It can also be applied with a paint roller for high-quality smoothness. I work 2 jobs so this has been a never ending few month job. Thanks for the tutorial! 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. Amazing Tutorial! Yes Sarah ur welcome! This technique is used by the drywallers to conceal any imperfections in the taping job and to give a plaster-like appearance to the wall. Dear Sarah, :). Bottom line, bathroom walls in general aren’t often hosed down with water to the amount that drywall should be getting soaking wet except in areas meant to be waterproofed (such as a steam room or shower walls where you tile over the wall). Thanks again! I really effed up my drywall by moving my baseboards down a smidge when I replaced the carpet with luxury vinyl plank :(. Here in Charlotte, NC, we have similar weather to yours (aka mega-humidity-issues) and as a result, I’m cussing up a storm (you’re my kind of honest/forthright woman!) My process kept the coat of mud fairly thin (it would be practically nonexistent in most areas, and then sanded); I’ve done it in two of the bathrooms and haven’t seen a gouging problem like the one you’re describing, so maybe the 3 coats of mud were too thick? Well he didn’t do the job, and cut into my kitchen, hallway, stairway. Panel construction is another example of showing this drywall mud's job. *sigh*. Thanks a million! To keep the joint compound in tip-top shape for your next use, just get rid of the left over amount. Tomato Tomahto. Jump to section: Tools Needed | Sealing Damage | Skim Coating | Sanding | Painting | Cleanup Tips. Finally I’ve found something which helped me. First of all, we should start by clearing up a myth: most drywall by itself is not smooth. Reellucky. This is great. Skim coating is a quick and simple solution for repairing damaged walls. (Though I was frightened at first, it didn’t automatically self level for 12 hours.) You could call it primer failure, or you could call it weak joint compound. Keep up the good work. If you need to fill in a thick texture on a large area, use setting compound to make the deep fills and build up the finish and then use ready-mixed for the last couple of coats. Skim coating is the best way to achieve a smooth, level 5 drywall finish. But at the end you will get flat and smooth textured walls. 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! You should start by prepping the wall surfaces. The ‘H’ is for DECORATION!” You need to use sanding screens for it to work properly though. It’s easy to think you’re adding enough and then be left with soup, which means adding more compound, more water, etc. I used regular all-purpose drywall, not the lightweight compound – I’m not sure if this makes too much of a difference or not. I am SO going to start using this line… I hope that okay! Embarrassing! For textured walls, DIYDiva.net is a great resource. I found this tool not to be helpful and feel you should go with the taping knife listed here – it worked a lot better. PROGRESS. It was plastic with a silver paper backing. 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!! came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly! Just trying to help you out next time. I just finished a skim coating project using this site and a tutorial on Family Handyman as my guides and wanted to share my experiences. Make sure to trowel off each successive layer at a right angle to the previous layer. Set the squeegee knife against the wall and put it down beginning from the top corner. We were quoted about $1k to have it done, so I was motivated to head to the big box store for the supplies and spent $47 bucks…wowzers. Hi, my bud just forwarded me your article. Thanks for this site. 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? We have wallpaper behind the fixtures. Unless otherwise stated, all images owned by Sarah Fogle & the Ugly Duckling House. Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. I LOVE it!! thank you. @[email protected] Right on! And when it comes to freshly repaired drywall with lots of skim coated areas like these, I find that this is especially true. It’s important to be systematic in your approach; any missed spots will be highlighted once you paint the wall. After all this hard work I can’t afford to skip a step. What did you do about the walls behind toilet and the sink? Good luck with your project! Want even more tips on how to skim coat damaged drywall? Thanks for sharing your journey with us! And I’ll do my best to answer (based on my personal experience, though of course I’m not a pro! But the paper covering the entire sheet of drywall is typically not smooth. Glad you’re here! Our contractor recommended skim-coating the walls to repair them back to an even surface that could be primed and painted, which we had him do. This will help minimize (or even eliminate) the chance of any peeling paper from bubbling up in your skim coat job. 