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skim coating


mellymel's Avatar
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03-10-06, 03:00 PM   #1  
skim coating

Please - I need to know what skim coating is. When I search it online I only get sites that say to skim coat. No one says what skim coating is???

Please help!!! ASAP

 
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03-10-06, 03:28 PM   #2  
Skim coating is basically putting a thin layer of compound on the wall /ceiling. The final coat when finishing a drywall joint is typicaly called a skim coat. You can also skim coat entire walls to create a smooth even finish over the entire surface of the wall.

 
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03-10-06, 03:59 PM   #3  
how do you do this?

Sounds like something I need to do after pulling off some wall panels?

 
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03-11-06, 06:06 AM   #4  
If I can jump into this thread...
I'm finishing basement, and I'm just about done the 2nd coat of compound. Can a skim coat over the entire wall be the 3rd step? What are the advantages/disadvantages to skim coating the entire wall?
Thanks.

 
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03-11-06, 07:11 AM   #5  
I just managed to do a good job for once last night on a skim coat.. when i first started, there was no such thing as a nice even coat of mud.. i always had to sand, always had bubbles/lumps, etc.. After enough screw-ups i've managed to get a final coat that needs very little sanding at all.

My trick is that i use a bright light on the floor pointing up to reveal any bumps or shadows, and i just put on the thinnest coat possible till it's perfectly smooth in long single sweeps from floor to ceiling (or whatever way you're going). The light the the biggest helper though.

good luck!

 
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03-11-06, 07:23 PM   #6  
Posted By: mchrist If I can jump into this thread...
I'm finishing basement, and I'm just about done the 2nd coat of compound. Can a skim coat over the entire wall be the 3rd step? What are the advantages/disadvantages to skim coating the entire wall?
Thanks.
The advantages of skimming an entire wall that has just been hung are "Zippy donut". (At least in my 20 years of drywall, I haven't found a good one yet.)

The disadvantages are that it will use more material, take more time, make more mess, be less smooth, cause unrequired frustration, and that's about it...

PLEASE don't do it....!!!!

Now for the real answer, there isn't any advantage. When skimcoating an entire wall is recommended "here" (on this site), it is to smooth out uneven, textured, or abused walls; without needing to take out trim, re-drywall the room, re-cut the trim, and install again. If you have new walls, you don't need to concern yourself with it. And...

PLEASE don't do it....!!!!

I hope this helps.

 
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03-11-06, 10:17 PM   #7  
I just finished a new room and I spackled with a helper. I always do a skim coat on and I find the advantges to be:
- You dont see any change in texture anywhere. Every wall is like glass!
- It eliminated sanding. I did not touch a piece of sandpaper. I did three of the walls (he did other wall and ceiling) I did use a wet brush to feather some areas and used the back of the trowel to scrape high spots at times. Also, I was careful not to leave any globs while working. Not having to sand is a HUGE HUGE HUGE advantage. Sanding when spackling is the worst job I can imagine asa DIYer. My helper had to and and spent a lot of time using the shop vac sander attachemnet. Of course, when sanding, there is always the possibility that you go too low and need to add more spackle. Talk about counter productive!

My last coat or two were skim coats. Spackle thinned with water. I used a 14 inch masons trowel (the position of the handle is more natural when skimming. it becomes like an extension of your arm - as if your forearm is the trowel) Then, after the skimming. I was able to use a large sponge - not a sanding sponge. Its a big sponge like you would wash a car with - big and soft. It was just barely damp. I used this to, in sense, compound the walls. It goes very quick, creates no dust and, when your done , walls are as smooth as glass.

These walls, when painted, were perfect. My partners walls... well... i wont get into that.

So, if you can get the knack of it, i would always skim coat. Its a bit more work MAYBE - it depends how much sanding you leave yourself. It is messy too. If you thin the spackle it is hard to work with and slops all over the floor (and you) so it depends where your working.

I would never do a wall without skim coating.

 
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03-12-06, 05:29 AM   #8  
Well, I guess we couldn't ask for a wider range of opinions, but's that makes things interesting.

The whole reason I raise the question of skim coating is probably due to a lack of confidence in my taping/coating skills. I've had success and failures with a non-skim-coating approach, and I guess I was looking at a skim-coat as a way to raise the success rate.

Please offer any additional advice or opinions.

Thanks!

 
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03-12-06, 10:13 AM   #9  
IMO a skim coated wall will look better but isn't worth the effort unless there is a need to coat the whole wall. If you are unable to tape and finish well it is doubtfull that you could improve the finish by skim coating - if the tape joints are uneven it will both be harder to straighten out with a skim coat and if you can't float a joint smoothly how will you do a whole wall? Unless you need to repair a whole wall there should be no need to skim coat. When finishing new rock concentrate on getting the joints right and the rest of the wall will take care of itself.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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03-12-06, 09:16 PM   #10  
Very well said marksr

"back in the day", I would put on 3 coats with my 8" knife, and make the seams smoother than the paper, no sanding, no damp sponge. Nothing but me, my mud, and my knife.

It made the homeowners happy that I didn't have to sand, although to do a 7000 square foot house like that is virtually impossible, and the texture from the paint is heavier than the paper on the drywall already, so why would one want to make the paper smooth when one is going to roll (or if they spray first, backroll on a texture that is heavier than the surface they are putting it on?)

Doing it made me pretty decent as far as a finisher goes, but as you said marksr, if you can't do a joint well, how will you do a whole wall?

As far as doing 1 additional coat (skimming) over just the seams to take out imperfections, yeah, I'd be up for that... just not the entire wall. If one did that, there would be very little sanding needed.

"Skimming a wall" refers to coating the entire wall surface, whereas "skim coating the joints" refers to doing one additional coat only on the joints. Perhaps this is what rkoudelka was refering to (doing the joints, not skim coating the wall.) (In the same way "spackle" is never used to coat drywall joints either, joint compound (or "mud") are more technically correct terms, as spackle is a product used by painters to fill nail sized holes and small cracks prior to painting insteada of joint compound. We may be talking about the same thing, only using different words.

I find the biggest help when finished doing the bulk of the work, is going around the room with a hand held "painters light" shining close to the wall (75-100 watt, not the "search plane" 500 watt lights as they put out too much light and reflect off the joint compound then blind you.) and fill in any shadows and imperfections, as well as scrape down or coat any ridges.

My .04


Last edited by MudSlinger; 03-12-06 at 09:41 PM.
 
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03-13-06, 11:49 AM   #11  
Posted By: MudSlinger , although to do a 7000 square foot house like that is virtually impossible, My .04


For me a 7000 sq ft house would be virtually impossible to pay for Does an inflated 2 cents help to pay for a bigger home


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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03-13-06, 03:51 PM   #12  
Posted By: marksr For me a 7000 sq ft house would be virtually impossible to pay for Does an inflated 2 cents help to pay for a bigger home
Yeah, I had to go up to .04 for that! Most of the stuff they are building in this area is about 3500-4500 square feet. They are about 1 million by the time they get done with extras.

The highest price "townhouses" that they are building around here are $950,000.

The median price (not average) of houses in my town last year was $323,000. Unfortunately, that was only middle of the road considering what some of the other communities brought in. (Philadelphia Magazine-on the shelves now) The lowest price area (the hood) had a median of about 118,000.

The last 7000 square foot house that I worked on belonged to a builder who built in a development he built. (10' first floor, 9' second) To make a long story short, the neighbors that had just paid him a fortune for their "McMansions (4500 sq ft.)" now own very expensive chalets in a nice neighborhood!

 
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