Skim Coating Walls- Hock & Trowel or Pan & Knife, OR Magic Trowel?



in today's video what I'm gonna show everybody is how to get rid of an ugly texture like maybe this example here or this one or even this one if you've got a texture on your walls or ceiling and you want to get rid of it I'm gonna show you a way to do that with skim coating and I'll explain what else skim coating is for right after this all right welcome back to that kilt agai videos here on YouTube where it's my goal to teach you guys how to do your own home improvement projects to empower you to save some money complete it yourself and take pride in workmanship and we're gonna teach you how to do it right that's why that's our slogan here so if you comment down below put the hashtag hashtag do it right now what we're going to talk about today is a common subject on the Internet a lot of people want to know about this and it's skin coding but I'm going to tell you a little bit about it what it's used for what you shouldn't use it for why it could be a huge waste of your time and we're going to show you one technique today if you want to see a simpler technique we're going to show you that in a separate video so be sure and subscribe and click that Bell icon if you click the Bell icon you get notified of future videos if you don't click it all you've done is subscribe and you you may very well miss other videos we put out because it won't notify you and I'm gonna scroll some other information across the bottom of the screen here and there so check that out too but let's get into discussing this number one let me talk a little bit about what skin coding is good for one is of course getting rid of an ugly texture like we've got this texture here which is a video I'm going to be doing on on how to do a swirl texture but let's say you find this ugly or you've got something like this and it's ugly and you want to get rid of it you actually can you can even get rid of popcorn ceilings this way but if it's scrape Abul I'd recommend scraping it like we did in this video but if it's been painted too much or it has asbestos and you don't want to remove it you can skim coat over it it's quite a bit of work but you can do it so that's one reason to do it is to get rid of an ugly texture now after you do that you could change it to a different texture or you could leave it smooth so that's actually another reason if you want a smooth you can do that and even if you're starting with new construction and you want a smooth finish that's another reason to use a skim coat that's how you get a level 5 which is the smoothest of smooth that's smoother than a baby's bottom tone if you know how to do it right and I'm gonna give you some pointers on that today so if you're doing a smooth finish for example you do all your finishing like normal get it as good as you can and then you skim coat everything you send it with like 220 or 320 grit paper and you get a really smooth finish although there is another step to that and I'll teach that in a separate video about how to do a smooth finish another reason would be to use it for a situation where you have a lot of minor damage and when I say minor I mean very minor you can't let's discuss some of the things you can't use this for you can't really use this to fix things like humps if you've got bad butt joints they didn't get coated right you scraped off the popcorn whatever and you've got humps on your ceiling or wall skim coating is not the way to get rid of it you need to float them out first and then then skim coat it it also won't get rid of damage like say in these examples here if you've got mud that's pulled loose that's broken it just skim coating is a thin coat it's just not meant to get rid of heavy things plus it's really kind of a waste of energy and I'll explain that in a minute another thing you shouldn't use it for is cracks if you've got a cracked wall or ceiling don't just skim coat over it it may look good for a while but most likely in a week a day a month it's going to come back so don't do that either so I hear all the time I'll just fix it I'm gonna skim coat everything in and I'll fix it that way well let me give you an example of why you might not want to do that because let's say you scraped a popcorn ceiling whenever you do you almost always end up with let's just pretend these are the screws here you almost always end up with screws that all need coated again something about scraping it it just pulls the mud out you've got to code them again at least once sometimes twice so if you skim coat it to fix all these little defects all over you're wasting your time and I'll show you that in a second the other reason maybe because you scraped your ceiling and you tore little tiny bits of paper here and there don't just skim coat everything again that's a waste of time so here's what I would do in this case I would just spot that spot that and spot that we we slide spot them but still you're only working on that little area and then over here on that little area okay so the problem with trying to fix these little bitty areas by skin coating the whole thing is often when you skim coat at all these are going to shrink down a little bit they almost always do and so in order to get this to be flat you've got to sand this whole area down until this basically shows flat that's going to create a ton of dust it's going to waste a lot of material that you didn't need to put out here and a lot of effort the easiest way to fix say a popcorn damaged ceiling after you've scraped it is just to go through and fix each individual item unless you're trying to get that smooth finish you just don't need to do that so don't use skim coating as a panacea fix for everything okay now let's get into the way that word we're going to fix this today and this could be one of the things you want to fix get rid of that texture change it but we're going to fix this one and this texture here this was a demo I did on on comparing knockdown texture knives so I purposely kind of messed it up so if you had something like this well we can fix that first step whether it's been painted or not is I would go through and sand everything I would recommend you get you a pole sander if you're gonna do very much sanding these are just so much faster you can see they swivel and turn as you need them to and move in all angles and they cover a lot of area fast now if you do sand sand at an angle like this don't Sam straight on or straight this way if you go this way they tend to like to flip and do some more damage if you go in too straight of a line your lecture send grooves into the surface so just go over everything sand it which I've already done you're basically trying to knock off the little sharp points because there will be just little goobers basically on the wall and as you hit those with your knife skim coating it's gonna make it chatter just make more work for you so do that depending on the texture you may actually want to go over it with a knife just over and scrape everything because this will actually do more than the sample especially if it's been painted when it's been painted the sand poll won't really touch it very much it'll take off the little bit of Peaks but this will scrape even more off so you kind of have to feel one way to know is go back over it with your knife if you feel it jumping and chattering you probably need to scrape it and do a little more work so you want to get it where there's not too many of those now keep in mind that skim coating is a lot of work so be prepared for that so there's several