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Old 01-08-2014, 02:46 PM   #1
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skim coating & painting


Hi all,

I have various paint questions--primarily with how to deal with painting over peeling, chipped or (likely) lead paint. We are moving into our first house and money is TIGHT, so we had planned to do this mostly ourselves--especially once we got a $7000 quote for skimcoating alone. So, we will at least try to figure this out ourselves, but if we do a horrible job in our first couple tries and we will have to get someone else to complete the work (probably bit by bit), I still want to understand what needs to be done so that I can be certain they are doing things correctly--because I have lived in homes where the "pros" did a really crappy job, and I DO NOT want that here. So, I am grateful for any guidance/insight. I am a definite newbie, and even though I have been reading forums and do it yourself articles and watching videos to try to answer these questions, I still don't understand a lot of the lingo, so if you can be as plain, specific and clear as possible, that would be great!

1) Shiny paint over multiple layers of paint, likely including lead paint.

The house was made in the 1930's, and the prior owners didn't do much work, so I am just assuming that there is at least one layer of lead paint on every wall (except for those that are solely covered by wallpaper). There is a top-layer of paint (among multi-layers) throughout the house that is not chipping or peeling--and may be recent enough to not be lead itself. It is a shiny paint of unknown origin and composition. The walls are also a bit "lumpy", so we were hoping to skim coat them before painting. The walls themselves appear to be plaster and lathe for the most part.

I removed all of the wallpaper from the walls, and some of those walls appeared to be a different material than the lathe & plaster. (There is no paint on these walls.) It is a shinier white material, and I noticed that many of the edges, where two pieces come together, are black/dark gray. This is present in rooms that must have been part of the original house, so it must have been a product that was available in the 1930's.

What are the best steps for skim coating all of these walls?

From what I have gleaned, the steps appear to be:
1- DO NOT SAND
2- Prime (what should I use to prime with? ZINSSER GARDZ?)
3- Skim coat (what should I use here? I have seen multiple items recommended, but I was going to try to roller-on and use the Magic Trowel method. What skim coat product works best with this and under my conditions?)
4 - Prime
5 - Paint

2) Peeling paint, mostly on doors and trim.

Before the house was sold, the seller did a really crappy paint job, and it looked nice at the time, but you can now tell that he either didn't know what he was doing, or was just trying to save a few bucks, because almost all of the "shiny" white paint used as trim and on doors is peeling. In some places it is just "chipping" off in small flakes, but in other places it is peeling off in big pieces and is stretchy. Finally, in some places, it appears the same paint was used, but it is not chipping/peeling--yet. How do i deal with these situations? I would definitely prefer not to have to scrape the paint off of the trim/doors/moulding of the entire house if not necessary.


3) Wainscotting/beadboard with chipped paint.

We have a room with beadboard around it. It is made of wood but covered in multiple layers of paint (I didn't even realize that it was made of wood originally until the electrician created some chips in paint when installing new outlets.) It is generally in good shape, but In between a few of the panels there are cracks in the paint, but this does not go down to the wood. There are also a few chips in the paint down to the wood itself. How should I fix this situation in order to re-paint the beadboard.

Thank you!

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Old 01-08-2014, 05:28 PM   #2
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skim coating & painting


Whole lot easier to make suggestions if we can see what your seeing.
Can you post some pictures so we can see how bad it is?

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Old 01-08-2014, 05:30 PM   #3
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Whole lot easier to make suggestions if we can see what your seeing.
Can you post some pictures so we can see how bad it is?
I have a bunch of pics on my phone -- unfortunately I can't find my phone. I will post as soon as I can find them.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
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…………and, use the "SEARCH" function here on the website. Many of your questions have been addressed on here many times and some reading goes a long way towards answering many of them.

Lead isn't such a big problem as long as the paint is not peeling and you don't sand so deep into the paint layers that you release the lead from coats of paint that are more than 35 years old. If your fears of lead are great, you will have to contact a lead abatement contractor who is certified to remove all the lead encrusted surfaces. This will cost you many thousands of dollars.

Example of recent post on skim coating:
Skim coating plaster walls
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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…………and, use the "SEARCH" function here on the website. Many of your questions have been addressed on here many times and some reading goes a long way towards answering many of them.

