Get It Done THE St Louis Handyman “Skim Coating Walls”

I REMOVED SOME WALLPAPER AND THE WALLS UNDERNEATH IS UNEVEN. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT I CAN DO TO MAKE THEM EVEN SO I CAN PAINT THE WALLS?

“Mud YOUR WALLS” or “PLAYING WITH MUD”

When removing wallpaper, many times the paper lining of the drywall can come off in spots which will leave indentations in your wall.  If you painted right over it, the indentations would be quite noticeable.  However, there is an easy way to fix this, and it doesn’t require a great deal of experience.

The product that you’ll need is joint compound, or commonly called “mud”.  It is available at any hardware or paint store.  I recommend buying it pre-mixed, as opposed to mixing it yourself.  You’ll also need a drywall knife which comes in several different sizes (4” up to 12” wide), along with a mud pan, and later, a sanding sponge.

With your walls being dry, first put a drop cloth or plastic down on the floor.  Then take the joint compound and put some into the mud tray.  Get some mud onto the knife and spread it over the indentations in the wall.  Use a thin coat, just enough to fill in these areas.  You don’t want to fill up areas outside of the indentations, so use the knife to scrape off any excess.   You should only have the mud in the holes or indentations.

The mud will need to dry before it can be sanded, so give this about 24 hours.  Then, lightly sand over the area with the sanding sponge.  Take your time, as it is best to not sand enough rather than sand it down too much (or you’ll have to apply another coat of mud!).  Once you think you’ve sanded the area properly, run your hand over it to see if you can feel any edges.  If so, sand these down as well.  After you’ve sanded everything, you may want to dampen a soft cloth and very lightly wipe off the dust on the wall.  This is the process of skim coating, whether it is a small indentation or several all along the wall.

Your next step is to apply a primer/sealer.  A primer looks like paint, is applied the same way as paint, but it seals the wall.  This is a necessary step before painting.  Otherwise, the paint you apply may not hold up properly.  The primer can be purchased at any hardware or paint store.   It can be tinted to match your paint color, which is recommended if you’re prepping a large area.

It is usually best to apply the primer with a roller.   This way the texture of the roller will match with the rest of the wall.  If you were to use a brush, you would likely see brush marks on the wall, where there weren’t any before.  After the primer has dried (about 90 minutes), touch up the area with your wall paint.  Again, using a roller will give a better look.

That’s it – you’ve done it!!  Now, instead of sitting back and admiring your work, go around the house and find all the other nicks in your drywall (this process also works with plaster), and really get things looking great!

Get It Done
THE St Louis Handyman

Steve