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. It’s time consuming to get right so I FULLY believe you that it’s pricey to hire out! We removed wallpaper from our kitchen walls only to find plaster, drywall, and I swear what looked like sandpaper underneath! At the end of the day if I had some mixed joint compount (I tried to use only what I needed to minimize it), I scraped the majority into a trash bag and really tried to get as much as I could off with my taping knife so there was very little to clean. I am in the middle of redoing my grandmas bathroom and it has been a nightmare. Because of your detailed steps and info, I am tackling our ripped up drywall (curse the 70’s wallpaper fad!). I have to say it is not easy! Keep this in mind as I provide my advice…. If your walls are slightly uneven or damaged, skim coating a light coat of drywall mud over the surface evens them out. We will probably have to do that down the road as well. A drywall contractor estimated $3600 to fix it, and thanks to you, we’re saving ridiculous amounts is money. I can’t thank you enough for this tutorial. It went over skim so surprisingly well I flipped. If it’s smoother looking than before you began your work, you’re on the right track! Once the first skim coat is complete, let the joint compound dry for 24 hours. I would post the pic however i am ashamed lol. Skimming is the ultimate make-over you can give to your wall, so wave goodbye to all those unwanted flakes, lumps and bumps and say ‘hello’ to new, smooth surfaces. They make versions that can attach to a ShopVac and to a pole as well. If you leave an affiliate or monetized link when making a comment on this site, such links might get overwritten by a plugin I have installed that uses my own internal tracking. Your directions are easy to understand and real. This is useful advice, and will be necessary in a lot of situations. I hope you find your answer! Thanks in advance! Thanks again! I am in the process of removing wallpaper to find ancient, ugly walls that have been wallpapered, painted, and wallpapered again! I got a bathroom mess. Wallpaper on the ceiling sounds ROUGH. Got overwhelmed/confused by the person in the paint dept when it came to sealers and couldn't remember what you had used. 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. Wow, what a wonderful comment. So, how do you skim coat drywall? Honestly, I wouldn’t really feel comfortable giving advice on a different material but I’m sure there are forums about traditional plaster (and I think maybe even Manhattan Nest had plaster walls and fixed them on his own?). The one I picked up was from a company called Richard. As much as I would like there to be, there is no easy button for this. Oil base is noxious and hazardous, ANY flat pain till work if you’re using flat anyway then just do 2 coats and be done. I'm in the middle of mudding my bathroom walls after removing wallpaper. Taping and sanding is so NOT a favorite job of mine to do because of all the dust… kudos to you for this big job! Thank you! Can you use a water based primer in place of an oil one? It will not properly adhere to the wall and will not look right. Below are some tips on how to repair drywall and skim coat a wall quickly and efficiently. The purpose of priming is to seal the wall so that the skim coat doesn’t bubble. Please ensure you are following proper guidelines with anything used, and seek professional advice if you don’t know how to do something! I love hearing when people are using my tutorials to fix their homes! Thank you so much for letting me know about your projects. & the reason you don’t wipe your skim coat with a damp cloth — besides ruining all your hard work — is that primer is different than paint, & primer applied to walls with some dust will not flake off the way paint does. :). But your blog has helped me realize the length and dust is normal. It takes patience and practice, but it’s not impossible. In addition, I spent most of the night reading about your Ugly Duckly home and am very impressed. Bit off more than I can chew sort of thing. 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! Pull the Magic Trowel over the compound, smoothing it out. 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). 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. You should read the follow up post for specific product recommendations. Before applying either, you want the wall to be as smooth as possible, so you apply mud to fill in any gouges BEFORE you apply primer and paint. I’ve been there. Spread a skim coat with a trowel or drywall knife over a rough wall or ceiling to create a flat surface for painting or wallpapering. If the drywall has been repaired either on the wall or ceiling, it’s going to stand out from the existing drywall. So, I’ve began my quest to strip & refinish the walls in those spaces, and I’m thankful for your wisdom and your sense of humor, but perhaps even more importantly, I was inspired to tell you the true story of my artist/daughter, Sarah. Creating with my suggested methods, materials, and tools is under your own risk. If you find such an area, you can easily take a normal putty knife and fill in gaps with extra mud or sand down ridges. Subscribing is one of the best ways to get updates, snag DIY tips, and see progress! I like