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Can you skim over skimming?

When it comes to home renovation, there are many choices and decisions to be made. One of those decisions may be whether or not to skim over existing walls that are in need of repair. Skimming is the process of adding a thin layer of plaster or joint compound to a wall to smooth out any imperfections and create a nice, even surface for painting or wallpapering. However, if the existing walls are heavily damaged, many homeowners wonder if they can simply “skim over” the problem, rather than removing the old walls and starting from scratch. In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of “skimming over skimming”, and help you determine whether it’s the right choice for your home.

The Pros of Skimming Over Skimming

Skimming over old walls has several advantages. For one, it can save you time and money. Removing old walls and starting from scratch is a messy and labor-intensive process, and it can be expensive to hire a professional contractor to do the job for you. Skimming over skimming is a quicker, cleaner, and more affordable option. It can also help to preserve the character and texture of your original walls, which is especially important if you have an older home that you’re trying to maintain.

The Cons of Skimming Over Skimming

While skimming over skimming may seem like an easy and convenient solution, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. One of the main issues with this approach is that it may not actually solve the underlying problem. If your walls are damaged due to moisture, for example, simply skimming over them may not prevent the problem from reoccurring in the future. Another issue is that skimming over old walls may not actually create a perfectly smooth surface. If the existing walls are badly damaged, the new skim coat may not adhere properly, resulting in an uneven surface that still requires additional work.

When Skimming Over Skimming Makes Sense

Despite the potential drawbacks, there are certain situations where skimming over skimming can be a smart choice. If your existing walls are in good condition overall, with just a few minor imperfections, it may be possible to simply skim over them to create a smooth surface. This is especially true if you’re planning to install wallpaper, which can do a good job of hiding minor flaws. If you’re on a tight budget or don’t have the time or resources to remove and replace old walls, skimming over skimming can offer a quick and easy solution.


Skimming over skimming can be a convenient, affordable, and time-saving option for homeowners who need to repair damaged walls. However, it’s important to carefully consider the condition of your existing walls, as well as your long-term goals for your home renovation project, before making a decision. In many cases, it may be worth investing in the time and expense of removing old walls and starting from scratch to ensure a high-quality end result. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your unique situation and priorities, and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before taking action.


Can you skim twice?

When it comes to skimming a plasterboard wall, applying a second coat is not always necessary. Based on the condition of the wall, sometimes a second coat can be applied as normal while other times, a very thin second coat will suffice. This is because the primary goal is to achieve a smooth and even surface finish on the wall.

To determine whether or not you need to apply another coat, you need to assess the quality of the first coat. For example, if the first coat was applied too thinly, there may be visible imperfections such as ridges, bumps or unevenness on the surface of the wall. In this case, applying a full second coat will help to cover up these blemishes and achieve a smooth finish.

On the other hand, if the first coat was applied well and the wall is in relatively good condition, a very thin second coat may be enough to achieve the desired finish. This is because the second coat will act as a final smoothing layer that fills in any small dents or irregularities on the surface, leaving you with a polished and even surface to paint or wallpaper.

That being said, if you are in doubt about whether you should apply a full second coat or not, it is always best to err on the side of caution and apply a full coat. This will guarantee that you achieve a smooth and even finish, and will save you from having to go back and fix any imperfections later on.

The decision to skim twice will ultimately depend on the condition of the wall and your desired finish. While a second coat can help to achieve a smooth finish, a very thin second coat or even a light sanding down of the first coat may suffice. It is always best to assess the wall and determine the best course of action before you begin.

How long should you leave skimming before painting?

If you are planning to paint over recently skimmed walls, it is important to consider the appropriate drying time for the skimming material before applying any paint. It is advisable to wait for at least a week before thinking about painting, but it is better to wait 3-4 weeks for the plaster to fully dry. This is because plaster skimming can take a relatively long time to dry out, especially if the layer applied was thick.

Painting over a damp or wet skimmed wall can cause a variety of issues. Wet plaster can cause the paint to peel or blister, and it may take a long time for the paint to dry completely. Additionally, applying paint too early to a damp surface can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. These issues can be costly to fix and may result in poor-quality outcomes.

Therefore, it is important to be patient and let the plaster dry completely before proceeding with painting. It is also important to consider the humidity levels in the room you are working in since high levels of moisture will slow down the drying process. To ensure a successful painting job, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for both the plaster and paint products. This will help ensure a long-lasting, high-quality finish that you can enjoy for years to come.

