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Skim coating- overview

Skim coating is the technique of applying a continuous coat of a repair compound to fill and conceal multiple surface defects simultaneously. This technique is effective in restoring a smooth, uniform appearance to surfaces that are marred by minor surface damage, such as small holes, indentations and the “crater-like” areas where paint has peeled. Skim coating can also help to reduce or eliminate the cosmetic defects that may be present from past surface preparation and painting. These defects often include edge lines from poorly-sanded repairs, excessive roller cover nap pattern, roller cover tracking lines, paintbrush bristle marks and paint drips. Minor surface damage and cosmetic surface defects can be quickly repaired by skim coating. The skim coating technique is effective for areas both small and large. Entire ceiling and wall surfaces can be skim coated to look like new.

Skim coating is a time-saving technique. It saves you much of the time that would be required to fill or conceal surface defects individually. More time is saved during sanding, as groups or areas of defects skim coated together can be sanded more quickly than defects that would otherwise be sanded individually.

Drywall, the white coat layer of plaster and wood trim surfaces can be skim coated.

DO NOT skim coat surfaces that are wet, water damaged mildewed, mold-affected or in need of repair. These surfaces should be replaced, cleaned, remediated or repaired before surface preparation work begins. (Refer to Chapter 3 in The Homeowner's Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting) The skim coating technique is effective only for the filling and concealing of cosmetic defects on otherwise sound surfaces.

More detailed coverage of this topic can be found in the book:

The Homeowner's Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting, on pages 76-84.


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