Lead isn't such a big problem as long as the paint is not peeling and you don't sand so deep into the paint layers that you release the lead from coats of paint that are more than 35 years old. If your fears of lead are great, you will have to contact a lead abatement contractor who is certified to remove all the lead encrusted surfaces. This will cost you many thousands of dollars.
Thanks. I have searched on this forum--and many others. The problem (for me) is that I find lots of different answers. For instance, I could have listed all the different products I have seen suggested for skim coating (and bonding agents--or not using bonding agents--and primers, etc), but I was just hoping that there was a more specific answer given my specific situation. I really have no background in this, so it's hard for me to weigh through the different suggestions given and figure out what is right for me (esp when they may be under slightly different circumstances, but I don't know what is a relevant difference). I have just been trying to figure this out by watching videos and reading, etc for the past month, and besides agreement on certain basics, I was just getting more confused at all the different options, so I thought it would be more helpful/useful just for me to ask.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:50 PM   #6
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This is what I use for skim coating:

Thin it with water to the point that it is runny like pancake batter. Then you can roll it on the wall with a typical 9" roller and 1/2" roller sleeve. Trowel as you go with a 6", 8", or 10" broad knife, whichever size you feel comfortable using. It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth as you will have to apply a 2nd coat. Let it dry for 24 hours. Sand any rough spots with a sanding sponge. Apply a 2nd coat the same way you did the first. Allow to dry, sand smooth, and it's ready to prime with drywall primer.

For your breadboard, any cracks can be filled with a quality paintable latex caulk. Where the woodwork is peeling, you definitely will have to scrape as much of it off as possible, prime with a quality bonding primer such as Zinsser's 1-2-3 and repaint. In some instances, if the peeling on doors and trim is so bad, you may end up being further ahead by just replacing it and starting over.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
This is what I use for skim coating:

Thin it with water to the point that it is runny like pancake batter. Then you can roll it on the wall with a typical 9" roller and 1/2" roller sleeve. Trowel as you go with a 6", 8", or 10" broad knife, whichever size you feel comfortable using. It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth as you will have to apply a 2nd coat. Let it dry for 24 hours. Sand any rough spots with a sanding sponge. Apply a 2nd coat the same way you did the first. Allow to dry, sand smooth, and it's ready to prime with drywall primer.

For your breadboard, any cracks can be filled with a quality paintable latex caulk. Where the woodwork is peeling, you definitely will have to scrape as much of it off as possible, prime with a quality bonding primer such as Zinsser's 1-2-3 and repaint. In some instances, if the peeling on doors and trim is so bad, you may end up being further ahead by just replacing it and starting over.
Thanks! Can I ask why you suggest the Topping Joint Compound rather than all-purpose?

Also, I have read that you should prime first--would I be able to use the same Zinsser's 1-2-3 primer on any type of existing paint? I am not sure whether the existing paint is latex, oil-based, etc. Lastly, why do you suggest 1-2-3 rather than GARDZ?
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:33 AM   #8
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skim coating & painting


You mentioned some shiny painted areas so that's why I suggested the 1-2-3 because it has bonding properties that will stick to shiny surfaces. The topping compound is easier to sand so I think you will appreciate that aspect when it comes time to sand your skim coat.

No need to prime before skimming if you have a sound painted surface already. This just adds an unnecessary step to the process. However, if you have any doubts about the skim coat adhering to the wall, by all means, prime. Just let the primer dry for 48 hours before skimming.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneypenny02 View Post
Hi all,

I have various paint questions--primarily with how to deal with painting over peeling, chipped or (likely) lead paint. We are moving into our first house and money is TIGHT, so we had planned to do this mostly ourselves--especially once we got a $7000 quote for skimcoating alone. So, we will at least try to figure this out ourselves, but if we do a horrible job in our first couple tries and we will have to get someone else to complete the work (probably bit by bit), I still want to understand what needs to be done so that I can be certain they are doing things correctly--because I have lived in homes where the "pros" did a really crappy job, and I DO NOT want that here. So, I am grateful for any guidance/insight. I am a definite newbie, and even though I have been reading forums and do it yourself articles and watching videos to try to answer these questions, I still don't understand a lot of the lingo, so if you can be as plain, specific and clear as possible, that would be great!

