Should I attempt to skim plasterboard?

Hi all, We have a side utility room (side entrance/washing machine/etc) which I have just finished plasterboarding to make it more respectable. Its 2 X 16ft long walls.
Now the question is should I have a go at skimming the plasterboard myself?
I'm a reasonable confident DIY but plastering is one thing I've never really done. Its not a main room so it would be a good place to start learning or is skimming plasterboard really only for professionals? I'm getting married this year so pound notes are tight
Any tips/suggestions?
Also, I've used butted square-edge plasterboard, what the best way to join, some people are saying adesive tape, other say scrim tape.
Thanks in advance JAK
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wrote:

Only use fresh plaster preferably bought from somewhere you know has good stock turnover.
(That exhausts my plastering knowledge but ignore at your peril!).
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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Peter Parry snipped-for-privacy@wpp.ltd.uk typed:

When first mixed It need's to be MUCH MUCH runnier than seems correct. (That almost exhausts my plastering knowledge :)
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wrote:

(I don't know much about plastering either)
SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

Well, I'm a reasonably confident (and hopefully competent!) DIY-er, but I wouldn't tackle a wall of that size. But the professionals must have had to start somewhere! So if you fancy it, give one wall a go to start with. If it all goes pear shaped, rip out and replace the plasterboard and get a pro in. It will only have cost you four 8 x 4 sheets of plasterboard - which are not that expensive.
--
Cheers,
Set Square
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If you've never tried it, don't touch the room. Get another sheet of plasterboard, some new multifinish or plasterboard plaster (as someone says, make sure it's fresh- the stuff sets in minutes if it's old and has to all come off again) and have a crack on the spare plasterboard. Make the mix up quite runny- I typically get a bucket of water and a drill-based mixer and add plaster until it's the consistency of whipped cream. A guy who used to do skimming for us told me once a common error is to make the mix too dry, and it becomes more difficult to work. Prepare the surface either by washing (to make wet) or PVAing (to seal) and then apply the plaster. The first challenge, particularly overhead, is to stop the stuff falling straight off again having not stuck to the surface :)
Assuming you get it all on, make reasonably smooth with the trowel and leave for a while. 10-20 minutes. It should now be firm but not set and you can use a wet trowel to continue smoothing the surface as far as necessary. Do it long enough and the final result (after drying) feels absolutely smooth with no grittiness.
After it's dry, look at an angle and see all the lumps you thought you'd smoothed out. If you're happy with the result, have a crack at the walls, one at a time. Make sure all the nails in the plasterboard are galvanised or otherwise rustproof, otherwise the heads will rust and expand and circles of plaster will pop off a few months down the line. If you're not happy, try it again- it improves with practise and you're better off wasting plasterboard that isn't on the wall.
-- Dr. Craig Graham, Software Engineer Advanced Analysis and Integration Limited, UK. http://www.aail.co.uk /
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Bloody hell! I never knew that - was scratching my head last night having had a ghastly attempt at skimming (I have to try it about once every five years, just to *prove* to myself I really, really can't do it). I unearthed an old bag from the back of the garage, must have been years old.
So, guess what muggins will be doing this evening... :-(
David
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     snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Lobster) writes:

It's useful to hang on to an old bag specifically for this reason (providing it hasn't gone all lumpy). If you have a small amount to do, then it can be useful to have some plaster which will go off fully in 30 minutes rather than having to hang around to polish it over ~3 hours.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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On 3 Feb 2004 21:23:44 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

30 minutes!!! 30 seconds more like. Mind you it did have "Deliver to F Noah" on the bag.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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Have a read of http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=boro14%24ek3%241%40new-usenet.uk.sun.com (and I'm sure there are plenty of other articles too).

As someone else said, buy a few sheets of plasterboard, screw them to something firm, and practice on them first.

Scrim tape -- that's what it's for.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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My wife's just done something that size. Use Gyproc Easifill which is expensive but gives good finish without needing the skill of a pro.
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I was always crap at plastering so we got someone in to skim the kitchen when needed. I quized him on what I had been doing wrong.
He gave me 4 bits of advice:
- Fresh plaster is vital.
- Mix it till you think it is wet enough and then add more water. It should be much wetter than most people imagine.
- Slap it on, don't play with it. Leave it for 20-30 mins and don't worry that it looks pretty crap at this stage.
- polish with plenty of water and plenty of effort
Since following this advice I have become rather better at plastering. I guess I now rate as crap instead of totally useless :-)
Darren
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Another tip is - if you are doing a ceiling and also wear glasses then wear a baseball hat with a big visor. The stuff can drop off with no warning and you can be suddenly blinded and having to struggle off your scaffolding to find a tap and wash your glasses, not to mention getting it out of your mouth, hair, ears etc. This is more likely to happen if you pva or wet the boards first. This is not a good idea.
cheers
jacob
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