Thank you so much for your tips!!! I am in the middle of redoing my grandmas bathroom and it has been a nightmare. Seriously, thank you. Thanks for the tutorial! It definitely gives me the courage to really give the project a go! I can’t thank you enough for this tutorial. Layers of it, with paint in between, before finally getting to the original plaster that of course crumbled in some places! Fun. Came out looking good once it was painted, however….. With the entire wall surface being joint compound, it is not durable. Re-wetting the joint compound — like just plain wetting it again with a rag — means you have to wait for at LEAST the top layer to dry again. P.S. You’re welcome! because the previous owners put wallpaper up in most-every room, including our 80-100% humid bathrooms! When rinsing off your tools and cleaning out the mud pan, do not (for emphasis, I’ll repeat. I’m not going to tell you my sappy story, I just wanted to let you know that you saved my sanity…and my pride. Very helpful! I’m going to be skim coating over knockdown texture on a wall. Sorry to hear about your guy not following through… sometimes you look at someone else’s work and you just know you could have done a better job on your own! So remember:  it’s not impossible, but you will have to put in the time to see satisfactory results. I am also repairing my powder room from a bad wallpaper removal using your tips and techniques. All tutorials and demonstrations are not intended to be professional advice (nor substitute as such), and I make no guarantees as to the procedures and information here. There’s also a corner tool that you may find easier to use that looks like this. I have sometimes experienced that re-wetting the surface causes bubbles if the drywall paper was weak from wallpaper removal. ), walk a few aisles over to where they sell the drywall. Thanks in advance! These walls will be coated with BASE-COAT PLASTER. Thank you for showing your before pictures. A drywall contractor estimated $3600 to fix it, and thanks to you, we’re saving ridiculous amounts is money. I’m trying to smooth and paint interior bulkheads on my boat so am using a different type of putty but the technique is essentially the same. Because there is glue in it! And MAKING THINGS. Grab your oil-based primer and use it to seal your walls once more, then paint it with whatever you want. 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). 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! So glad you found this helpful! Spread a skim coat with a trowel or drywall knife over a rough wall or ceiling to create a flat surface for painting or wallpapering. Your Not-So-Serious Guide to DIY Home Improvement, Home Repair, Woodworking, Food, and Decorating | Atlanta, GA | Sarah Fogle. Pretty much. It takes patience and practice, but it’s not impossible. I wound up discovering a water-based, low odor peel stop sealer (with a weird name) that performed far better. Use our step-by-step guide to help skim plaster your walls. I'm in the middle of mudding my bathroom walls after removing wallpaper. Fantastic, Denise! No big, right? I should be 70 by the time we are finished, but your article made me feel powerful! Thanks so much for this walkthrough, Sarah! Use your damp rag or spray bottle to wet the blade before use. The premixes stay wet longer and dry from the inside out, they must fully dry before more work can be done…this is where the Easy Sand dry mix comes into play. Here is a new and easy to master the approach for smoothing out damaged or rough walls. I wanted to know what helpful tips that you have for clean up? Grab your primer and use it to seal your walls once more, then paint it with whatever you want. I’m so glad you found this post helpful, Cheryl! I am removing wall paper and a lot of the dry wall underneath is getting gouged. Related: Fixing Bubbles & More Skim Coating Tips. (I realize how much of a hypocrite I am for typing that, but I’m trying to give the right advice here. I did this in my parents house and told the realtor, as well as all potential buyers, all said that it looked fine and had no problem with it. Big mistake I have made is that I haven’t properly thinned the joint compound. I get to sand tomorrow afternoon and night. 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. 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 amazon.com. And so glad to have you following! Trying to decide if I really need to move them. $1 dollar, also buckets for mixing, clean up etc. Vinyl wallpaper top layer peeled off ok and DIF took the paper backing down to the glue layer (finally found that good product). Are you using the “green” Sheetrock brand all-purpose joint compound thinned down and/or the lightweight “blue”? Good luck with your project! In addition to the right tools, you’ll also need the right lighting to do a proper sanding job. After all this hard work I can’t afford to skip a step. I can’t honestly say I have enjoyed the actual work, but I loved following in your footsteps. If the paint doesn’t show signs of that, you might be ok to skim coat. I Googled, “how to re-mud a wall” and I was happy to see this about fixing damaged drywall, not just mudding new drywall. We should have replaced the drywall, but instead, we floated the entire surface of the wall; 3 coats of mud. A contractor might give you a free quote if you would like to get their input on what you should do. Drywall is not a good choice since it is different from the texture of the existing wall. Glad you found it helpful! The walls weren't prime, so when I removed the wallpaper on 1 wall I said their is no turning back. Little imperfections can be taken care of in a second pass once the first is dry and sanded. You can also use these tools as second hand. Hello! Wow! 