How To Skim Coat A Wall With Joint Compound

How To Skim Coat A Wall With Joint Compound – Step By Step Guide

If you’re tired of looking at rough, bumpy walls and want them to appear smooth, then skim coating your walls with joint compound is an excellent solution. Skim coating is a technique where you apply a thin layer of joint compound on your walls to create a smooth finish that’s an ideal base for painting or wallpapering. It’s a straightforward DIY project that anyone can tackle with the right tools and some patience. In this article, we’ll cover how to skim coat a wall with joint compound, including the tools you’ll need, the steps involved, and some FAQs to help you perfect the technique.

Materials and Tools You’ll Need

Before we get started with the step-by-step guide, let’s discuss the materials and tools needed for this project. Here are some of the things you’ll need:

1. Joint Compound – Buy a pre-mixed joint compound or mix your own by combining drywall mud with a small amount of water as needed.

2. Trowel – Use a 10-inch drywall trowel for larger areas and a 6-inch trowel for smaller areas.

3. Sandpaper – Use a 120-grit sandpaper.

4. Paint roller or brush – Use it to apply the joint compound to your walls.

5. Bucket – For mixing joint compound.

6. Drop cloth – To protect adjacent surfaces and flooring.

See also  How Long Do You Have To Wear A Retainer At Night

Step By Step Guide

1. Clear the room – Remove all the furniture, fixtures, and electronics from the room or cover them using drop cloths.

2. Clean the walls – Clean the walls to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Use a damp cloth or a sponge to clean the surface, then allow the walls to dry completely.

3. Fill any holes or cracks – Use joint compound to fill any holes or cracks in the walls. Use a putty knife or a trowel to apply the compound on the affected areas, then allow it to dry completely. Sand the surface using a 120-grit sandpaper until it becomes smooth.

4. Mix the joint compound – If you’re using a pre-mixed joint compound, skip this step. Otherwise, mix the drywall mud with water until it becomes smooth and spreadable.

5. Apply the first coat – Use a paint roller or a brush to apply a thin layer of joint compound on your walls. Use your trowel to spread the compound evenly across the wall, making sure to scrape off any excess. Don’t worry about achieving a perfectly smooth surface at this stage.

6. Let the first coat dry – Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second coat. The drying time may vary depending on the thickness of the first coat, the temperature, and the humidity in the room. Typically, it takes around 2-3 hours.

7. Apply the second coat – Once the first coat is dry, apply a second coat of joint compound using the same technique as before. This time, use a thinner layer of joint compound to achieve a smoother finish.

See also  How To Play Halo Infinite Beta On Xbox One

8. Sand the surface – Allow the second coat to dry completely, then use a 120-grit sandpaper to sand the surface gently. Sand the surface until it is completely smooth and even, then clean off any dust using a clean cloth.

9. Apply a final coat – If the surface is not yet smooth, you can apply a final coat of joint compound. Otherwise, you can skip this step and prepare the surface for painting or wallpapering.


Q1. Do I need to remove the old paint or wallpaper before skim coating my walls?
A1. No, you don’t need to remove the old paint or wallpaper before skim coating your walls. However, it’s essential to clean the surface thoroughly before applying joint compound.

Q2. What is the thickness of each coat of joint compound?
A2. The first coat of joint compound should be thin enough to fill the gaps and imperfections in the wall. The second coat should be even thinner than the first one, to achieve a smooth finish.

Q3. What is the ideal temperature and humidity level for skim coating?
A3. The ideal temperature is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity level should be between 40% and 70%.

Q4. How long does it take for joint compound to dry?
A4. The drying time depends on the thickness of the joint compound, the temperature, and the humidity level. Typically, it takes around 2-3 hours for each coat to dry completely.


Skim coating your walls with joint compound can be a simple project that can completely transform the look of your room. Remember to use the right tools and follow the given steps for the best results. Have fun and let your walls shine!

Leave a Comment