Is This Not The Easiest Way For A Perfect Drywall Skim Coat? - Drywall & Plaster - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 12-16-2014, 02:38 AM   #1
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Is this not the easiest way for a perfect drywall skim coat?


Take a square notched grout trowel. Mix up hot mud aka setting type mud aka the powder you mix water with instead of the premixed, use 5 min or 20 min or whatever will set fastest but not too fast for the size of job. Next, coat the whole wall with the notched trowel trying to keep the same angle of the trowel i.e the blade of the trowel is always as close to 45 degrees to the wall. Once that sets in like 10 mins, then just use a regular flat trowel/compound knife to go over and fill in the grooves from the first coat and you have a perfect wall. Will still need a little sanding or possibly just sponging and even possibly a second effortless skilless coat of simply swiping mud over potential shrinkage cracks with a flat trowel/mud knife, but I don't think it's humanly possible to freehand a perfect skim coat especially with glossy paint and when the light hits it just right.

Another idea is find something that's hard plastic or metal like 1/4" wide strips that are only 1/8" thick and 8 feet long to go from ceiling to floor. Use a fast-setting but weak adhesive and fix the strips to the wall vertically every few feet. Then just screed the mud on using a 4 foot darby or something using the strips as a guide like how you screed sand for a paver patio base using 1" pvc. When it dries, pull the strips off the wall (might have to dig out a small section of dried mud from around the strips to get behind it to pull off). Then fill in the spaces the strips were using the first coat of dried mud as a guide.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:21 AM   #2
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Sounds pretty simple in theory....but I don't think that it will replace the guys around here who spend years perfecting their craft. Ron
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:50 AM   #3
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You're going to have a hell of a tuff time skim coating with 5 or 20 minute hot mud.With you're idea and a 1/4" trowel you're also putting way more mud on the wall than needed.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:59 AM   #4
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Ever tried to sand hot mud?
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:03 AM   #5
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Or you could skim coat the walls using a 1" nap and paint roller to roll on thinned out joint compound and then smooth out with a wide drywall knife.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:23 PM   #6
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I've heard of rolling-on thinned out joint compound, seems like it will just come out all textured though, and the smoothing out you mentioned with a mud knife after is where I think many people will create waves that can be seen especially with glossy pain and when light hits it.

True, sanding hot mud is not easy at all. If just sponging hot mud when it's almost set isn't possible, maybe this should only be done with regular drywall compound, not the easy-sand light weight though because it's just less strong and more prone to cracking from house settling or bathroom moisture, doors shutting etc, but the stronger green lid USG is easy enough to sand/sponge.


I didn't mean 1/4" thickness, I meant 1/8th max at a time because it might shrink if too much is applied. If the wall's really bad, it might need two phases. If you can't find a trowel that's notched only 1/8th, then a 1/4 would work if angled correctly i.e 1/4" angled 45 degrees would make 1/8th grooves.

The idea is similar to a scratch and brown coat of exterior plaster. They trowel the mud on then put the key grooves in it, let it dry and put another coat on top.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:20 PM   #7
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another way would be use a curved trowel, one used for leaving a slight hump over joint paper. Make vertical lines with the curved trowel, the humps will be a bit under 1/8" thick and taper off a the sides. Let dry. Use the fattest part of the hump as a screed guide for the next coat. using a straight (not curved) trowel. IOW, if you have a 4 foot plaster darby, you can make your first vertical application as much as almost 4' apart, but if you have a 14" straight trowel, you'll need to make the first curved vertical lines about 1' apart.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:35 AM   #8
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Why are you trying to make it harder than it is. In the first post hot mud is hard to work with especially in a large area, it's hard to sand and doesn't paint well. Your second idea will leave you with a wavy surface that will take a ton of sanding.

Sir Mix has about the easiest way. remember it's a SKIM so you take almost all of it back off. Since it is thinned compound you can take it back off with a rubber squeegee from Sher. Wills. called a magic trowel. This leaves a fairly smooth surface that can be easily sanded.
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:27 PM   #9
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Agree with Sir Mix. Simplest way to do it....
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:40 PM   #10
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I don't care how many years in someone has or anything, I think it's humanly impossible to freehand a perfect skim coat that won't show under certain lighting and gloss paint, especially a ceiling.

It's been said that overlapping strokes with the notched trowel will cause oozing out the sides and ruining the grooves on the sides of the trowel, however, you can leave a couple inches space between the strokes in the first phase and fill them in with the second coat.
You can tilt the notched trowel as much as you want to make it thin/ thick as you want.

Only thing is someone said the second coat might soak into the first notched coat (because it's porous and might suck in the moisture) causing it to possibly deform, but maybe that depends on the materials, and maybe even if it does shrink it, you can do a third skilless application of spreading mud straight across giving steady pressure using the existing ridges as the screed guide. Or maybe you can spray/roll something on the notched coat so it makes a barrier to block the first one from soaking the second's moisture but still allowing the mud to stick to said coating.



Do whatever you want, just thought I'd share the idea hope someone can use it.
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:48 PM   #11
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I don't think anyone is "attacking" your concept. Just trying to keep it simple. The whole point of "glaze coating" a surface is to make the face paper on the drywall the same consistency as the finished joints. The paper is rougher and more porous. All that is needed for a level 5 finish is to roll a coat of mud on, wipe it down, lightly sand the whole area and you're done. Seems a whole lot simpler than your process. And you don't need 1/8", 1/4" buildup of mud to achieve what is needed. And as you stated above, if you skim your setting compound with ready mix, it WILL shrink and another coat will be necessary. Roll and wipe down will save a whole lot of time, energy, material (aka money), and achieve the same thing. But do what you think will work best in your particular case...
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:59 PM   #12
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I was just saying like if the wall's old and has many bumps and divots or if it's wallpapered and you want to skim coat over the wallpaper and paint over it instead of ripping off the wallpaper.

I might actually tests this on a scrap piece of drywall using hot mud and then sponging (hot mud=hard to sand but if sponging is good enough, then it is) and with regular green lid USG mud and seeing if it actually shrinks or not, paint it gloss and look at it at an angle in the light. I have no plans to skim coat but just thought I'd share the idea.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:18 PM   #13
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Well rough walls are another story. I thought you were talking about new work. I'd still just apply with a 10" knife, probably first coat with setting compound. Skim with ready mix. First coat one direction, second coat opposite way. Probably some minor touchup before sanding because ready mix over setting compound often leaves more "craters". Again, your system should work. Just seems like more work, but i do this for a living. Give it a try and let us know how it worked out.....
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbatlanta View Post
Well rough walls are another story. I thought you were talking about new work. I'd still just apply with a 10" knife, probably first coat with setting compound. Skim with ready mix. First coat one direction, second coat opposite way. Probably some minor touchup before sanding because ready mix over setting compound often leaves more "craters". Again, your system should work. Just seems like more work, but i do this for a living. Give it a try and let us know how it worked out.....
exactly
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:23 PM   #15
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A LOT more work and a lot more sanding.
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