Skim Coating Recipe?


Old 07-14-08, 07:23 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Question Skim Coating Recipe?

I bought an older home (built in the 20’s) that had poor sheetrock repair and texturing before I bought it. Cracks in the sheetrock from the termite guards being put in etc. Doors have been sealed off and the light texture that was rolled on doesn’t match – at all. And I have other places all over the walls where the texture is missing completely.

I think I am about to tackle skim coating my walls. I do not have experience but a neighbor who does said he would help. I’m wondering if someone here would be willing to give me a prescription for getting this job done. Here are some specific questions I have:

If I’m planning to put a texture on the final product, is rolling the compound on the best way?

If I roll it, what size and type roller do I use?

What kind of compound do I use?

What is a recipe for the consistency of the compound?

Do I roll one line and then scrape it?

Is there any way to get out of sanding it?

Am I on the right track? Or am I getting in over my head?

Any help is appreciated…..


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Old 07-14-08, 02:58 PM
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Location: WI/MN
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Roll it? Never heard of such a thing. Mud goes on with a knife (trowel). Regular joint compound thinned with a little water will be what you want to use. Everyone has to sand when they're done, pros just sand less than a hack like me.
Old 07-14-08, 05:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Does your house have plaster? or has it been drywalled at some point?

I've heard of guys rolling on mud and knifing it off but that is primarly for getting a super finish on drywall - it won't correct any defects. This is usually done with 2 working together - 1 rolling, 1 wiping it down with a knife.

IMO the best way for a diyer to start a job like this is in managable squares - it's easier to skim a small section a opposed to a whole wall. If you apply the mud in a checker board pattern, you can go back and fill in the blanks when it dries. As your skill improves, you can tackle bigger squares

Use the ready mix joint compound - comes in 5 gal buckets or a square box. If you buy the kind in a box, you need a 5 gallon bucket to mix and store it in. A mixer on a HD drill works best for thinning/mixing the mud. Go easy with the water - it's easier to add more water than to take water away. The point of adding water is to make it flow a little easier = less work

A wet sponge can be used to smooth out dry j/c but a screen on a sanding pole does a better job.
Old 07-15-08, 07:32 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,752
If your house was built in the 20's then you have plaster walls and ceilings unless someone gutted it and put up drywall. First thing you need to find out is if the plaster is in good shape. Meaning its not falling off the wall. A good way to do this is to push on the walls and ceilings. If it feel solid and not spongy you are good to go.

Next you need to address the cracks first. Cant just skim over them.

Then if you want to put a texture on then you need to research some different kinds of texture. You can roll it on, stomp it on, hand trowel it, or spray it, just to name a few.

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