My first Skim Coating, need some help.

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  #1  
Old 02-13-05, 04:44 AM
Art Vandalay
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My first Skim Coating, need some help.

Well, I've decided to skim coat my walls prior to painting them.

They are painted plaster and are pretty uneven and bumpy with some peeling paint down to the plaster in some areas. I really need some step by step help with this. From the tools I will need, to the brand of compound, order, etc.

From reading the posts on this and other forums this is the plan of attack I currently am thinking about.

1)TSP Wash
2) Light Sanding
3) Scraping and filling
4) Skim Coat # 1
5) Light Sanding
6) Skim Coat # 2
7) Light Sanding
8) Skim Coat # 3 (final)
9) Sand
10) Prime
11) Sand
12) Caulk
13) Paint

Aside from this nifty little list, which I am sure has some inaccuracies this is about as far as I have got. I don't know what to use for the Skim Coat (although a already mixed compound might be easier since i am new but it's not 100 percent necessary) I don't know what grit sandpaper to use between coats. Well, there is a lot I don't know, so the more you can guide me through this the happier I will be.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-14-05, 04:07 AM
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Unless the walls are really uneven, you should be able to get by with just one or possibly two coats of mud to smooth things out. I recommend you buy light joint compound, which is then thinned down with water before use, you want it about like the consistency of soft serve ice cream, use as wide a knife as possible to skim off the wall after the mud is applied, I like to use a 14" knife myself. Go with 100 or 120 grit sandpaper. Hope that helps a bit.
 
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Old 02-14-05, 04:27 AM
Art Vandalay
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What should I use to apply the mud?
Also will the dry mix stuff be pretty much the same as the pre-mixed stuff - I was looking at some joint compound products at the USG site but there are about 10 of them and I am not sure which to use.
 
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Old 02-14-05, 05:34 AM
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Get yourself a twelve inch pan and a twelve inch knife. You will also need a 5 inch knife. Get the light weight mud. Don't use powder. The powder is quick set and is almost impossible to sand. Skim coating takes some practice to get it right. You will do ok as long as you don't put on too much mud. Good luck
 
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Old 02-14-05, 07:04 AM
Art Vandalay
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Should I pre-fill any of the holes after scraping? I know some spots the plaster is loose and will probably need to be filled.
 
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Old 02-14-05, 06:28 PM
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Yes. If you have any big gaps or broken places then pre fill with quick set and tape if needed.
 
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Old 02-14-05, 08:15 PM
Art Vandalay
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Well I am diving into this soon. I picked up the 5 inch knife, 14 inch pan, 14 inch knife, 4 1/2 gallons of USG Blue lid ready mixed lightweight joint compound. I bought a mixer to attach to my drill just in case i need to mix. Do you think I need to mix it at all? What is the best way to get the compound from the bucket to my pan and how much should I have in there? If you have any tips or techniques for a nice smooth coat throw them my way.

Here are a couple pictures of the walls I will be working on: (These are the pictures of the areas where it very uneven)

Living Room Wall


Kitchen Wall


More Living Room Wall


Even more Living Room Wall


Thanks for helping me out.
 

Last edited by Art Vandalay; 02-14-05 at 10:25 PM.
  #8  
Old 02-15-05, 05:05 AM
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You have your work cut out for you don't you? Make sure there isn't any wallpaper on those walls. If there is you will have to remove it. All repairs must be made prior to skimming. Also need to determine whether the plaster is stable enough to repair. Go around and push on the walls. If they are spongy at all then you will have to either take the plaster off and re rock or put sheetrock over what you have.

Definitely mix the mud. You need to have a large 1/2 inch drill for this. The best way to get the mud into the pan is with your 5 inch knife. A 14 inch knife is too big for you. Go with the 10 or 12 max.

In my opinion, you are over your head with this job. Perhaps you should consider hiring a pro.
 
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Old 02-15-05, 05:37 AM
Art Vandalay
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Originally Posted by coops28
You have your work cut out for you don't you? Make sure there isn't any wallpaper on those walls. If there is you will have to remove it. All repairs must be made prior to skimming. Also need to determine whether the plaster is stable enough to repair. Go around and push on the walls. If they are spongy at all then you will have to either take the plaster off and re rock or put sheetrock over what you have.

Definitely mix the mud. You need to have a large 1/2 inch drill for this. The best way to get the mud into the pan is with your 5 inch knife. A 14 inch knife is too big for you. Go with the 10 or 12 max.

In my opinion, you are over your head with this job. Perhaps you should consider hiring a pro.
There isn't any wallpaper on any of the walls, I'm pretty sure there has never been wallpaper in here - just paint. The walls are very sturdy and i've went around and pushed on all of them and they are rock solid. The only part I found where the plaster was in bad shape has been scraped out and filled.

I have a Milwaukee 18 Volt Lok-Tor 1/2 Inch Hammer-Drill, so that should be okay with the mud/paint mixer I bought.

I just bought the larger knife because I figured the bigger the better. I'll pick up a 10 or 12 inch. Can you explain to me why this is? I'm not questioning you, im just curious.

Hiring a pro is out of the question, sorry. I rent an apartent and I just want the walls to be nice and smooth when I paint. I don't plan on living here for more than a few years so any kind of extensive repair on my part isn't going to happen. I just wanted to throw about 100 bucks into making the wall look smooth and a couple hundred into paints and painting supplies. Aside from manual labor that is all I am willing to put into this project.
 
  #10  
Old 02-15-05, 05:39 AM
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I'm with coops, that plaster looks loose to me or at least has some loose spots in it. Anything that's loos needs to be removed, then you'll have to patch the holes, you should use Quick set on that, I'd recommend using Easy Sand 90 for this, it's powder in a bag. You will get plenty of practice on those walls, keep us posted on your progress.
 
  #11  
Old 02-15-05, 06:24 AM
Art Vandalay
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That kitchen wall is the only one where there was a little bit of a give. I went at it with the scaper and it looks like there is a crack in the plaster, I scraped it out as much as I could. The surrounding area of where I scraped out is solid and can't be scraped out anymore. I filled it with some quick fix all purpose patching compound.

Area after being scraped out


Area after being filled


There is a couple more areas on that particular wall that I think are similar to this situation so I will probably just do the same thing to them. But I went at the living room wall in areas that looked similar but all that came off was paint. It's solid.
 
  #12  
Old 02-19-05, 02:52 AM
Art Vandalay
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How long should I wait before I apply the second coat of mud. Also, how long after the last coat of mud should I wait until I prime and paint?
 
  #13  
Old 02-19-05, 08:03 AM
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I don't know if that was the flash or what, but that kitchen wall looks pretty glossy. If it is and it were me I think I would prime with kilz or zinnser 123 before I went to the trouble of skimming it. Looks like sanding would be a chore. Of course this would be done after ALL the grease and dirt were gone. I think I might also give myself a flat surface at the top of the wall under the moulding. I wuuld use a carbide paint scraper. It looks like you will be losing the bottom profile of the moulding if you leave it as is and add a few couat of mud. Can't see the bottom

I have also been known to put some mud in the pan and just use a regular electric kitchen hand mixer [$10]. Keep a small bucket of water handy to run the mixer in to clean it. If the mixer starts to smell stop for a couple of seconds It has never really been a prob and might not even happen if you are diluting it with water[not much at all]. Mixing only what you need is only 1 advantage of this method
 
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