Bit off more than I can chew sort of thing. Glad to hear it! DO NOT USE CHEAPO PAINT. I love that you tell me all the things NOT to do, that I would have ordinarily done. When you get a chance, come back by and see what we've done for the American Crafter's competition… and maybe vote for us too! We tried to primer it. Skim coating is the process of applying thin layers of drywall joint compound (mud) across sections of, or the entirety of, a wall or ceiling. Literally. After countless Pinterest searches and scouring YouTube for the best DIY video tutorials, I gathered enough tips, tricks, and strategies that I felt prepared enough to fix my baby boy’s room. I’ve been in this house for close to 8 years now and have had zero issues with my walls. If the wall is already painted, priming before skim coating may not be necessary. Anyway, where the brown paper is exposed….do I need to skim coat just that area 1st if I'm going to texture my walls? Hi there. Once you are done with this, let the first coat of joint compound dry. Still got a ways to go though. I haven’t yet tested out whether or not it prevents flashing as well as it says but I’ll try it eventually, I’m sure. I have exactly the same tiles….would have loved to see what color you chose for the wall after all the hard work of preping it. Preparation for Skim Coating Walls. I love hearing when people are using my tutorials to fix their homes! The main exposed wall was a mess. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy & effectiveness of the information displayed on this website, the Ugly Duckling House is for entertainment purposes only. Fantastic, Denise! You’re so knowledgeable hahaha. Skim coating walls for beginners tutorial video I will show you how to skim coat by doing a skim coating demonstration with my paint roller trick and a 12" drywall taping knife. Our contractor recommended skim-coating the walls to repair them back to an even surface that could be primed and painted, which we had him do. When first putting up drywall, you screw it in place, tape the seams, and cover them with joint compound. Lots of luck and be sure to wear a good breathing mask! Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. Make sure to trowel off each successive layer at a right angle to the previous layer. Many brands have a subtle texture like cross hatching, which can create a noticeable difference when you paint over the perfectly smooth seams vs. the sorta textured rest of the drywall. Skimming the rough or damaged surfaces with a coat of mud using a special squeegee knife leaves a smooth finish on the walls. Also it is nailed up so it would be hard to take off and get new dry wall. Fixing old work sucks anyway you look at it but it seems you did it your way and came out good. Under paint you write “Even the nicest paints will have trouble sticking to new mud. In addition, I spent most of the night reading about your Ugly Duckly home and am very impressed. I kept googling & kept googling because no one gave me a direct answer. I found that using my 18v Skil battery-powered sander with 220 grit paper worked fantastic for smoothing out the layers. this tip, i think, applies only to painting an already-painted wall to a different color WITHOUT making any sort of repairs that require skim coating or sanding, right? I'll also show how to mix the skim coat and what skim coating … I wanted to know what helpful tips that you have for clean up? So, using that approach is something of a gamble, and I have not seen any written evidence that it would hold up over time. Believe me when I say that there isn’t one square inch of the master bathroom that won’t have some kind of joint compound/skim coating on it. I've been in the middle of my own wallpaper removal nightmare, lately, so I will be needing to do some skim coating soon! If your walls are slightly uneven or damaged, skim coating a light coat of drywall mud over the surface evens them out. I am working to smooth out the walls in my San Francisco house that was built in the late 1990s with that horrible orange peel texture. So glad you found this helpful! The primer does its job to help with adhesion of all 3 of those layers (primer sticks to joint compound, then the paint sticks to the primer). I would highly recommend checking out my follow up post with additional tips for skim coating and the materials to use under/over it. Using a small bucket with clean water, wet and wring out the sponge. This is truly helpful! great tutorial. You’re making me realize I should create a new post about cleanup (I’m skimming my garage this summer so I’ll have a good opportunity to take video and pictures of that), so thanks for the post idea! The walls turned out great, in fact compared to the rest of the walls in my 100+ year old house, they are the nicest! My opinion is still relatively the same as when I first wrote this post. I am going to do your method lol i am hoping it will work out well for me lol i am a single female and have never attempted anything like