1) Shiny paint over multiple layers of paint, likely including lead paint.

The house was made in the 1930's, and the prior owners didn't do much work, so I am just assuming that there is at least one layer of lead paint on every wall (except for those that are solely covered by wallpaper). There is a top-layer of paint (among multi-layers) throughout the house that is not chipping or peeling--and may be recent enough to not be lead itself. It is a shiny paint of unknown origin and composition. The walls are also a bit "lumpy", so we were hoping to skim coat them before painting. The walls themselves appear to be plaster and lathe for the most part.

I removed all of the wallpaper from the walls, and some of those walls appeared to be a different material than the lathe & plaster. (There is no paint on these walls.) It is a shinier white material, and I noticed that many of the edges, where two pieces come together, are black/dark gray. This is present in rooms that must have been part of the original house, so it must have been a product that was available in the 1930's.

What are the best steps for skim coating all of these walls?

From what I have gleaned, the steps appear to be:
1- DO NOT SAND
2- Prime (what should I use to prime with? ZINSSER GARDZ?)
3- Skim coat (what should I use here? I have seen multiple items recommended, but I was going to try to roller-on and use the Magic Trowel method. What skim coat product works best with this and under my conditions?)
4 - Prime
5 - Paint

2) Peeling paint, mostly on doors and trim.

Before the house was sold, the seller did a really crappy paint job, and it looked nice at the time, but you can now tell that he either didn't know what he was doing, or was just trying to save a few bucks, because almost all of the "shiny" white paint used as trim and on doors is peeling. In some places it is just "chipping" off in small flakes, but in other places it is peeling off in big pieces and is stretchy. Finally, in some places, it appears the same paint was used, but it is not chipping/peeling--yet. How do i deal with these situations? I would definitely prefer not to have to scrape the paint off of the trim/doors/moulding of the entire house if not necessary.


3) Wainscotting/beadboard with chipped paint.

We have a room with beadboard around it. It is made of wood but covered in multiple layers of paint (I didn't even realize that it was made of wood originally until the electrician created some chips in paint when installing new outlets.) It is generally in good shape, but In between a few of the panels there are cracks in the paint, but this does not go down to the wood. There are also a few chips in the paint down to the wood itself. How should I fix this situation in order to re-paint the beadboard.

Thank you!
WOW Really not sure where to start. First peeling paint possibly lead. Scrap off loose don't sand. Quart of peel stop primer follow instructions. Also invest in lead test kit then, you know what you are dealing with. Since you removed wallpaper I would recommend Gardz. Where I am topping is hard to get if you can't get it use the ultra light in the bucket with the puke green lid. Have the magic trowel really don't like it, the rubber blade is soft if there is a very slight bump the soft blade will leave it. On your trim it sound like you are having adhesion problems. In this area I would wear a mask if your not sure about lead. scrap off loose sand and feather the edges. You know let me ask you a question does this trim look like the new stuff that they have in the box stores or like the wide stuff they used in the 30s? If they changed it during the remodel it may be easier and cheaper to just replace it. Pics could really help.
And you said the walls have shiny paint paint this tell me yes you will need to prime. The Gardz can also be used for this.

Last edited by ToolSeeker; 01-09-2014 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:54 PM   #10
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WOW Really not sure where to start. First peeling paint possibly lead. Scrap off loose don't sand. Quart of peel stop primer follow instructions. Also invest in lead test kit then, you know what you are dealing with. Since you removed wallpaper I would recommend Gardz. Where I am topping is hard to get if you can't get it use the ultra light in the bucket with the puke green lid. Have the magic trowel really don't like it, the rubber blade is soft if there is a very slight bump the soft blade will leave it. On your trim it sound like you are having adhesion problems. In this area I would wear a mask if your not sure about lead. scrap off loose sand and feather the edges. You know let me ask you a question does this trim look like the new stuff that they have in the box stores or like the wide stuff they used in the 30s? If they changed it during the remodel it may be easier and cheaper to just replace it. Pics could really help.
And you said the walls have shiny paint paint this tell me yes you will need to prime. The Gardz can also be used for this.
Gardz is not a bonding primer
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:09 PM   #11
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Thank you for the comments. I finally have some pictures.