ways you can put it on if you're into the Hocking trowel you can put it on that way I may demonstrate that if you're into a pan and knife you can put it on that way you can even roll it on but I'm gonna show you in a separate video how you would roll it on okay let's say you want to use a hawk and a trowel that's fine whatever you have and be aware that if you need any of these tools I've got links in the description down below just click on around that title area and you can open up the description and I've got an Amazon store where I show how or show everything that's in these videos and I help guide you to the right tool so you don't waste your money now I'll tell you that I'm not a hawk and fan guy I'll tell you straight up that I don't use the Hawking tray on a daily basis I have used a number of times mainly for doing certain textures so it's not my forte I think they both work well so use what works for you but I'm just going to go ahead and demonstrate this so I'll just put that a little bit on with a hawking trowel and it does work really good but now I'm going to switch to a pen and knife okay doing it with a pen and a knife I would use the 12 inch or 14 minutes I'm gonna go ahead and use the 12 we don't have that much area to cover here and what you're trying to do is put it on just a little bit thicker than the surface depth of what you're trying to cover so in this case we're trying to cover this texture and I'm not sure if you can see it on the camera but the texture is just showing through so what you want to do is put it on just a little bit thicker then the depth of the texture that you're trying to cover because you need a little bit of extra thickness because it will shrink back and when you sand it you don't want to sand and have this coming back through because it may actually show again so put it on just thick enough to hide it good so I'm going to put a little thicker here now if you get boys to like that I'm running down a mud don't feel like getting any more just put you a little more on there and go back over now for those of you that aren't real good at spreading mud let me give you a little quick primer here first of all we're using an all-purpose mud I like it because it sounds really easy you can use the green label all-purpose mud like you see here in this picture and it'll work but it tends to shrink a little bit more it's a little bit more sticky and gummy and it's harder to sand so you're gonna do much this find your lightweight mud okay here's the basic primer for spread nasai was spreading my mud around I got a little bit more what you want to do is get you a pretty good load whatever you can handle you don't want to get so much that it's going to start running down dripping on you whatever and you want this to be fairly heavy the mud as it comes out of a box or a bucket can vary in thickness usually for this you'd probably want it straight out of the box but it feels too thick you can thin it down you can see if I hold it here it's not really very drippy but if I shake it enough it will so it's not super thick either but you definitely don't want it too thin then there it is the mortal drip it's harder to keep it from dripping like that and it'll shrink more the more water you have in it so then once you load your knife up put it up here so it's at about a roughly a 45 degree angle and push pretty firmly and as you pull across the wall you're laying your hand over you can see that motion so start here push firm and lay the knife over as you go and that's spreading it out then then work it down to the right thickness like here we got it way too thick so that's roughly the right thickness now you have to smooth it out there's a couple ways we're going to show you how to do that you can use your knife if you do that you want to pay attention to which direction you're gonna go I'm gonna go from left to right so I want to put slightly more pressure just very slightly more on the leading edge so that I'm not leaving that mark behind me I want to leave as far as on the left side I want to leave this soft edge and I'll show you a picture that it's called a lap mark those are easier to fix if you dig in on this side you could have a low spot right there and then it's more sanding and more work so try and leave smooth lap marks okay I thought I would illustrate this for you so here you see the deep knife mark I'm saying not to leave and in this case you would have to sand off everything above the red line compared to a lap mark like this illustration here where you just have to remove that little high peak above the red line so it's much easier to sand lap marks so you could go over like that and just get it fairly smooth that will work or if you want to break out the trial these work really well this is called a pulled trial these rounded edges tend to not leave the those sharp edges as much they're gentler and a pull trial actually works really well for skim coating so there's one way but let's just say I roughed this up a little bit again okay it's roughed up a little bit you can use this magic trowel these are pretty forgiving for amateurs because it's basically like a giant squeegee but it's a little bit different so I like to wet the edge so it doesn't drag so much now you just go over and you have to play a decent amount of pressure with this but even if I try it's kind of hard to make that edge over there so that's what I mean they're more forgiving because of the softness of them and you can see pretty much that quick we have it and I picked up a scratch right there in that case I would go over it again but I purposely left a few defects then I'm going to take a picture of those to make the point that you see this defect here it's just a tiny little void you're gonna have some of those so after you sand all this smooth you're gonna get a light out and slide light it okay so after you get it all smoothed out and then you've let it dry what you're gonna do is sand it and then you want to take and sidelight it the best way is like closed blinds in that you don't want it totally dark but you want this to be doing the majority of the side lighting and if you can see on the camera there it's showing all of the defects it that one right there just jumps out because side lighting magnifies all the shadows and the imperfections where straight on lighting doesn't so once you've done all that you've sanded it you come back you see these little defects just touch them up if you're trying to do a smooth finish to level five I'll show you some tricks on that in future video okay here's a picture of this exact thing after its dried and I sanded one half of it so on the right hand side you can see it's sanded and on the left it's not and you can see the texture is still trying to show through on the left-hand side because it always shrinks back a little bit so it needs sanded now note that I sanded it with 80 grit here because that's just what I had on my Pole I would definitely break out at least 220 grit because 80 grit sal it'll aggressive and it does leave sandy marks like you can see here hey which way did you prefer the knife the magic trowel or the pole trowel let me know in the comments below I really appreciate your comments they helped us out and I'd like to converse with you guys and I'm glad to answer questions and I hope you'll check out our patreon page where you can help support our efforts to put out these videos that for as little as one dollar a month we appreciate it but if that helped out let me know and I'll see you on the next video thanks a lot