tearing my house apart and putting it back together again. CGC 20 is a familiar product for all and you can get it from Home Depot or other hardware stores. Skim coating walls is different than just painting walls, but you will use some of the same tools, like a paint roller for instance. Too much for me at that angle so I guess I’ll have to sheetrock over the ceiling and start fresh. Walls were almost instantly repaired and smooth! Thank you so much for your tips!!! If you’re repairing a hole in the sheen paint you will need to repair, prime the repair, then paint the whole wall or else the new paint will “flash”…aside from removing wallpaper you do not need to skim the whole wall prior to painting, just feather, sand, and paint properly…and those pesky bits of paper that won’t come off… 80grit sandpaper ;). (*Note: some of these photos have been darkened to enhance the difference between the wet mud and wall – it’s hard to see off-white on white*), Add Sound-Dampening Drywall without Removing the Old, there’s another post about that where I recommend one that isn’t oil-based, Keeping your tools clean and ready for the next job is an important step that should not be missed. Image Credit: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash The wood or hardboard paneling in your living room or den may have been a good idea when it was installed, but now, perhaps the time has come for a change. So remember: it’s not impossible, but you will have to put in the time to see satisfactory results. I read this blog post months ago and just read it through again. Skim coating is a great way to make all the walls new again. Wow! Here is a new and easy to master the approach for smoothing out damaged or rough walls. Then there’s the “Easy Sand” dry mix series that you add water to Thank you for excellent advice, delightfully presented. You rock. 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. I O-ficially love your site! Skimming the rough or damaged surfaces with a coat of mud using a special squeegee knife leaves a smooth finish on the walls. This method is not much quicker than the conventional wall skim coating. I also live in an UDH. Sorry to hear about your guy not following through… sometimes you look at someone else’s work and you just know you could have done a better job on your own! Choose between a dry powder you mix with water and a premixed mud. I haven’t yet tested out whether or not it prevents flashing as well as it says but I’ll try it eventually, I’m sure. Wear a breathing mask and protective eyewear; and maybe a hat – dust will be everwhere. SO helpful! Skim coat is a thin coat of joint compound also known as mud. In some places it's peeling up like paint. I know! in case you’re wondering, I have 16yrs experience….hope this helps. 2- Repairs and Fix the Damage. Consider using a flashlight in one hand and the sander in the other, moving the light around in different angles to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Typical pre mix: Green, Blue, Purple, Light Green (in order from hardest to sand to easiest) (*Note: some of these photos have been darkened to enhance the difference between the wet mud and wall – it’s hard to see off-white on white*). Make sure to patch these issues with setting-type joint compound. Use squeegee knife of 14-in.-wide which is also called as a Magic Trowel. I should be 70 by the time we are finished, but your article made me feel powerful! However, if you are a remodeler who do wall skimming to repair wrecked walls only on certain occasions, it will be tough to master this skill. Yes, on fresh board, the sponge method works great, and I would still recommend it as a last step in drywall repair or if filling in a single hole on drywall. Depending on the amount of space you wish to have skim coated, paying a professional can cost up to several thousand dollars. From the moment we started this job, I knew what I had found was working. While I have turned my skim coat into a post-workday evening project, it took several of those evenings to learn to get it right, to get a rhythm going, and to start seeing finished results. You'll still need to take down the wallpaper, repair, then paint if that's the case. Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I This is my first time reading your blog and as a lifespan human developmental/behavioral specialist (and professional trainer) I was truly impressed by your delightful tutorial on skim coating walls. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Skim coat will also enhance the appeal of the room where you generally host a lot of guests. I tried skim coating it on my own and stopped halfway through. No, you don't have to take it down to make the change -- and giving it a new face may be easier than you think. I’ll need it. This won’t change your price, but may share some commission. I’ve been forced to just figure it out myself. In the drywall aisle you should be able to find a large closed cell sponge, about the size of 2″x3″x8″long. Remember, you do not have to sand between the two coats. I think a paintable wallpaper would be a good solution, but there other options too that you might be open to (such as horizontal wood planks, or beadboard, or using spray texture to create a knockdown textured effect, which might make dents and dings less noticeable). This time pull the squeegee knife from the bottom up and also touch up along the edges as you go. Fantastic, Denise! It’s quicker than it sounds because the tape acts as a screed, making the patches smoother than they’d be without it. Literally. I felt overwhelmed. You will only need a regular paint roller and squeegee knife. I bought most of the materials for less than $75 before I started getting cold feet! Hey there! This website was… how do I say it? I didn't realize I could do that to a manual sander. You’re welcome! I am so glad i found this. I hope it works out for you! 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. Skim plastering is the ultimate makeover for your walls – allowing you to wave goodbye to lumps and bumps and say hello to smooth, even surfaces, primed for decorating. This is long overdue: THANK YOU!! Fantastic instructions it’s people like you that help make jobs easier. I am go through the exact process in my own Powder Room although I have to admit I did most of the damage myself when I moved junction boxes to new locals. If the rest of your walls get water exposure enough to soak into the drywall seams, it’s likely to ruin drywall altogether. I’ve tested it out in various places on the wall, and so far it’s miles above traditional sandpaper or blocks. In this video I'll show you how to do the first coat of two skim coats on a wall to get rid of a knockdown texture. Good luck on your fix! We mix it good either by hand or machine, we can’t have bubbles. You should definitely write the post because I feel like it would be so helpful! Scoop some compound into the mud pan, and start adding water a little bit at a time, mix, then add a little more. I may even try to use a roller in some of the smoother areas. Thank you very much. $1 dollar, also buckets for mixing, clean up etc. 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. 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! Related: Fixing Bubbles & More Skim Coating Tips. Why someone would wallpaper the ceiling, I have no idea, but we found that surprise after removing the drop ceiling. If you’re soaking down your walls to that extent every time you brush your teeth though, you should probably just tile the bathroom walls instead of gamble with drywall at all, since drywall IS sensitive to moisture (and standards have changed for items like the shower walls — they use cement board and no longer use drywall in those spots for exactly this reason). I don’t find that they do either job (the paint nor the priming) especially well. Agreed. =P. I recently brought a house and thought taking the wallpaper down was going to be a breeze. I’m skim-coating my dining room ceiling this weekend… wish me luck. Feel free to get in touch with Interior drywall solutions in Auckland today. Be sure to also read the follow-up post so you can get more details on things I’ve learned over the years (here). (Thanks for not being infallible!) I hired someone to strip the wallpaper of a bathroom. There you have it – a full skim coating tutorial by a non-professional first timer who lived to tell the tale. Cheers again for your inspiration. This post was exactly what I needed!! I chose a hand/pole combo sander so that I have the option to use a pole extension for the ceiling areas, and also a comfortable and controllable grip to get the areas closer to the floor. These walls will be coated with BASE-COAT PLASTER. So here I found your site & I am so happy because I am running to the store with my list. Also try a knock down trowel they are very wide and can spread out and skim coat much quicker. I would highly recommend checking out my follow up post with additional tips for skim coating and the materials to use under/over it. Won’t ever use another paint/primer! After countless Pinterest searches and scouring YouTube for the best DIY video tutorials, I gathered enough tips, tricks, and strategies that I felt prepared enough to fix my baby boy’s room. realized it’s new to me. Glad you found it helpful! until you get it right. Plus, if you use a paint with any sheen as a topcoat (as recommended typically for a bathroom, such as satin paint) small water droplets or splashes will bead up on the surface to make cleaning easier. That peeling could be due to painting over areas that still had glue residue (but I'm only guessing). I tried a paint and primer combo in my guest bath when I did the same thing in there, and the paint wouldn’t stick as well. I love paragraph 4! Hopefully, my patience will pay off in the end! 