Skimming walls is a technique that can transform the appearance of your home’s interior walls. It involves applying a layer of plaster or joint compound to smooth out any bumps, scratches, or imperfections that could mar the finish of new paint. This process is especially useful when renovating an old home or looking to upgrade the look of your walls.

Tools And Materials Needed For Skimming Walls


Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of skimming walls, let’s first talk about the tools and materials needed for the job. Here is a list of what you will need:

1. Plaster or joint compound – this is the material you will use to skim the walls. You can buy it in powder form or pre-mixed.

2. Trowel – a trowel is a handheld tool used to apply and smooth out the plaster or joint compound on the walls.

3. Sandpaper – after you have applied the plaster or joint compound, you need to sand it down to create a smooth surface.

4. Sanding pole – a sanding pole is used to make sanding those hard-to-reach areas easier.

5. Bucket of water – you need a bucket of water to dampen the trowel and clean the tools.

6. Protective gear – wear goggles, gloves, and a mask to protect yourself from dust and debris.

Now that we have the required tools and materials, let’s discuss the steps involved in skimming walls.

How To Skim Walls


Step 1: prepare the walls

Before you start skimming, you need to make sure that the walls are clean and free of any loose debris. Use a broom or a vacuum cleaner to remove any dirt, dust, or flaking paint.

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Next, apply a coat of pva glue to the wall using a roller or brush. This helps the plaster or joint compound adhere to the wall and prevents it from cracking.

Step 2: mix the plaster or joint compound

Mix the plaster or joint compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are using a powdered formula, add water slowly until you have a smooth consistency. If you are using a pre-mixed compound, stir it thoroughly before starting.

Step 3: apply the skim coat

Using a trowel, apply a thin layer of plaster or joint compound to the wall. Start at the top and work your way down, using long strokes to spread the compound evenly. Be sure to press firmly to cover any bumps or scratches on the wall.

Step 4: smooth out the surface

After you have applied the skim coat, use the trowel to smooth out the surface. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and use light pressure to create a smooth finish. Work in small sections to prevent the plaster or joint compound from drying out.

Step 5: sand the surface

After the skim coat has dried, use sandpaper to smooth out any bumps or rough patches. Use a sanding pole to make the job easier. Be sure to work in the same direction as you applied the skim coat.

Step 6: apply a second coat

If needed, apply a second coat of plaster or joint compound. This will help to fill in any small gaps or imperfections that were not filled in the first coat. Follow the same steps as the first coat.

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Step 7: prime the walls

Once you have applied the second coat and sanded down the surface, it’s time to prime the walls. This will create a smooth surface for your paint to adhere to. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting.


Skimming walls is a simple process that can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. With the right tools and materials, anyone can do it themselves. This technique can smooth out any imperfections in your walls and create a professional-looking finish that will last for years to come. So why not try skimming walls today and transform the look of your home?