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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Skim coating-HELP!

    I am in the process of re-painting our bathroom. Two of the walls are the original plaster and (surprisingly) in pretty good shape-unfortunately there are many many coates of old paint-not all of which wants to come off the walls. I have sc****d about 30% off, but the remaining 70% wants to stay put. I know that I will need to skimcoat, but I'm unclear as to the best product to use as I will be applying to a surface that is partially plaster, partially paint, and as it's in a high moisture area, I worry about peeling, etc. down the road.

    I've heard that I should use "hot mud", I've heard I should use joint compound, I've heard pre-mix, I've heard powder...as I've never done this before and will likely not want to do it again, could someone please suggest the best way to properly skimcoat these walls?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Skim coating-HELP!

    Either will work. Hot mud is a powder but make sure it says sandable on the bag.The number on the bag is the approx. set time. Joint compound will also work it just shrinks a little more and might require an extra coat. Or you could put one or two coats of hot mud and use joint compound for the final coat. Hope this helps. Or if you are REAL BRAVE you can bond and replaster the wall. But thats a whole other animal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,844

    Default Re: Skim coating-HELP!

    If you've never done this before I would recommend you use redi-mixed joint compound. You can skip the learning curve on mixing properly and it doesn't rush you as much as hot mix.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Skim coating-HELP!

    So true JLMCDANIEL

    Just figured I'd give him some options.

    Things that make ya go hmmmmm!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,844

    Default Re: Skim coating-HELP!

    I think one of the main things for a beginner to remember is don't over work it. An easy way to get started is to do about a 3' by3' section, apply the mud and smooth. Don't worry about getting it perfect. Once that section is done do another section with about 3 or 4 inches of untouched area between the new section and the first. That way your not troweling onto partially set mug. If you leave trowel lines, once it dries dampen the lines with a sponge and scrap them off with you drywall knife, and fill any voids. Once the sections are dry it is easy to fill in the areas between.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,242

    Default Re: Skim coating-HELP!

    The one thing that someone new to applying drywall compound should keep in mind is that it takes a bit to get a feel for the material and the tools.

    IMHO, it starts with good tools. Walk past all the plastic and get yourself a stainless steel pan with good quality 3", 6" and a 10" or 12" drywall knife. Wood handles are top notch, heavy resin with a metal ferrel on the end of the handle extremely good. Stay away from the injection molded wimpy plastic stuff.

    Next comes working with the drywall compound itself. If you buy it premixed in a bucket, also buy yourself either a paint mixing wand or a plaster mixing paddle that attaches to a drill (size depends on the size of your bucket of premixed mud ). Whip the mud until it's smooth and creamy, add a touch of water to thin it slightly IF needed. Put only a small amount into your pan - 1" to 2" in the bottom when you're ready to start working and reseal the bucket. If you've purchased a box of premixed compound, then carefully open the box and the bag, remove a small amount into your pan, then carefully close the bag back up. You want to take care not to get any excess mud on the sides of the bag because this will dry and fall back into the mud when you open it the next time, resulting in chunks and lumpy mud that will make your work extremely difficult. Don't worry, it's not that big a deal as long as you handle the plastic bag carefully. At any rate, once you've gotten the mud from the bag to your pan, mix and mash it with your 3" or 6" knife until smooth and creamy, again, you can add a touch of water if it seems too thick, but just a touch.

    From there, work as Jack suggests, small areas, spaced apart. When all is dry, go back and fill in the spaces.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Skim coating-HELP!

    Skim coating is not all that difficult if you get some good pointers and have a good system to eliminate unnecessary fuss,
    time and material.

    I have done skimcoating for clients for many years, and still
    actually enjoy it. There is a great feeling of accomplishment
    when you finish a job and see all the ugly stuff covered and gone
    from sight forever.

    Got a great big one to start tomorrow. Hundreds of square feet of old wood lath and plaster ceilings. Tape cracks, and skim that mess.

    Here's a page I put up on my website to help folks with skim coating. http://www.plaster-wall-ceiling-solu...skim-coat.html

    Good luck on your project.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,844

    Default Re: Skim coating-HELP!

    The only thing I would add, if you are going to paper and you intend to live there long enough that you may want to repaper later. Besides the 2 coats of PVA when its dry put 2 coats of oil based Kilz on the walls. That way if you have to strip the paper and want to use a steamer only the wallpaper will come off and you can skip the need for sizing. And if you are using regular drywall mud allow about a week for it to dry throughly be for applying any finish.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 07-27-2008 at 02:59 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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