Can joint compound be rolled on?

It's been suggested that I put a skim coat of joint compound on my bathroom walls before painting or papering. I don't have the ability to do a good job of this using a trowel. Could it be thinned and put on with a roller? If so, what type of roller should I use to get the LEAST texture?
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Any roller will give a texture. Smaller the nap the smaller the texture. You will not be able to level the joints with a roller. You will end up with something a kin to sand on your walls. If you can maintain a constant pressure and consistency. Is this what your looking for? Or are you trying to do the smoothing process. The purpose of joint compound is to smooth out the wall. This is where the tape and mud comes in.
I for one am terrible at finish taping. So I do the first 1-2 coats, and then hire a professional to finish. I can tape and sand from the rough condition, the finish work, just like the jitter bug, plum alludes me....
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comic (TOM KAN PA) wrote:

What are the walls currently made of that you think it's advisable to give them a skim coat? Usually the idea is to make sheetrock look smoother and more like plaster in which case putting it on with a roller is the last thing you want to do. I even find using a pad instead of a roller to paint the walls avoids some of the "orange peel" look that is characteristic of drywall.
The other reason I can think of is that you have lots of tiny surface cracks in the plaster and you want to fill them in one big gulp but if they're small enough (usual) a good primer is all that's necessary. It does the filling.
If you're going to paper any sort of skim coat is a waste of time. The paper will deal with both problems. If necessary use liner paper as well.
If you still want to give it a skim coat, I suggest you buy three foot wide self-adhesive fiberglass mesh (see the drywall section of your local HD; it's about $38 per 150 feet) and cover the walls with this. I find a wallpaper brush smooths it out nicely. Then you simply layer on the drywall compound with a knife. Push down hard. Scrape off any surplus in between coats. The mesh supports the knife so that the knife rides just proud of the surface. By the time you have done three or so coats the mesh will no longer be visible and you'll have a nice plaster-like base. Unless you screw up (you don't press down hard) very little sanding (or skill <g>) is necessary and it's really quite satisfying to see a super smooth wall appear at the end. This has the additional advantage of fixing all those little cracks permanently so you won't have them opening up later.
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<< If necessary use liner paper as well. >>
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I was told that you can use this product prior to painting. Any thoughts?
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I have mixed joint compound with latex paint for a textured look then rolled it on. Came out great.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comic (TOM KAN PA) wrote:

If you don't want to go with the mesh, liner paper on its own is certainly an alternative. I used that in one bedroom between the picture rail and the ceiling but I find that 1) wallpapering isn't my best skill; 2) you still have to put drywall compound between the gaps (unless you're REALLY good at wallpapering); 3) it doesn't provide the strength of the fiberglass mesh and only superficially covers the problems. If you only want a plaster-like wall and you don't have any cracks then it makes a good surface.
Just to comment a little more on the thinning drywall compound and applying it with a roller, about twenty years ago one of the mfgs brought out a system where you applied the inside corner like this (special triangular roller) but you then had to smooth it out with a corner trowel. I bought a set (the straight knife had very thin spring steel backed by hard rubber--a great combination) but it required just as much work as the usual way and the thinned watery compound tended to run. I think I still have the roller somewhere.
What you have to face is that paint has a self-leveling action as it dries; drywall compound shrinks but otherwise stays just where you put it. You have to do the spreading and smoothing.
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snipped-for-privacy@noISPwhasoever.com wrote in message (TOM KAN PA) wrote:

I have plaster walls that a previous owner painted with a texture paint. I have thought about skim coating them just to get rid of the texture. The rolling-on idea sure sounds intriguing as a way to maybe make that easier/faster. For a smooth finish could you roll on the compound (after thinning it a little) then knock down the texture with a wide plaster knife? Seems like it might go faster than just troweling it on. Has anyone tried this?
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