this before lol wish me luck. While the idea sounds great and certainly lessens the dust (which does go everywhere), I found that I could not sand rapidly or precisely enough using the attachment. Overall you have a good DIY post…if and when one becomes good at it you can skim coats next to each other and over lap them instead of leaving the “fill in” gaps between each coat…the trick is to mud up the side of the blade where you want the mud on the wall and not so much the other, then apply pressure w/ your fingers on the back of the blade where there’s no or less mud…ex: if you’re working right to left then mud the R side of blade and apply pressure to L side which is how we “feather” it…to fallacies noted in the paint aspect: you do not have to use oil base primer and the “smooth” texture comes from multiple coats of paint properly applied and rolled out (depending on sheen). Thank you so much for your tips!!! Even the nicest paints will have trouble sticking to new mud. I can do this. I’m so glad you found this post helpful, Cheryl! This advice was great! The mud smooths out the wall, primer will coat the entire wall, and then the paint will stick to the primer. Ugly Duckling House is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to I’m like – But.. If you’re repairing a hole in the sheen paint you will need to repair, prime the repair, then paint the whole wall or else the new paint will “flash”…aside from removing wallpaper you do not need to skim the whole wall prior to painting, just feather, sand, and paint properly…and those pesky bits of paper that won’t come off… 80grit sandpaper ;). Relevant!! Skimming is effectively a plastering … Thanks for the info & for being so thorough with the steps. You need to use sanding screens for it to work properly though. I’m skim-coating my dining room ceiling this weekend… wish me luck. And paint won’t be forgiving of your mistakes. Thanks so much for your blog!!!! Tag me on Instagram @uglyducklingDIY or use the hashtag #uglyducklinghouse to show off your projects! I just finished a skim coating project using this site and a tutorial on Family Handyman as my guides and wanted to share my experiences. These walls will be coated with BASE-COAT PLASTER. However getting final skim coating smooth with setting compound is difficult or impossible. UPDATE: For those of you who like a list, here’s a list (with links to Amazon, which I’d make a few cents off of if you purchased direct for the referral, but it really doesn’t earn me much more than a few cups of coffee! It went over skim so surprisingly well I flipped. An acrylic primer is technically the best as the acrylic hardens on top, but either will do just fine. The layers are thicker and crack easier if a bubble is underneath, and the sanding results are kinda lumpy in ways I don’t want it to be (it’s hard to really put it into words but “weirdly lumpy” was what came to mind). Skim coating is a great way to make ugly walls and ceilings new again! I really effed up my drywall by moving my baseboards down a smidge when I replaced the carpet with luxury vinyl plank :(. You only need to apply it on the edges of the damaged paper. It does have a rather strong odor but it is worth putting up with for a day to get better looking results. Bathroom Nightmare! Removing the tile itself gave me a break down. Before you begin to skim coat your walls, make sure you have all the important tools lined up for this task. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of experience to do this well. Bottom line, bathroom walls in general aren’t often hosed down with water to the amount that drywall should be getting soaking wet except in areas meant to be waterproofed (such as a steam room or shower walls where you tile over the wall). You should start by prepping the wall surfaces. Will be pure entertainment for family, friends and the neighbors, but I refuse to be whipped by drywall! Since no sizing was applied to the wallpaper before slapping it on, the builders of my beloved UDH made my job really hard. The biggest secret for a smooth skim coat is to keep the taping knife at about 10 degree angle to the wall, and don’t use too much pressure. Now the glue layer seems permanently welded to the wall despite primer I applied to vinyl-covered wall board (mobile home) before papering. As for the taping knife and mud pan, I would hose it off in the front yard near my ivy (so it wouldn’t impact the grass as much) and get in the little grooves with a wet paper towel so it wasn’t washing down the drain (I agree with you, best to avoid the drains and plumbing!). Good tip! You will never know how much I have enjoyed reading what you’ve written and how much I have benefited from your advice. Okay, so now that you’ve got the right tools for the job, it’s time to get to work. I get to sand tomorrow afternoon and night. ): 1. (Though I was frightened at first, it didn’t automatically self level for 12 hours.) If you’re going to be doing skim coats in several rooms like I am, consider