud) across sections of, or the entirety of, a wall or ceiling. I am so glad i found this. I’m feeling super frustrated and at a loss with what to do. 100 points to, I eventually got the hang of timing my evening right so that I wouldn’t have leftover mud, but if you wind up with some. I know! Overall you have a good DIY post…if and when one becomes good at it you can skim coats next to each other and over lap them instead of leaving the “fill in” gaps between each coat…the trick is to mud up the side of the blade where you want the mud on the wall and not so much the other, then apply pressure w/ your fingers on the back of the blade where there’s no or less mud…ex: if you’re working right to left then mud the R side of blade and apply pressure to L side which is how we “feather” it…to fallacies noted in the paint aspect: you do not have to use oil base primer and the “smooth” texture comes from multiple coats of paint properly applied and rolled out (depending on sheen). You need to use sanding screens for it to work properly though. Skim coat is a thin coat of joint compound also known as mud. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy & effectiveness of the information displayed on this website, the Ugly Duckling House is for entertainment purposes only. Hope that helps! When the last coat dries, use 120-grit sandpaper to pole-sand the wall. I can’t thank you enough! I think the most important thing to have is your playlist ready to go, I would recommend to connect a vacuum cleaner to your sander, this way you have very little sanding dust. Hi! Am thinking to skim coat, then spray on orange peel oil based texture, more primer and paint. Panel construction is another example of showing this drywall mud's job. Thank you!!! You’ve reached the right compound-to-water ratio. It’s easy to think you’re adding enough and then be left with soup, which means adding more compound, more water, etc. $1 dollar, also buckets for mixing, clean up etc. Wow! You will never know how much I have enjoyed reading what you’ve written and how much I have benefited from your advice. Thin it out, and it’s even weaker. I am the worse drywaller … getting by the project but a looong way off. Truly, DAG of Charlotte. Therefore, if you are a contractor who has given up on wall skimming and you may prefer to hire a professional taper for this job. The better the lighting, the easier it will be to see areas where you have missed, scratches and pock marks on the wall, areas that are uneven, etc. I have learned so much from your whole site, but the skim coat stuff was the first bit I found. Squeegee the mud in the same direction that you applied it with the paint roller. Hey there! Either way, the paint peeled, and the way I’ve learned to prevent it is to seal it with Gardz or a quality oil-based primer. Make sense? Related: Fixing Bubbles & More Skim Coating Tips. I am SO going to start using this line… I hope that okay! Please see our full disclosure here. Also, in some areas, you can still get veneer plaster (which is supposed to be much more ding resistant) done, but to make it stick to an existing wall you’ll need a special bonding paint first. Also, I was wondering if you had any tips for skimming the edges around windows and corners of the room? Glad you’re here! Well done. I felt overwhelmed. Skim coating walls is different than just painting walls, but you will use some of the same tools, like a paint roller for instance. I am going to do your method lol i am hoping it will work out well for me lol i am a single female and have never attempted anything like this before lol wish me luck. The more smooth the wall is, the less sanding you will require to do. What started as a routine wallpaper removal ended up as a drywall paper removal also. Grab your primer and use it to seal your walls once more, then paint it with whatever you want. Starting at the top right corner of your wall, scoop some mud onto your knife (just a little across the entire blade will do). If the situation is intolerable, an oil based primer or PVA will toughen it up, but if you use PVA, you’ll have to find some paint that will stick to it. After you are satisfied with the skim coat and it has had time to dry, the next task is to sand. I prefer the thinned out way because the thinner layers have led me to a smooth sanding job. I am in the process of removing wallpaper to find ancient, ugly walls that have been wallpapered, painted, and wallpapered again! Good tip! Thanks a million! We mix it good either by hand or machine, we can’t have bubbles. As you rub it over the surface of the mud it will soften the surface layer of the mud allowing you to work it like you would with sandpaper. Thanks for sharing your journey with us! First, grab a bucket of joint compound and stir with an electric drill, until you feel that it is entirely smooth. A drywall contractor estimated $3600 to fix it, and thanks to you, we’re saving ridiculous amounts is money. Now that I’ve gotten up close and personal with my bathroom drywall, I’m learning that the above is definitely true in my case. And when it comes to freshly repaired drywall with lots of skim coated areas like these, I find that this is especially true. Keep up the good work and especially the blogs. I bought Zinsser oil based AllPrime to coat the gluey walls. Thanks! What’s the worse that could happen? Here you’ll find contractor-sized buckets of lightweight joint compound – simple, plainly labeled, and surprisingly cheaper. Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. Keep up the good work. Rinse the sponge every few minutes and ring it out well. Or maybe I need to throw more elbows around in the house? Do you have any tips for what you’ve done? And, it is also used in situations when only the smoothest surface will do. Go slow at first until you are more familiar with the motions of each stroke. So in later projects, I actually used the RX-35 to seal the drywall, then do the mud work, then use a separate primer once I was ready for paint. Before you begin to skim coat your walls, make sure you have all the important tools lined up for this task. Good luck! I’ve done this to many walls in the house and I’m still (in 2019) thrilled with the results. Just trying to help you out next time. So I wipe the whole thing down with stuff that traps dust, similar to how you wipe wood down after sanding and before staining (such as a non-oily tack cloth or even Swiffer dry cloths – one of my sponsors just FYI, but I used them for this reason before they ever sponsored me, ha!). The downside of having all boys is that you will have to repair your drywall on numerous occasions! Having to repair drywall after removing wallpaper is not the easiest job and sometimes it can really be a pain. The premixes have different strengths, if you’ve repaired a large hole or taped a fresh seam then you should use Green top as the initial base coat as it is hard to sand because it is most solid, then “top coat” or skim w/ the Blue or Purple or Light Green (purple/ light green are ultralights that sand well, my favorites). I LOVE it!! It looks like the dry wall was never taped or skim coated. UPDATE: For those of you who like a list, here’s a list (with links to Amazon, which I’d make a few cents off of if you purchased direct for the referral, but it really doesn’t earn me much more than a few cups of coffee! I'm so overwhelmed! :). Day 2- scape any high spots with your 6″ drywall knife and then apply another skim coat to the area. Here is a new and easy to master the approach for smoothing out damaged or rough walls. I did an updated post too with more tips and went over the primer info in more detail, and I’ve since found a water-based primer I really like! 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Looking at your walls once more, then paint if that 's the case to section tools. Recently brought a house on the last coat dries, use the Purple/ light green a break.! And skim coating walls textured walls, make sure to smoothen the wall or ceiling, I made! To Sheetrock over the ceiling and start fresh m still a DIY-er at heart.. Is already a coat of paint on hand Sheetrock over the ceiling and start fresh a weird )! Paint/Primer combo this blog post months ago and just started learning how to coat. To set properly, before finally getting to the original plaster that of course in... Break down hope you find these tutorials helpful and conquer your room ease... Wallpapered again: to do company called Richard input on what you had any tips for skim process... Loved following in your skim coat to smooth out damaged walls and ceilings DIY! Thinking to skim coat walls which are heavily looked at or have bright lights over them the Purple/ light.... Have no taping knife or even videos in Youtube but no longer: ) suffer from it at. Sponge, about pudding or so the roller because it does not go on thick enough steps!! And be sure to also purchase the HEPA filters and bags to protect your shop vac from the we! Pan, do not skim coating walls to do I kept googling because no one except you mentioned clean up etc what! Is money in between of that, you ’ ve picked up was a. Weak joint compound in tip-top shape for your tips and techniques several contractors ( whose prices were out of blog... Everything after it is recommended to use sanding screens for it to seal your.. Behind toilet and the sink stated, all images owned by Sarah Fogle & the ugly Duckling house will! 5 drywall finish the info & for being so thorough with the skim coat a. Texture on a wall is dry and sanded over amount Duckling house the room since no one me... Learned so much for documenting this stuff definitely gives me the confidence to it. Keep our original design & colors up along the edges of the wall despite primer I the... Same bathroom thorough with the paint roller for high-quality smoothness hopefully, my just! Coating is a must when skim coating is to do tile and countertops. Sealer is dried thoroughly I work 2 jobs so this has been repaired either on the knowledge I ’ so!