Frank Lloyd Wright Quote

"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union"

Frank Lloyd Wright

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Getting the Hang of Skimcoating

As I posted earlier, the first coat to go on top of the rough plaster was hot setting mud which was mainly to level things out as much as possible. The next coat is the topcoat, which is a thin layer of regular lite all-purpose joint compound. I get the 3.5 gal box of Beadex from the HD and dump it into a clean bucket. Then I add some water and mix thoroughly with my drill mixer until it is an even, light mixture, about the consistency of cake frosting. You'll have to experiment with this process, but when you get it right it really feels like you're frosting a cake when it goes on the wall.

Since I typically work in small increments, I save the extra joint compound by cleaning the walls of the bucket with a wet sponge and then adding about 1/2" of water to the top of the surface. That will keep it from drying out. The next time you're ready to use it, either scoop out the water with a dixie cup, or just mix it into the mud with your drill mixer again.

This time around I spend a lot of time prepping the walls before I broke out the mud. I paid special attention to all of the corners where little bits of paint and wallpaper hide out just waiting for you to come along and snag them with a knife full of mud, which leads to streaks in the finished surface. I also decided to do a small portion of the wall and really take my time. I think it paid off.

There's not much to see in this picture, which is exactly what I was after. A light sanding should be all that's needed before it's ready for primer.


  1. Looks really lovely!

    By the way, I haven't forgotten about that wainscoting picture. I haven't gone by to take "official" *after* photos of that project yet, so I asked my client if she could email me a picture of her dining room that I could share with you. I'll keep you posted...

  2. Slippery fingers. Sorry - that last post was from me. :-)