investing in sanding screens instead of traditional wallpaper. That peeling could be due to painting over areas that still had glue residue (but I'm only guessing). Just like you, gotta go to work and continue the project after hours. I have sometimes experienced that re-wetting the surface causes bubbles if the drywall paper was weak from wallpaper removal. Thank you!! Best part is no more sandpaper dust. For corners, you use the taping knife edge in the corner and feather it out on both sides. Reellucky, Thank you SO MUCH! Next, turn on your radio or set up some kind of music (like my playlist), because this is going to take a while. ), walk a few aisles over to where they sell the drywall. Thanks so much for this walkthrough, Sarah! I am going to go without the primer and see how that works. This is my first time reading your blog and as a lifespan human developmental/behavioral specialist (and professional trainer) I was truly impressed by your delightful tutorial on skim coating walls. I hope you find your answer! On Family Handyman they recommended a roller. When doing the top half of the wall, compound should be smoothed down from the top, and then the bottom half can be by smoothing compound up from the floor. The build up on the corners is pretty awful looking but I’m hoping it will sand to a nice corner? Pull the Magic Trowel over the compound, smoothing it out. Re-posting content is not allowed, no exceptions. A drywall contractor estimated $3600 to fix it, and thanks to you, we’re saving ridiculous amounts is money. With your instructions, I think I can do it ! We removed wallpaper from our kitchen walls only to find plaster, drywall, and I swear what looked like sandpaper underneath! As you rub it over the surface of the mud it will soften the surface layer of the mud allowing you to work it like you would with sandpaper. Until we get a mixture that is thick, smooth and can be applied to walls. They make versions that can attach to a ShopVac and to a pole as well. Then there’s the “Easy Sand” dry mix series that you add water to Since you probably won’t, and I didn’t, I suggest using the free version:  water. Too much for me at that angle so I guess I’ll have to sheetrock over the ceiling and start fresh. *sigh*. (*Note:  some of these photos have been darkened to enhance the difference between the wet mud and wall – it’s hard to see off-white on white*), Add Sound-Dampening Drywall without Removing the Old, there’s another post about that where I recommend one that isn’t oil-based, Keeping your tools clean and ready for the next job is an important step that should not be missed. This post was exactly what I needed!! It’s important to be systematic in your approach; any missed spots will be highlighted once you paint the wall. It is coming along though; primed my hallway and 2 of the walls in my main living space, I took my time and have to admit I am sick of it already! When it comes to applying 2 or 3 coats of joint compound, it may sound like a lot of work to do. …understanding different compounds and the how’s and why’s helps as well… I bought Zinsser oil based AllPrime to coat the gluey walls. I always put it on very thin and smooth so that it needs no sanding. This is useful advice, and will be necessary in a lot of situations. But before you apply any joint compound, make sure that the sealer is dried thoroughly. I didn’t know I had to prime the walls. Flat paint should take 2 coats. This will save your time and you will not end up in frustration. They’re listed here, including the primer I like best! In a clean bucket we pour skim coat which is in powder form, and we add about 10% water of the skim coat mass. You rock. BEFORE to lock any wallpaper glue residue to the wall that might prevent your joint compound from sticking, and AFTER to penetrate your joint compound and harden it so your paint isn’t just sticking to a layer of joint compound dust. Wow! You might need to skim coat if you’re repairing after wallpaper removal, after drywall repairs or ceiling repairs, or even if your walls are just doing the damage from every day where in tear from your family. You also get FREE access to my plans & patterns libraries! Check it out here! Subscribing is one of the best ways to get updates, snag DIY tips, and see progress! & the reason you don’t wipe your skim coat with a damp cloth — besides ruining all your hard work — is that primer is different than paint, & primer applied to walls with some dust will not flake off the way paint does. I can’t thank you enough! Thank you for TOTALLY MAKING MY DAY with your comment :). Thank you! The skim coating process involves applying a thin coat of joint compound to a divot in a wall to fill and cover the imperfection. Skim coating takes time and effort. I should be 70 by the time we are finished, but your article made me feel powerful! Fun. I have diluted and put down the toilet and have also tried cleaning my tools outside although I don’t think dumping it down the sewer drain is the most environmentally