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?
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....
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
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.
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.
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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