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How to skim plasterboard like a professional

Once a plasterboard wall has been installed, you will need to finish it off with plaster and paint to give the surface a beautiful finish. The following steps will allow you to skim your drywall like a professional, creating a smooth and even surface. First and foremost, you will need to have the following tools and equipment:

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Large bucket
  • Mixing rod
  • Ready-mix joint compound or plaster
  • Taping or craft knife
  • Masking tape
  • Skimmer plate
  • Trowel
  • Paint roller
  • Water-based primer
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • Step ladder or stool

1. Make sure your room is ready

You will need to lay the plastic sheet on the floor, windows, and doors to contain dust inside the room and to make the clean-up process easier. Remember to remove all items that you need to protect from dust and make sure to cover power outlets with masking tape.

2. Clean and prepare your walls

Before you skim your plasterboard, the wall should be smooth and clean. You will need to fill all holes and crevices with drywall or plaster putty. Once you have ensured that all gaps are filled, you can start sanding the drywall compound to create a smooth surface. Once this is complete, scrub off any dirt or scuff marks on the walls.

3. Get the surface ready

Before this step, you will need to ensure the plasterboard is dry if it was washed. Apply a water-based plaster primer to the drywall, so that you have a coating that the plaster can adhere to. Ensure the primer has dried completely before the next step.

4. Plaster the wall

Start by mixing your plaster with water, using the mixing rod. Always follow the directions on the box. And if you have a small area to repair first, it’s important to do so now. Keep in mind that certain time limitations need to be adhered to.

5. Spread the final coat of plaster

To achieve a bump-free surface, you might need to apply two coats of plaster (apply the second even if the first coat is still wet). At this point, you can really dedicate time to smooth over the plaster. 

7. Finish up

Let the plaster dry for a day and then smooth it down with sandpaper. Use fine sandpaper to smooth the surface. When this is complete, you may start to clean your working space. Remove the plastic from the floor and vacuum the dust and any loose plaster that may have fallen.

These steps will help you to skim drywall like a professional contractor. If you have the correct tools, you can skim the walls in two days.

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Written by Joey Baijoo

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