Skim coating smooths over rough walls

DEAR DESIGNER: We recently moved into an old house. One of the bedrooms has fancy plasterwork on the walls that is dated and busy. What can I do to hide it? Tearing down the wall is not an option at this time. — Gail

DEAR GAIL: No need to tear down the ugly (and messy) plaster. There is a process called skim coating that works well over heavy plaster and/or uneven walls. Basically, the walls are coated with thin layers of drywall mud, each coat smoother than the next. The final two layers are sanded for a final smooth finish. This process also is used as a preparation for wallpaper when dealing with textured surfaces.

Like painting a room, preparation is time consuming but worth the effort. First, clean your walls by wiping away the dust with a damp sponge. Next, use painters tape and brown paper to tape off all the trim in your room. Dried drywall compound is removable, but can cause damage to your painted surfaces.

Cracks need to be treated with extra care. Merely putting drywall plaster in and over a crack will only ensure the crack will appear again. Clean out the crack, put in joint compound and use drywall tape. Once it dries, you can treat it like the rest of your walls.

Next, it’s time to apply thin layers of drywall compound (mud) onto your walls with a 10- or 12-inch trowel. Typically, you will use an all-purpose drywall mud. But, if you are in a hurry, there is a fast-drying product called hot mud. Because the layers must dry completely before the next layer is applied, hot mud can save lots of time. Its hefty price restricts it from being used for all jobs. Use an all-purpose joint compound or topping compound for the final coat. These have a finer grain and are easier to sand.

Be aware that trouble spots usually become visible while applying the coats of compound. It’s better to see these spots and fix them early on rather than after the painting and clean up is done.

As you can imagine, sanding can be a messy job. Be sure to wear protective goggles and a face mask. To create a dust barrier, hang plastic (also known as Visqueen) over the windows and doors. Important note: Turn off your air conditioner and/or furnace. The fan can blow these fine particles throughout your home and you may be dusting for weeks.

Finally, apply a drywall primer on your walls. Fresh drywall is porous and needs to be sealed before applying paint or wallpaper glue.

The savvy do-it-yourselfer is completely capable of applying a skim coat. However, don’t underestimate the time and physical labor of it all. Professional plaster/drywall guys will breeze through the process and make it look simple because they do it all day long. If you want a fast and efficient job, call in the expert.

Skim coating doesn’t cost as much as you might think. Depending on how badly your walls are damaged and on the new type of texture you want, a 10-by-10 room can cost as little as $690. However, if you are on a tight budget, need some plaster therapy, want to burn a lot of calories or simply experience the pride of doing it yourself, why not give it a try.

Cindy Payne is a certified interior designer with more than 25 years of experience, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, as well as a licensed contractor. E-mail questions to her at deardesigner@
projectdesigninteriors.com or send them to her at Project Design Interiors, 2620 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 189, Las Vegas, NV 89109. She can be reached online at www.projectdesigninteriors.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home and Garden Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like