How Do You Skim Coat?


Quick Answer

To skim coat a wall, prepare the wall by applying primer and then roll on a thinned mixture of joint compound. Smooth the compound and apply a second coat to create the smoothest finish possible.

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Full Answer

  1. Prepare the wall

    Paint the wall with a fast-drying primer to seal stains and loose paper. Primer also helps joint compound adhere better to the walls.

  2. Apply compound in small sections

    Mix all-purpose joint compound so that it has the consistency of mayonnaise. Working in small sections of about 4 feet, spread an even layer of the compound on the walls using a 1/2-inch heavy-nap roller.

  3. Smooth the compound

    Smooth the joint compound with a squeegee knife, starting in the top corner and pulling down. Overlap every vertical stroke, wiping the blade with a damp rag after every few strokes to keep the compound from building up.

  4. Apply another layer

    Apply at least one more layer of joint compound, applying the second coat horizontally. Add a third level if necessary to create the smoothest surface possible, which minimizes sanding.

  5. Sand the wall

    Once the last coat of compound dries, sand the wall using a pole-sander outfitted with 120-grit sand paper. Continue sanding until the wall is perfectly smooth and even.

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