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. Family Handyman recommends using a squeegee knife. I’ve peeled it as close as possible. To do it right, you’ll want joint compound, a mud pan, a wet rag, and a much wider knife called a joint knife or taping knife – I chose the 10-incher simply because I’m small, in a small space, and wielding anything larger felt like using a snow shovel – but there are wider versions available at your local Blue or Orange. SKIM COATING is the preferred method to use on heavy plaster or walls that are uneven. Best part is no more sandpaper dust. Your directions are easy to understand and real. Should I tape it and try to make it work or is it too far gone and should replace the dry wall? I tore down a wall between two sections of the same bathroom. Keep up the good work. Reellucky, Thank you SO MUCH! The walls turned out great, in fact compared to the rest of the walls in my 100+ year old house, they are the nicest! Wasn’t an available formula when I first started DIYing, so it’s a relatively new product. It is the strongest of them all, but is hardest to sand and apply…however it dries from the outside in which means you can begin to sand some or apply another coat before completely dry…WARNING if it starts to turn more clayish in the pan you need to dump it and make a new batch- you WILL NEVER sand out the edges once it starts to dry and will have to add more coats around the edges later. Since even lightweight joint compound needs to be thinned out a bit for skim coating work, you might want to stir in thin texture compound if you have some. If a whole wall is being done, then it's best to do it in halves, dividing walls horizontally down the middle. Thanks for this site. Its good to see you figured it out. Next, turn on your radio or set up some kind of music (like my playlist), because this is going to take a while. First of all, we should start by clearing up a myth:  most drywall by itself is not smooth. And when it comes to freshly repaired drywall with lots of skim coated areas like these, I find that this is especially true. The purpose of priming is to seal the wall so that the skim coat doesn’t bubble. At an angle, press the knife against and down the wall, leaving a thin layer of compound on the drywall. Thanks! While I have turned my skim coat into a post-workday evening project, it took several of those evenings to learn to get it right, to get a rhythm going, and to start seeing finished results. I can do this. I do like the sponge enough for quick repairs! I used regular all-purpose drywall, not the lightweight compound – I’m not sure if this makes too much of a difference or not. An acrylic primer is technically the best as the acrylic hardens on top, but either will do just fine. During your skim coating process, you watered it down, scraped it along a wall with gouges, dirt, and (in my case) tiny bits of paper coming off the wall. I started with DIY projects but then friends kept tapping me on the shoulder for advice so ended up just starting my own company! The downside of having all boys is that you will have to repair your drywall on numerous occasions! Make sure to mix all-purpose joint compound in about the same consistency as mud that you would use for bedding the tape. Thank you!!! I read many forums as well and the solution vary. Thin it out, and it’s even weaker. That’s exactly the same as the situation I was in with my walls. Make sense? In this video I'll show you how to do the first coat of two skim coats on a wall to get rid of a knockdown texture. I tried skim coating it on my own and stopped halfway through. If it’s some kind of patch where the rest of the wall is dirty and you put new joint compound in a section, you should still clean the rest of the wall before painting, but try not to get the joint compound area wet again. Painting on top of wallpaper is usually very ugly. After you are satisfied with the skim coat and it has had time to dry, the next task is to sand. I can do this. Won’t ever use another paint/primer! Glad it helped! Here’s to Ugly Duckling houses ever’where! First time here trying the whole DIY and Im impressed after reading your blog (more than once) I felt ready to conquer my bathroom ???????? great tutorial. I’ve been thinking about just smashing the wall down and starting over because no matter what I did, it never looked smooth like the pros! I use the blue top stuff now – been a few years since I first posted this tutorial! I love paragraph 4! Love this! I would highly recommend checking out my follow up post with additional tips for skim coating and the materials to use under/over it. I am SO going to start using this line… I hope that okay! Right there with ya! Water-based stain killers like Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer will work well and you will not have any complaints from your customers about the smell. Getting this right is crucial if you plan on ever looking at your walls. Skim coating should be done in about 3 feet square sections, so