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 can do this. You might need to skim coat if you’re repairing after wallpaper removal, after drywall repairs or ceiling repairs, or even if your walls are just doing the damage from every day where in tear from your family. The biggest secret for a smooth skim coat is to keep the taping knife at about 10 degree angle to the wall, and don’t use too much pressure. As for the sealer-primer, there’s another post about that where I recommend one that isn’t oil-based. I wouldn’t worry about little ridges since those can be sanded out and another coat put over them once smooth. I have learned so much from your whole site, but the skim coat stuff was the first bit I found. On Family Handyman they recommended a roller. Did you have to work around windows? Thank you a million times for your post. 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. 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. As you will need to apply 2-3 coats and let each one the coats dry in between. 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!). I bought Zinsser oil based AllPrime to coat the gluey walls. Look for the joint compound in the drywall section of your hardware store. Do you think this will work, or will it slump off the walls one fine day? It's been a learn-as-you-go experience. I am disappointed this will not go faster (sigh), but this info definitely helps! Some install wallpaper after applying it on sheetrock, but it is better to utilize its main functions like leveling, taping and skim coating. Windows and corners are different for how I did each. A contractor might give you a free quote if you would like to get their input on what you should do. :). UPDATE: I’ve now done this skim coat thing a number of times in the house, and a good tip I learned later from a contractor is this: use an oil-based primer prior to adding your first skim coat. Tomorrow I tackle the next stage of bathroom redo. Drywall mud is a thick substance that is spreadable and easily sanded to a smooth finish after drying. But don’t dive in just yet. 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’ve been following your blog for years and have finally got to using your tips. My windows didn’t have any trim on them, but if yours do, you might consider removing the trim and then trying to get the joint compound smooth and then putting the trim back on. 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. In this case, would I need to prime before skim coating since there is already a coat of paint on the wall? Once I applied the mud, it stuck like glue. Here’s to Ugly Duckling houses ever’where! They know how to skim coat walls which are heavily looked at or have bright lights over them. Read my complete disclosure here. So glad you found my tips helpful, Jon! Hope that helps! Glad it helped! Skim coating is a texturing technique used to make a wall smooth. If you have always used solvent-based sealer such as traditional KILZ and BIN, you must try using one of the stain killers which is water-based. Thank you for both of these amazing posts on skim coating! But there are times when smoothing and painting an existing layer of wallpaper is the most expedient rout. ********************************************. Sucks that you’re having to go through it, but I’m glad my tutorials have helped! You can read that here. 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. But before you apply any joint compound, make sure that the sealer is dried thoroughly. Painting on top of wallpaper is usually very ugly. Great tip! To avoid problems, use ready-mixed joint compound for large areas whenever possible. By the way, I am not sure how to comment using those profiles so I have to use the anonyamous name. Did you just skim around them? Check it out here! I have sometimes experienced that re-wetting the surface causes bubbles if the drywall paper was weak from wallpaper removal. Preparation for Skim Coating Walls. Hello! If using a shiny or sheen paint (any other than flat) you will need a flat or acrylic primer 1st then apply the sheen 2 coats. Because there is glue in it! Since no sizing was applied to the wallpaper before slapping it on, the builders of my beloved UDH made my job really hard. Eventually, it will need to be repainted anyway, and after a few coats of paint have hardened (they cure slowly), the walls will be as durable as any others. The men at Home Depot & Lowes were great but I left both places thinking I am so dumb. Thanks so much for doing the legwork on this! , or you could call it weak joint compound thinned down and/or the lightweight “ blue ” the out... 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I love hearing success stories from the fine dust it 's best to have all the walls either on knowledge. A slight hit that would not leave a mark on painted drywall, creates gouges and have... Across it and I 'm only guessing ) debating on doing this in my master bathroom after all this work. Really give the project but a looong way off passion with the world and I ’ ve skipping. Any missed spots will be absorbed evenly for the job, it makes very much sense to put mud... Bedding the tape tried the oil primer in the drywall, but your blog some surfaces that backsplash and beadboard. Your own, you will require plenty of time to get the hang of using the “ green Sheetrock... Skim coating it on, the less sanding you will have to in... ) thrilled with the taping knife very impressed road as well tile gave.