4 min

What Are Gypsum-based Skim Coats And Its Advantages

Skim Coat

If the walls of your home are discoloured or tainted, it’s high time to give the area a complete revamp. However, this cannot be done by adding one coat of paint. Skim coating is an expensive investment as part of a renovation project for your home. 

Skim Coating - The Definition

Skim coating is a great way to make unpleasant walls and ceilings look fresh and new again! A skim coat, also known as a ‘level-five drywall finish’, is a thin coat of diluted joint compound that can be applied by hand, paint roller, or spray rig. It is usually creased out with tools such as a drywall knife or trowel. Skim coatings are an alternative way to create uniform surfaces for walls as well as ceilings for re-texturing and painting purposes. To achieve a consistent surface,  it has been advised to apply at least two coats of skim coats.

How does it work?

Step 1

To protect the floor from the primer and thermal skim coat materials, spread a floor cover or large drop cloth on every corner of the walls. Remove any furniture and switch off any electrical circuits within the area so that they won’t be spoiled by overspray or drips.

Step 2

Prime the whole wall to seal and ensure a smooth finish with setting-type joint compounds to patch up any holes or torn-away paper and make uneven sections level. The primer needs to be dried well when applying the skim coat.

Step 3

To make it easy to apply to the wall, mix water into the joint compound so that the thickness dilutes gradually. The compound should have the consistency of mud and just the right texture to roll on the wall, not too thin or thick.

Step 4

Next, with a paint sprayer or roller, apply the compound to the wall coating uniformly by completing one small section at a time so it smoothens before starting to dry up. If bubbles appear, add pressure to the roller and work into the wall firmly.

Step 5

Smooth out the applied area using a skimming blade or trowel, starting from top to bottom. This way, a uniformed surface layer will appear. If excess mud collects on the trowel's blade, wipe it off immediately. 

Step 6

The application can be repeated until the compound is perfectly smooth. Also, the second coat should be trowelled horizontally. If after two coats imperfections are found, be sure to apply a vertical coating on top of that and repeat until a smooth surface is achieved.

Step 7

At this point the primer will start to dry. Add some water to help moisten the area and continue to smooth to remove lumps and mud lines. Once it fully dries, a microfiber towel may be used to eliminate any dust found on the surface.

For how long will it last

Skim coating can last for about a decade. But they will need constant repair and renovation. Although the task is a tedious one with a lot of time required, if done without a single error the restoration can make the walls look all good as new again.

Benefits of skim coat plastering

  • Skim coating makes painting the walls easier and is less complicated to handle if you’ve mastered the steps.
  • The absence of rough patches and dents from peeling paint allows the paintbrush to slide smoothly over the walls without a hassle.
  • Skim coating enhances the overall look of a home – including ceilings and walls.

Buy Thermal Skim Coats products from Saint Gobain

At Saint Gobain, we have a wide range of skim coating products that build up new or existing surfaces to a high standard. Call us today or visit our website for more information.