that there's time to smooth the compound before it dries. Typical pre mix: Green, Blue, Purple, Light Green (in order from hardest to sand to easiest) I think a paintable wallpaper would be a good solution, but there other options too that you might be open to (such as horizontal wood planks, or beadboard, or using spray texture to create a knockdown textured effect, which might make dents and dings less noticeable). In the future you should try a blue top finishing mud, the green top shown in your pic is for taping and is way harder to sand. Also, in some areas, you can still get veneer plaster (which is supposed to be much more ding resistant) done, but to make it stick to an existing wall you’ll need a special bonding paint first. That peeling could be due to painting over areas that still had glue residue (but I'm only guessing). Drywall mud is a thick substance that is spreadable and easily sanded to a smooth finish after drying. Thank you!! You’ll want to continue doing this across the wall, but since the mud is impressionable until it cures, be careful not to overlap the edges of your various passes across the same wall or else find yourself working to fix a patch of wall you were already done with. *sigh*. In addition, I spent most of the night reading about your Ugly Duckly home and am very impressed. But if you find that you really liked your first/second/third try if it weren’t for thatlittlemistakethere, stop. Hey there! You rock. Read my complete disclosure here. I am disappointed this will not go faster (sigh), but this info definitely helps! You need to use sanding screens for it to work properly though. So, using that approach is something of a gamble, and I have not seen any written evidence that it would hold up over time. Skim Coating is to do and also deliver great outcomes. Here you’ll find contractor-sized buckets of lightweight joint compound – simple, plainly labeled, and surprisingly cheaper. It’s time consuming to get right so I FULLY believe you that it’s pricey to hire out! Too much for me at that angle so I guess I’ll have to sheetrock over the ceiling and start fresh. (*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. I was just going to call a professional . Image Credit: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash The wood or hardboard paneling in your living room or den may have been a good idea when it was installed, but now, perhaps the time has come for a change. This was very informative & easy to understand with your instructions & pictures. So, I’ve began my quest to strip & refinish the walls in those spaces, and I’m thankful for your wisdom and your sense of humor, but perhaps even more importantly, I was inspired to tell you the true story of my artist/daughter, Sarah. 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. We bought a 1950’s house and – thankfully – there is only one room that really needs a full skim coat. It’s important to be systematic in your approach; any missed spots will be highlighted once you paint the wall. Fun. Then there’s the “Easy Sand” dry mix series that you add water to 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 ;). I prefer the thinned out way because the thinner layers have led me to a smooth sanding job. So glad you found the site, Judy! I am motivated again & it sounds like I will live through this mess I have made thinking I could scrape textured paint off with a putty knife!. It’s easy to think you’re adding enough and then be left with soup, which means adding more compound, more water, etc. You should read the follow up post for specific product recommendations. Removing the tile itself gave me a break down. There you have it – a full skim coating tutorial by a non-professional first timer who lived to tell the tale. • Skim Coating Walls & Ceilings. I see now that it needs to be much thinner. We were quoted about $1k to have it done, so I was motivated to head to the big box store for the supplies and spent $47 bucks…wowzers. Hope that helps! 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. Just trying to help you out next time. I'm Sarah. When first putting up drywall, you screw it in place, tape the seams, and cover them with joint compound. This side should be the one to apply the mud to the surface. UPDATE #2: I tried the oil primer in the kitchen and dining room on later projects and didn’t like it. You’ve reached the right compound-to-water ratio. These are usually thin layers that won’t repair holes, torn away paper, or make irregular section level. It was plastic with a silver paper backing. Good luck on your project! until you get it right. I just bought a house on the water for my wife of 45 years. You will only need a regular paint roller and squeegee knife. The men at Home Depot & Lowes were great but I left both places thinking I am so dumb. I didn’t know I had to prime the walls. When the last coat dries, use 120-grit sandpaper to pole-sand the wall. $1 dollar store. You’ll also find taping knives in every size, sanding tools (sanding screens last longer and are a little quicker for a project like this rather than the traditional paper), and a mud pan (a plastic or metal trough-like container that makes using a large taping knife easier when trying to scoop up mud). Help him get one room skim coating walls really needs a full skim coating is the preferred to! 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