how to skim coat walls ceilings 1

How to Skim Coat Your Walls and Ceilings

Skim coat walls and ceiling in Toronto by contractors

Skim Coat Walls and Ceiling – There are a number of ways that your walls and ceilings can be damaged, whether from stripping off the wallpaper too aggressively or moving furniture and having an unfortunate accident. Regardless of how this was done, it’s up to you as the homeowner to repair it. If you’ve decided to take on the project yourself, then you should know how to skim coat before painting your home interior. Skim coating requires applying plaster, also known as mud, in a thin coat with the express purpose of repairing the area and making it look smooth. At Handyman Painters Toronto we would love to teach you how to skim coat your walls and ceilings!
Plastering walls & Ceilings in Toronto

1) Prepare the Room

Before starting the skim coating process you want to fully prepare the room first. Skipping this step will make cleanup much more difficult upon completion of the project and after painting your interior. One necessary step is removing any furniture that may be nearby. If you’re only doing one wall then moving them across the room should be fine, but relocating them completely may be necessary if you’re working on the ceiling. Take off any socket coverings for walls, and cover the floor around your project with plastic. Tape the plastic down if you’re worried about it moving throughout the course of the project.

2) Begin the Skim Coating Process

Take your joint compound and stir it, with our recommended tool being an electric drill as this will be quickest and result in a completely smooth product. Premixed plaster is another option. If you’re familiar with baking, the consistency you want to end up with should be similar to cake batter. Scoop some of that compound onto a hawk, which is a tool used to hold plaster. Use a drywall knife and apply plaster from the hawk onto the surface, whether it’s a wall or ceiling. Continue until you end up with a completely smooth surface. It will take several hours to fully dry.

sanding wall before painting in Toronto3) Sand the Surface After Skim Coat

After an adequate amount of time has passed, use a pole sander with 200 grit sandpaper to sand it all down. While you aimed for as smooth a surface as possible, you can always improve upon that. Regardless of how the next step is carried out, you’ll also want to clean the wall or ceiling of any dust created. Please use appropriate eye, nose, and mouth protection as needed during this step.

4) Carefully Check Over Your Work

What you’re looking for are any imperfections that may remain, even after the skim coat and the sanding. In some cases you may need to apply two or more coats of plaster to achieve a perfectly smooth wall or ceiling. If you’re having trouble with this we would recommend applying the skim coat horizontally instead of vertically, as this can help ensure even coverage.

5) Prime and Paint

Once you’re satisfied with your work and the look of your skim coating it’s time to prime. We advise that you use a latex-based primer. The purpose of primer is to seal in the surface, as well as help paint to better adhere to it. While allowing it to dry take the time once again to see if any imperfections have been revealed.

Since you’ve used a latex-based primer you should also use latex paint over top. Typically walls will require two coats, while ceilings may need no more than one.

You also have the option of applying wallpaper to your walls instead! Now that you’re left with a beautiful new surface it’s up to you, as the homeowner, how you want to have it decorated. It could be a lovely new accent wall, or you could simply make it fit in seamlessly with the rest of the room.



Knowing how to skim coat on your own is the first step to being a homeowner who can take care of their own property. While it may never be a profession, it’s a valuable life skill to have. That being said, not everyone will have the time to dedicate to a project like this one. With how quickly evenings and weekends can fill up, it may be in your best interests to hire a professional contractor to take care of this for you, from skim coating all the way to painting. Reach out to Handyman Painters Toronto to get a free quote! Just call
647-494-5545 or send an email to Brian@Painterpro.ca!

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