The photo with the outlet shows the beadboard where the paint has chipped down to the wood. This is only a few places on the entire wall, so I am sure that I should not need to scrape off completely for this.

In the same picture, to the right and along the base of the beadboard, are the cracks that are just in the paint. I have pretty much only seen these in the crevices along the beadboard.

The photo of the beadboard with the large spot of paint missing is an example of the "chipping" paint. It is just the top layer of paint that is chipping/peeling, and this was recently done (within last year). My mother "helpfully" scraped off a big chunk, but generally it is just small pieces chipping, here and there.

The last photo of me pulling the paint is what the "stretchy" paint looks like that is on the door. It may be the same paint as what is on the beadboard and trim, but it only does this stretchy thing in certain places. Again, it is only the top layer of paint that is peeling.skim coating & painting-photo.jpg

skim coating & painting-20140108_193709.jpg

skim coating & painting-20140108_193815-1-.jpg
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:56 PM   #12
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WOW Really not sure where to start. First peeling paint possibly lead. Scrap off loose don't sand. Quart of peel stop primer follow instructions. Also invest in lead test kit then, you know what you are dealing with. Since you removed wallpaper I would recommend Gardz. Where I am topping is hard to get if you can't get it use the ultra light in the bucket with the puke green lid. Have the magic trowel really don't like it, the rubber blade is soft if there is a very slight bump the soft blade will leave it. On your trim it sound like you are having adhesion problems. In this area I would wear a mask if your not sure about lead. scrap off loose sand and feather the edges. You know let me ask you a question does this trim look like the new stuff that they have in the box stores or like the wide stuff they used in the 30s? If they changed it during the remodel it may be easier and cheaper to just replace it. Pics could really help.
And you said the walls have shiny paint paint this tell me yes you will need to prime. The Gardz can also be used for this.
Thanks for your comments--just want to make sure I understand.

First, just about everywhere that we are worried about peeling paint, we are certain that the actual paint that is peeling is not lead based--it is the recent paint by the prior owner right before selling. It is likely, however that one or more of the layers beneath have lead, so we just want to take the appropriate precautions.

Second, pretty much everything is original in this house--no renovations--so it is the original baseboard & trim.

So for the peel-stop primer, do you recommend that on the trim/beadboard/doors where it is peeling, and I will not be skim coating?

In areas where the trim is not currently peeling, but likely WOULD because the painter did not prime/used wrong type of paint, do I need to use the peel stop? If not what type of primer should I use before I paint myself?

The walls where I removed the wallpaper, are not painted, but seemed to have a bit of a sheen to them. I am attaching a picture, of the wall (where there is a black line where two sides meet) and where the outlet is so that you can see part of the wall. This texture is different than the other walls, which appear to be lathe and plaster. Not sure what this is or if it needs a different type of primer/skim coat material. Are you suggesting I use GARDZ here rather than Zinssner? (Sorry that my pics are sideways, not sure why!)skim coating & painting-20140108_193626.jpg

skim coating & painting-20140108_193638.jpg
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by moneypenny02 View Post
Thank you for the comments. I finally have some pictures.

The photo with the outlet shows the beadboard where the paint has chipped down to the wood. This is only a few places on the entire wall, so I am sure that I should not need to scrape off completely for this.

In the same picture, to the right and along the base of the beadboard, are the cracks that are just in the paint. I have pretty much only seen these in the crevices along the beadboard.

The photo of the beadboard with the large spot of paint missing is an example of the "chipping" paint. It is just the top layer of paint that is chipping/peeling, and this was recently done (within last year). My mother "helpfully" scraped off a big chunk, but generally it is just small pieces chipping, here and there.

The last photo of me pulling the paint is what the "stretchy" paint looks like that is on the door. It may be the same paint as what is on the beadboard and trim, but it only does this stretchy thing in certain places. Again, it is only the top layer of paint that is peeling.Attachment 79843

Attachment 79844

Attachment 79845
all that looks like latex painted over un primed oil to me, which is going to require removal, one way or another
as to the Gardz, you should use that where ever paper was removed( after getting all the paste residue off
it is not a bonding, stain killing primer for trim

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