Help!! Skim coating help needed

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  #1  
Old 03-28-05, 07:48 AM
wofat
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Help!! Skim coating help needed

I have a room that was painted with sand-textured paint. I used a knife to scrape the walls, then sanded them down with 100 grit. It's a pretty big room (approx 14 x 18). Anyway, Though sanded, the walls aren't really smooth... still a little rough. I was told that skim-coating would be the way to go, but I am not sure how to go about it.

I have a 14" trowel, but it seems too large and too difficult to smooth the joint compound with. Should I be using a regular knife? Should I thin the joiunt compound at all, as it seems to dry REALLY fast when I get a smooth, nearly transparent coating on the wall.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-28-05, 01:16 PM
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Personally I would rather use a drywall knife [10 or 12"], yes I would thin the mud [nut to much] then just apply a thin coat on the wall. Remember the bettrer you apply the mud the less sanding I hate sanding. Then prime and paint.
 
  #3  
Old 03-28-05, 08:28 PM
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I agree with marksr. I like the 12" knife. I prefer Alltrade in the depot [paint section]they are very user friendly and cheap. Besides 14" knife doesn't fit into a little mud tray I use, and I don't like a hawk. I usually just put some mud in the tray add some water and mix it with an electric kitchen hand mixer then put the mixer in a small bucket 1/2 full of water to keep it from hardening. It is most important to get the mud very creamy. It will make your life a lot easier. You can also buy a manual hand mixer or one that goes on the end of a 1/2 inch drill. You can also roll it on if you make it watery enough but I gotta think some of the little hairs in the roller cover with reek havoc,at least if joneq was doing it. I would really have to prepare that cover before I tried it.

You may want to try this if this is your first time skimming. Make vertical stripes on the wall with the mud. When you load the mud onto the knife knock the mud off the very ends of the knife, use the edge of the tray. You will find out why the first time you don't do it. Leave like 4-5" between the stripes. Go all the way around the room and don't put on too much. In your case you ,in theory, only have to put on the thickness of a grain of sand---in theory. By the time you go all the way around and if you didn't put on too much and you are pretty slow and you had a fan in the room it could be almost dry. when it is FULLY dry it is time to fill in between the stripes.Overlap onto the stripes on either side. When dry, sand, vacuum the walls, prime and paint. DO NOT USE YOUR REGULAR VACUUM to pick up drywall dust. If you don't have a wet dry vac with a long hose so you can leave the vac outside the house use a damp rag or a slightly damp very clean sponge mop.
 

Last edited by joneq; 03-28-05 at 09:28 PM.
  #4  
Old 03-29-05, 06:25 AM
nearnwales
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it seems a large room to skim even for me and if you havnt skimmed before it seem a big task to take on but if your willing best of luck

p.s you didnt say where you are am in the uk , some of the help here seems different to what i would recomend
 
  #5  
Old 03-29-05, 08:17 AM
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"I have a 14" trowel, but it seems too large and too difficult to smooth the joint compound with. Should I be using a regular knife? Should I thin the joiunt compound at all, as it seems to dry REALLY fast when I get a smooth, nearly transparent coating on the wall"

These are the only questions joneq saw in wofat's original post. He thinks he answered them. I am not a big fan of skimcoating it is a lot of work, and not so easy for the first timer and nothing to look forward to ever. Without seeing the room skimcoating may be the best option for wofat. on the other hand it may not. Personally I would at least try to sand the wall with a coarser grit sand paper in a random orbit sander[rent one] to see how that worked.

Trying to remove "just" the sand while not disturbing the paint film is impossible imho. as the sand is embedded it the "sand textured paint" this is not a texture applied over some paint. It is the paint.


Using the stripe methed described in my last post simplifies the task, especially the quick drying problem. All you have to do is complete 1 stripe and move on. you will not come in contact with it till you fill in the space on the second trip around. This method creates no more work because the area to be covered remains the same.

My solution is by no means easy. If there is an easier solution please post it. I for one would like to hear it. I am always looking for easier ways of doing things. I don't skimcoat often but if I never do it again it will be too soon.
 
  #6  
Old 03-29-05, 11:02 AM
nearnwales
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i think if your going to paint the walls and want a top class job as i think you are after then i recomend that you skimcoat them , but as you have read this not easy and there are no short cuts and if truth be know its not for the diy'er and considering the size of the room
You will need a trowel with a well worn in edge (sharpe) and a hark or a handbored as we call it in the uk. you will need clean water and mix with the plaster to a required mix ( put a pointing trowel into the mix and turn it upside down and if it sticks to the pointing trowel its a good mix) empty the mix onto your spot and drag it onto your hark and this is the hard bit well for you it is the guys will agree i can remeber my first go could't do my boots up for weeks , you need to flip your trowel onto your hark and to get the plaster onto it and aply to the wall start at the bottom left if your right handed and on the right if your left handed. once you've done the bottom do the top and then second coat the lot.

clean your tools and buckets your need a half full bucket of water and splash the wall where you started and trowel down and than the bottom.

this isnt easy as i said before you should be looking to trowel the wall above 3 times in a 1- 1 1/2 hour set

good look
 
  #7  
Old 03-29-05, 11:28 AM
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It sounds like it is more difficult in the UK. Lose the hawk and use a pan. The hardest part of the job shouldn't be getting the mixture onto the knife.


http://doityourself.com/store/drywallmudpans.htm
 
  #8  
Old 03-29-05, 11:32 AM
nearnwales
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bending down to the pan all the time that sound like hard work
 
  #9  
Old 03-29-05, 11:54 AM
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You hold the pan in your hand or leave it in the holder that attaches to your belt when you are not using it. It holds a lot of mud. Just as much as a hawk, only it is much easier especially for the doityourselfer. I think it was invented over here We use a hawk for plaster mostly.
 
  #10  
Old 03-30-05, 09:09 AM
nearnwales
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skimcoat is plaster isn't it :| i must
 
  #11  
Old 03-30-05, 09:33 AM
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Only where you live. Over here we call it veneer plaster and it goes over blue board instead of a total plaster job. Nobody would use plaster to skimcoat drywall We use thinned down joint compound to skimcoat walls. Yankee inginuity at it's best.

http://www.usg.com/IC/products/compound/Plus3.asp
 
  #12  
Old 04-01-05, 09:19 PM
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Looks like they've got this covered pretty well. I like to mix light mud down to about the consistency of soft serve ice cream, use a mixer designed for the job if you've got alot to do. The main key is to mix it very well to decrease pocking, tiny pinholes which spoil the finish. Keeping the tools, I also use a pan and knife and yeah you can get them for a 14" and even a 16" knife. A 12" or 14" is about all a diyer would ever need. I use Marshalltown knves myself, but they're a bit pricey if you don't earn a living with them. Stuff from the big boxes is ok for one or two project use.


nearnwales- I'd like to welcome you to the forums. As you may have gathered plaster is a dying art on this side of the pond for the most part. You knowledge and expertise is whole heartedly welcomed here. Hope we haven't put you off from continuing to participate here. Again welcome to the forums.



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