11 Comments

  • Dream Catcher

    April 14, 2019

    how many times can you skim coat over a paint? So, I skim coat over my existing paint and texture, put on a new paint add created new texture. Later, can I skim coat over the newly created texture again?

    Reply
  • Paul McDonald

    April 14, 2019

    How about where to get that hand held light you side light with

    Reply
  • Paul McDonald

    April 14, 2019

    I like the magic and pull trowels

    Reply
  • Hawk Martinez

    April 14, 2019

    My word you are long winded YAWN

    Reply
  • Lance Austin

    April 14, 2019

    #doitright I would love to see a real level 5 demonstration! Thanks for all the great videos!

    Reply
  • Diana D

    April 14, 2019

    Thank you! I've got major DIY projects that I will be attempting and have been watching many of your videos. I need to remove popcorn ceiling throughout (some have been painted over and some haven't). I also want to remove the heavy texture on the walls, has lots of high peaks and your video has now shown me to anticipate scraping it vs sanding it first before skimming. In some rooms, the joint tape between the wall and ceiling needs to be fixed as it is no longer sticking to the corners (especially in my kitchen). My question is, my living room and kitchen share a ceiling (meaning the wall that separates the two spaces doesn't go all the way up and allows you to see right into the living room from the kitchen). The kitchen has wallpaper that was painted over that I will need to remove due to the wallpaper coming apart at the seams throughout the walls and the joint tape is peeling off between ceiling and walls. That ceiling is a cathedral ceiling and pretty high and the popcorn ceiling has been painted over the years. Based on your videos, it seems my best bet is to just put new drywall over the ceiling and just start fresh, along with of course fixing the joint tape all the way around and any other issues with the drywall itself. Do you agree?? Appreciate your videos Mr. Guy. ?

    Reply
  • Erick A

    April 14, 2019

    This is perfect!!! Thank you.

    Reply
  • Hunter 4559

    April 14, 2019

    Oh sure Guy, Come out with this video a day after I just finished doing a 450 sq ft. ceiling in a Master bedroom/bath that had a popcorn ceiling that had been painted, dry scraped and new popcorn shot over it! The home owner wanted a smooth ceiling. I have already done the rest of the house and a few small areas had been painted with a clay based paint which did not prove to be much of a problem. I pan and knife skim coated the entire bedroom/bath and got it all painted and it looks fabulous! Funny I did all the things you covered in this video like presanding. side lighting, and going back and filling all the little voids. I also cut out an area of drywall in front of the fireplace and replaced the can lights with a different size can and replaced the drywall. Btw, the egg beater trick has been one of my favorite tricks since you put up that video. I've used it a number of times since and has made my life so much easier since! Thanks again!

    Reply
  • Armored Anvil

    April 14, 2019

    Good job buddy.

    Reply
  • K Lehman

    April 14, 2019

    Awesome video! Thank you for uploading. And yes, please post a video on Level 5 smooth wall finishes. One question. Do you find many bubbles when you skim coat over a painted wall?

    Reply
  • M&M PRECISION PAINTING

    April 14, 2019

    Another great video!

    Reply

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