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How to Skim Coat Walls With a Roller

How to Skim Coat Walls With a Roller - Proline Range Hoods

Skim coating is an easy way to give your walls a smooth texture. They’ll look like new again!

Skim coating a whole room can be daunting. But luckily you can finish this project on a Saturday afternoon.

If you’re getting frustrated with the rough and ugly knockdown texture, we’ve got a solution for you.

We’ll show you how to skim coat walls with a roller in just eight steps.

https://youtu.be/jeGWbgAUvCM

1. Gather all the necessary materials.

Roller Nap in Paint Tray - How to Skim Coat Walls With a Roller

First, you will need to gather all the materials you need. To skim coat walls with a roller, you’ll need:

  • Joint compound
  • Water to thin the joint compound
  • 1” or 1” ¼” roller
  • Paint trays
  • Tape to cover outlets and baseboards
  • 12” putty knife or longer (find one on Amazon)
  • Stainless steel mud pan (find one on Amazon)
  • Old clothes that you can get dirty

2. Tape all outlets and baseboards.

Anything that you don’t want to paint, you need to tape entirely. Typically this includes outlets and the top of baseboards. Any other exposed areas inside your wall, like electrical wires, need to be taped off as well.

3. Thin out your joint compound.

A skim coat is a thin coat of paint, so you’ll want to thin out your joint compound with some water. The video below recommends emptying out half of your joint compound and adding about four cups of water.

This isn’t something you need an exact formula for, though. Just add water until you get a yogurt-like consistency.

https://youtu.be/74g5AFYK91I

Remember, since you’re adding water, you’ll end up with a lot more joint compound than you started with. So don’t thin out the entire bucket. Otherwise, you’ll have more joint compound than you know what to do with!

4. Apply your first skim coat.

Man Painting a wall with gray paint

Since we thinned the joint compound with water, we’ll apply two skim coats. The thinner joint compound makes it easier to apply the coat. Two coats also ensure that your wall has a smooth and glossy texture. It will get rid of the bumpy knockdown texture or other rough patterns on your wall or ceiling.

Thicker joint compound often requires a lot of sanding because it doesn’t apply as consistently as a thinner coat. So you’ll have less sanding to do with a thinner joint compound.

All you have to do is dip your roller in the paint tray and start painting the wall.

If you’re painting a big wall, paint it in sections. In the next step, you’ll need to skim the paint with a putty knife. But if the paint starts to dry, you won’t be able to skim anything. This can ruin a project quickly, so make sure you watch the paint carefully.

You can have a friend help you skim or paint to be safe and speed up the process. But one person should be able to do both just fine.

5. Scrape the paint with your putty knife.

The coat you applied with a roller won’t look smooth. But don’t worry. We have another step to do. Take your putty knife and scrape off the excess paint.

Do this for the entire section that you just painted. You want to remove all the lumps of paint and any small bumps on the wall. The goal is to end up with a smooth surface.

Scrape any excess paint into your mud pan and repeat until your wall is finished.

Repeat this process until you’re completely done with your first skim coat.

6. Let the paint dry for a few hours before starting your second coat.

7. Repeat steps four and five for your second skim coat.

If you want, a smaller roller like a ¾” roller works great for a second coat. It doesn’t need to go on as thick as the first one.

Here’s the next part of the video where the skim coat is finished.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIvnHgSCaCU

8. Clean up the room and remove all the tape.

What is skim coating?

Skim coating is a painting technique that smooths out a rough texture on your wall or ceiling. The most common rough texture is knockdown texture. It involves applying a thin coat (or two) of joint compound over the textured surface. It’s often used to fix up a wall after removing wallpaper.

You can also skim coat your ceiling. A lot of ceilings today have a skip trowel texture, similar to knockdown texture. With a skim coat, this can be smoothed out easily.

We hope you found this painting video useful. Skim coating is a quick fix that any DIYer can do with the right tools and a little time.

Thanks for stopping by!

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What is skim coating?

Skim coating is a painting technique that smooths out a rough texture on your wall or ceiling. The most common rough texture is knockdown texture. It involves applying a thin coat (or two) of joint compound over the textured surface. It’s often used to fix up a wall after removing wallpaper.

You can also skim coat your ceiling. A lot of ceilings today have a skip trowel texture, similar to knockdown texture. With a skim coat, this can be smoothed out easily.
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