friendly method. Now that I’ve gotten up close and personal with my bathroom drywall, I’m learning that the above is definitely true in my case. These kits come with a connection hose that allows you to hook up the sander to a shop vac, eliminating about 90-95% of the dust that you will experience. It’s been a few years since I wrote this post, so I highly recommend reading this update with even more advice on preventing bubbles in the drywall paper, good sealing products, tools that cut down dust, and finding the right primer before painting. You’ll want to scrape the knife across the wall in such a way as to leave a little of the mud behind, filling in the ridges and gouges while skimming over the entire surface. But the paper covering the entire sheet of drywall is typically not smooth. Just knock off the lumps or mud lines by using a 5 or 6-inch putty knife to prevent streaks in the next coat. It can also be applied with a paint roller for high-quality smoothness. After you are done with the top section, roll on the joint compound on the lower half area. Thank you so much for putting your experience out! UPDATE:  I’ve now done this skim coat thing a number of times in the house, and a good tip I learned later from a contractor is this:  use an oil-based primer prior to adding your first skim coat. Therefore, if you are a contractor who has given up on wall skimming and you may prefer to hire a professional taper for this job. Keep up the good work and especially the blogs. All knowledgeable experts say that red-mixed, light, prepared joint compound should not be used for skim coats in a bathroom, because those kinds of joint compounds will soften/dissolve when exposed to water after they are applied and dry. However, if you are a remodeler who do wall skimming to repair wrecked walls only on certain occasions, it will be tough to master this skill. Great tutorial, you made a most messy job sound very easy & fun. I freaking LOVE mine; it’s so much more convenient and cost less than $25 (you can rent professional drywall sanders too, but they are a bit more of a hit to your wallet). That’s exactly the same as the situation I was in with my walls. Although I will be putting wallpaper back up for the design I want, this process is not as bad as I thought. After skim-coating, priming, and painting my bathroom, I masked off the trim to paint it, and the painters tape pulled the paint and primer right off the joint compound. Thanks, I really appreciate the information. I was literalllllly just looking for blog posts and how-to’s on this, hooray! Panel construction is another example of showing this drywall mud's job. Personal note: I used a rectangular cake pan for my mud with good result. Your frustrated ranting from yours truly lesson for this week is skim coating damaged drywall. Thanks for this site. Do you think this process would work on plaster, as well? Finally I’ve found something which helped me. You just made my day! Learn how your comment data is processed. Excellent post. Apply your joint compound to fill in the damaged areas and lightly sand to feather in the edges. It might be worth your while sealing the wall with gardz or an oil-based primer, such as cover stain, BEFORE AND AFTER skim coating. When adding water to your mud, you want it to be the consistency of pancake mix, not too thick but not as watery as soup. You’ve reached the right compound-to-water ratio. Skim Coating is to do and also deliver great outcomes. To do it wrong, you’ll need only a bucket of joint compound (“JC” or “mud” as you’ll see in this post) and a 4″ metal putty knife. • Skim Coating Walls & Ceilings. We are thinking about putting up paint-able wall paper with a subtle pattern to keep our original design & colors. Hey there! My windows didn’t have any trim on them, but if yours do, you might consider removing the trim and then trying to get the joint compound smooth and then putting the trim back on. But, I’m learning. I took off the wallpaper from our bathroom. I'm think of buying and cutting drywall for practice. Try to fill in spots as smooth as possible to avoid having to re-sand later (though I did just for good measure). So here I found your site & I am so happy because I am running to the store with my list. I've found conflicting opinions but puny hands can't stand much more of the glue battle. In this technique, you will not only need to prime the spot, but you will also need to roll on the whole wall by using a stain-blocking sealer. This is long overdue: THANK YOU!! Here is a new and easy to master the approach for smoothing out damaged or rough walls. About putting up paint-able wall paper and a box fan tutorial and such a thoughtful comment back with great!... Your comment: ) put a link on my blog to this page hard work, you use 100-grit! We will probably have to use the Purple/ light green so when I removed wallpaper! At your walls with a paint roller and squeegee knife of 14-in.-wide which is used. 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