Can you paint straight over skimmed walls?

When it comes to painting newly skimmed walls, it’s important to know that you cannot paint straight over them right away. Skimming is a process used to smooth and level rough, damaged, or uneven walls by applying a thin layer of plaster. Once the plaster has dried and set, the walls can be painted to give them a fresh, new look. However, it’s essential to prepare the walls properly before painting to ensure that the paint adheres well and the finish is even and smooth.

Firstly, newly skimmed walls need to be left to dry and set completely, which can take up to several days or even a week. If you paint too soon after the skim coat has been applied, the paint will not adhere to the wall, and it may even cause the plaster to blister or peel.

After the skimmed walls have dried, the next step is to sand them down lightly with a fine-grade sandpaper to smooth any bumps or rough areas. This will also help to create a surface that the paint can easily adhere to. Once you have sanded the walls, you will need to remove any dust or debris from them by wiping them down with a damp cloth or soft brush.

Before applying the paint, it’s essential to prime the walls with a suitable primer. A primer is a preparatory coating that helps the paint to adhere better and ensures a smooth, even finish. You should choose a primer that is specifically designed for use on freshly plastered walls, such as a drywall primer or a plaster primer. This will help to seal the plaster and improve the adhesion of the paint.

Once the primer has been applied, you can finally start painting your skimmed walls. Use a roller or brush to apply a coat of paint, making sure to work in smooth, even strokes. It’s generally recommended to apply two coats of paint to get a good coverage and an even finish.

It’S not advisable to paint straight over skimmed walls. The walls need to be left to dry completely, sanded, cleaned, primed with a suitable primer, and then painted. Proper preparation is essential to ensure that the paint adheres well to the walls, resulting in a smooth, even finish that will last for many years.

Do you need a primer after skimming?

If you have recently skimmed a surface, you may be wondering whether or not you need to apply a primer before painting. In short, it is highly recommended that you do so. Skim coating creates a smooth and even surface, but it can also leave the surface porous, which means it will absorb a lot of paint. By applying a primer first, you can reduce the amount of paint required to cover the wall evenly, which can save you time and money in the long run.

A primer provides a base coat that adheres well to both the wall and the paint. It also seals the surface, preventing the paint from soaking in too much and creating an uneven finish. Additionally, the primer can help the paint color appear more vibrant and true to its intended hue.

Keep in mind that there are different types of primers available on the market, and choosing the right one will depend on the type of surface you are working with and the type of paint you plan to use. For example, if you are painting a surface that has been skim coated with joint compound, a drywall primer is typically recommended. On the other hand, if you are painting over a previously painted surface, a paint and primer in one may be sufficient.

While it may be tempting to skip the primer step when painting over a skim coated surface, it is not recommended. A primer will help you achieve a smoother and more even finish, while also potentially saving you time and money in the long run. Be sure to choose the right type of primer for your surface and paint type, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for best results.

How do you make skimming dry faster?

Skimming is a process of applying a very thin layer of plaster on walls or ceilings to create a smooth surface. Once the skimming is done, the drying process can take up to several days. However, there are several ways to speed up the drying process.

Firstly, it is essential to increase ventilation in the area. This can be done by opening windows and doors to allow natural airflow. A fan can also be placed in the room to help circulate air. This will help to remove moisture from the atmosphere and speed up the drying process.

Secondly, the use of a dehumidifier can be very effective in drying out the area. A dehumidifier works by extracting the moisture from the air, thus reducing the humidity level in the room. By using a dehumidifier, the drying process can be significantly enhanced, and the plaster can dry out much faster.

Thirdly, it is important to keep the room temperature at an optimal level. A warmer room temperature will enable the plaster to dry faster as the warmth will cause the moisture to evaporate. However, it is essential to ensure that the temperature is not too high as this can cause cracks and damage to the plaster.

Lastly, if the plaster is still wet after a day or two, a homeowner can use a heat source to dry it out. This can be done by placing a heater in the room, which will provide dry heat and help to speed up the drying process. It is essential to ensure that the heater is not placed too close to the wall, as this can also cause damage to the plaster.

There are several ways to speed up the drying process after skimming. By increasing ventilation, using a dehumidifier, keeping the room temperature optimal, and using a heat source, the plaster can dry out much faster, saving homeowners time and effort.