What Are The Differences Between Plastering and Skimming?

Whilst there are differences between plastering and skimming techniques, they both achieve the same end, which is beautifully finished walls, ready for decorating. Deciding between the two usually comes down to the kind of surface you’re dealing with and, whichever you choose, the technique is best carried out by a professional.

In this blog, we’ll consider the differences between plastering and skimming, and recommend when to use one or the other.

Plastering Interior Walls

Plaster is applied to interior walls in order to achieve a good finish. Once the walls are dry, they are ready to be painted or papered. The work of the plasterer is highly skilled as the creation of a smooth and durable wall requires multiple coats, and different types of plaster are used for specific jobs:

  • Cement Plaster. Normally used for the first and second coat, before using a finishing plaster. The surface finish of cement plaster is always slightly rough. It needs around a week to cure and may develop hairline cracks in the process.
  • Gypsum Plaster. A ready-made plaster that is mixed with water for use. Achieves a smooth surface and dries fast. Not suitable for use in bathrooms, basements, or kitchens as it’s not moisture resistant.
  • Lime Plaster. This is known as a breathable plaster as it draws moisture out of the environment and allows it to escape and evaporate. Lime achieves a smooth, durable finish and is an excellent thermal insulator, but it is slow to cure.

Skimming Interior Walls

The technique of skimming involves the application of a thin coat of plaster to create a smooth surface for painting or papering. The skim layer may be applied to a repaired plaster wall in order to finish it. Alternatively, skimming is used when dry lining plasterboard has been installed, to provide a perfect paint-ready surface.

It should be said that a good, skimmed finish is difficult to achieve; it is always best left to a professional who has years of experience as a plasterer. The skill isn’t required in getting the plaster onto the wall or ceiling, it’s in the smoothing of the skim plaster to achieve a flat, perfect surface.

Anyone attempting this skimming as a DIY task should practice the technique on a piece of plasterboard first. The main problem is with spreading and smoothing the plaster before it goes hard. If you get your timing wrong, you can end up with a horrible mess which will cost a good deal to remediate and redo.

Working With Logic Plastering

The Logic Plastering team is made up of skilled and experienced plasterers who are adept at applying all kinds of plaster coating, including skimming. We still take pride in a perfectly finished plaster job, and we can guarantee great workmanship on every job. If you have an interior wall that needs plastering, we’ll be happy to give you a free no obligation quote on the work, and if you’re uncertain whether it should be plastered or skimmed, we can advise.

We offer residential and commercial customers a range of plastering services including new ceilings, panelling, dry lining, and coving. For advice, guidance or a quote, call Logic Plastering on 07809 228328