Using Skim Coating to Repair Drywall

Learning how to skim coat drywall is not only a money saver, but a time saver overall.

If you are going to make repairs to drywall, it is important to know how to skim coat it properly. By taking the DIY approach, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money – especially when you learn how to skim coat like a professional. You can also save yourself a lot of time by learning the proper techniques of skim coating drywall.

It’s a good idea to skim coat drywall in order to repair:

1. Rough surfaces
2. Uneven surfaces
3. Scratched up surfaces
4. Damage from stripping wallpaper

Drywall is often damaged because of not preparing the wall properly in the first place. If wallpaper was applied to the wall without preparing it for the paper application, the removal is going to result in scrapes and scratches that damage the wall surface.

Supplies to Have

You will need a drywall knife. This can be 6”, 8” or 12”. The size is dependent upon the space as well as the size of your hand and what you are capable of controlling. You will also want some joint compound, known as drywall mud. The knife will be used to smooth out the compound to ensure there is a thin film of mud across the wall.

An all-purpose, lightweight drywall compound should be used. This is to ensure it is easier to sand down later on.

Applying the Drywall Compound

The first coat should be applied very lightly. If you cake it on, it’s going to cause problems down the road. A thin and filmy coat will be sufficient.

Use the knife and apply a small amount of the product to the knife. Begin applying it to the wall and spreading it as thin as it will go.

Let the coat dry entirely. There are fast-drying compounds that you can purchase if you are in a hurry. If you do not allow the compound to dry before moving to the next step, it’s going to need to be redone again and again until you can develop the patience necessary to wait for the compound to dry 100 percent before proceeding.

Sanding the Wall

Sand the compound down using a fine grit sandpaper. This is typically #220.

Take a look at the quality of the wall. If it looks like it needs another coat, then go ahead and reapply another coat of the drywall compound. You want to cover all cracks, tears and scratches. If it looks good, then go ahead and begin priming, then painting.

A smooth finish must be achieved before you paint. If after you have sanded, you have unleashed a few more flaws in the wall, a second coat can be applied. After that coat, you will want to sand the wall once more before proceeding to the next steps.

Finishing Up

Once you have a smooth surface on the wall, you can prime it. Priming is important because it will ensure paint isn’t being absorbed into the drywall compound. If you do not prime, you will use considerably more paint and you may not get the color or the evenness that you are expecting.

It is simply best to take your time. Avoid using products that you have never heard of. Do your research when purchasing a drywall compound to ensure it is lightweight and that it will sand well. You can have a great looking wall once again – but only if you learn to skim coat the drywall.