Skim coating a bathoom

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  #1  
Old 01-10-07, 08:27 PM
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Question Skim coating a bathoom

I have never done skim coating before, and I initially thought it was something I could easily do, but now I'm doubting myself. I don't have a lot of wall space to do, as the bathroom has ceramic tile half way up the walls. I removed the existing wall paper and scrubbed off any residue. What I have left are walls with score marks from when the previous owner cut the wall paper after hanging it, a few cracks in the plaster, a few cracks in the paint, a few chips in the paint, and gloss paint. I noticed when I was scrubbing the walls that any patching previously done was washing right off. This is where my concern comes in about skim coating. What do I need to do to prep the walls so that the mud will adhere? I bought some TSP to help degloss, but I'm not sure that is what I should use. Also, where the plaster is cracked, should I chisel that out and patch prior to skim coating? Do I tape it after it's patched? Can I just tape it and not worry about chiseling it out? What is the best method for applying the mud? Trowel or rolling? How thick should the coat be? I know I'm piling on the questions, but the more info I have, the better the chances of getting my confidence back! Any help you can give me is much appreciated.
Thanks!
Ahana
 
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  #2  
Old 01-11-07, 06:23 AM
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Welcome to the diy forums

All repairs should be made prior to skim coating. Joint compound is water soluable so it is important to use a good primer when finished. Glossy surfaces should be sanded to promote adhesion.

Are your walls plaster or drywall?

Generally surface cracks, cuts and grooves don't need to be taped. If the plaster or drywall has split in two it needs to be taped. Any unfaced gypsum needs to be coated with a solvent based primer to prevent moisture damage from the j/c.

I prefer to apply the skim coat with a wide drywall knife. Skim coating is fairly simple. If skimming the whole wall/ceiling is overwhelming just cut it up into managable squares. You can use a checkboard pattern skim coating every other square and then filling in the other squares when the first is dried. When dry sand and touch up as needed.
 
  #3  
Old 01-11-07, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for the information. My walls are plaster, and the crack I am concerned about doesn't have any loose places, it's just a simple crack. Should I use tape or mesh over this crack? Also, how many coats of the mud do I put on, and about how thick for each coat? Your help is most appreciated!
 
  #4  
Old 01-11-07, 10:31 AM
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I seldom do any work with plaster but usually use durabond when I do need to patch plaster. There are some plaster pros here that can better advise you on plaster repair. If you use j/c to repair the cracks it would probably be a good idea to tape them [unless they are minor cracks] Basically you fill the cracks with mud, it will shrink as it dries so it will need 2 coats minimum.

Once you are sastisfied with all your repairs is the time to skim coat. Thin the mud slightly and mix well - it will make it flow better = easier application.
 
  #5  
Old 01-11-07, 07:11 PM
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i dont mean to but in.....but when skimmin the walls how hard should i be pressing on the knife? i am taking the knife and appling the mud, then with a 12" taping knife thinning and smoothing it out. but the thing is that some areas are like glass others rough. when i go back to smooth out the tool marks i just keep getting more tool marks. i gues thats what sand paper is for........
 
  #6  
Old 01-12-07, 05:37 AM
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Thanks for the information Marksr. I am going to try my hand at this starting over the weekend.

I'm still unsure how thick the coats should be. From what I am reading, about 3/18"? Once I have skimmed and sanded the walls, what type of primer am I using? I'll be doing the final paint in a gloss latex, so should I be priming with Kilz for latex, or is priming with any type of white latex ok? Also, how long once the skim is done should I wait to prime?

nycemsmedic, I'm not sure, but it sounds like your mud isn't mixed enough where you are getting the rough spots, or you attempted to smooth those areas after the mud had already started to set??? Good luck to you!

Thanks!
 
  #7  
Old 01-12-07, 06:24 AM
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I've never attempted to measure or even guess the thickness of j/c. It will vary depending on the area that is being mudded. Basically you apply the least amount of mud that will do the job. Pulling the knife tightly against the wall should apply the least amount of mud = less sanding Using a wider knife with each coat helps to build up the mud over the joint/tape without creating a hump. There will be times when you need to float the mud on thicker - these times, spread the mud as evenly as you can and sand when dry.

You don't want to over work the j/c. Small imperfections can be fixed with the next coat of mud or with sandpaper. Ridges can often be scraped off with your knife before applying the next coat. Slightly thinned and WELL MIXED mud is always easier to apply neatly.
 
  #8  
Old 01-12-07, 04:31 PM
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i think i got it...... i mixed the light weight spackle to the consistancy of fluff (remember that nasty stuff you put with peanut butter.....yuck) and it slides on nice n easy like. a few passes with the wide knife and viola sucess. thanks guys good luck to you too ahana, and thanks.
 
  #9  
Old 01-14-07, 07:51 PM
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My bathroom turned out a success! Thank you so much for all the advice, you really helped make this an easy task. I was nervous all the way up to the last coat of paint, but it turned out beautiful. Not bad for a first timer!

Ahana
 
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