You have probably heard of people saying that they need or want their walls plastering. But most likely you have heard the less common term that they require skimming… what does this mean? Skimming is what you use to finish a plastering job either on new plasterboard or over current walls or ceilings to create a smooth finish for painting or wallpapering. Plastering and Skimming are two distinct terms used in civil and structural sectors. Below we give detail of each method to bring out how they are done and applied in houses.

Skimming the wall

Skim coating is a technique that uses textures this is used to make a wall even. A thin layer added to a plaster wall removes bumps and depressions in the texture of an old plaster wall or hides the imperfections of a new plaster wall. The smooth, flat surface of skim plaster easily accepts wallpaper or a new texture. The base layer that a plaster installer applies to a wire-lapped wall consists of at least two layers of gypsum-based plaster. Once the basecoat dries, the installer applies a basecoat to the drywall. Renovation contractors usually do not remove the texture of an old plaster wall before applying the skim coat.

Plastering the wall

Plastering is the process where applying a thin cover of cement over the unprotected surface in order to guard against saturation of rainwater, plastering is a process used to produce an acceptable finish to walls and ceilings in buildings before the decoration begins, this makes sure that there aren’t any bumps or lumps in the wall that would stand out when the wall is decorated and finished.

plastering ceiling

There are 3 types of plastering these are:

Cement – made from sand and water and is generally used on walls where stonework has been completed.

Lime plaster – made from lime and water.

Gypsum plaster – made from calcium sulphate and water.

How to skim walls

Mix a bucket of all-purpose sealant with an electric drill equipped with a caged drill until the consistency of the joint compound matches that of hot butter. The premixed sealant comes from the manufacturer in a bucket with all ingredients included.

Hold a 24-inch flat trowel at a 45-degree angle and use the edge of the trowel to smooth the skim coat. Start at the top of the wall in a corner and work towards the ground. If the skim coat begins to stick to the trowel blade, wet the blade with water.

Allow the skim coat to dry completely. The premixed all-purpose joint compound takes 24 hours to dry. The quick setting joint compound indicates the drying time on its bag, usually between 5 and 30 minutes.

Place a light on the floor next to a corner of the plaster wall. Shine the light on the surface of the wall. The imperfections and ridges of the skim coat will appear as shadows.

We hope that our blog has been helpful to you and enabled you to differentiate between plastering and skimming, if you have any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch over the phone on 01604 217 817 or head over to our website.