How Does Plaster Skimming Differ from Plastering?

One of the questions the Logic Plastering team get asked a good deal concerns the difference between plaster skimming and plastering. The term ‘plastering’ is used in the trade to cover all types of plastering, including plaster skimming, traditional plaster work and coving. Skimming is one of the many techniques that a plasterer applies where it’s appropriate to a specific job.

In this blog we take a look at what plaster skimming is, when it’s used, and the material involved in its application.

What is Plaster Skimming?

If you’re looking for a plaster finish that’s smooth and ready for paint or paper, then you’re looking for plaster skimming. It’s a plastering technique that adds a thin, surface layer to a plastered wall which gives them a ‘finished’ look and a smooth texture, ready for decorating. As skimmed plaster is a thinner layer than the base coat, it’s faster to dry; two or three days is the normal curing time.

When is Skimming an Appropriate Choice?

Skimming is a technique used for smoothing and finishing walls, but it can’t be used for levelling a wall, or filling in holes. So, if you have an existing wall that needs freshening up, or you have a dry lining surface that needs finishing, skimming is the perfect solution.

Where there are joints in dry walling that need smoothing over, a skim plasterer will use hessian or scrim over them and then skim plaster the entire wall. The end result will be a smooth wall with a perfect plaster finish.

What Kind of Plaster is Used in Skimming?

A plaster skim coating should be 3mm in depth. This requires the application of a ‘finishing’ plaster which dries to a smooth finish. As with any plaster, there is drying time required before you can apply paint to the surface. For a skimmed wall we would normally recommend waiting 3-4 days before sanding the surface in preparation for painting.

Is it Worth Skimming Walls?

Plaster skimming a wall creates a good-looking surface which can cover up hairline cracks or blemishes on the original surface. It also offers a range of additional benefits, which include:

  • Durability. Plaster skimming increases the strength and longevity of your walls.
  • Sound Insulation. Adding a layer of plaster improves the acoustics of your room and offers some sound insulation.
  • A Blank Canvas. A plaster coating ‘finishes’ your room, providing a perfect foundation for the colours and textures you want to apply.

Is DIY Skimming a Good Idea?

Only if you’ve got nerves of steel!! Skimming is all about creating a smooth, even, perfect finish for your walls. When plaster skimming you need to work fast and confidently in order to avoid the plaster setting unevenly, or with unsightly bumps. Having said that, if you’re a confident DIYer, you’ll find plenty of detailed guides online, so there’s nothing to stop you having a go.

For peace of mind, Logic Plastering would recommend you use trained plasterers. The Logic team has the skills and experience you get only after years in the job. We can guarantee a perfect finish, for that reason, and we know that a botched job can be expensive to repair and take time to remediate.

Working With Logic Plastering

The team at Logic Plastering takes pride in the range of professional plastering skills they can offer to Bedfordshire clients. You’ll find that plasterers tend to be perfectionists, and that’s certainly the case with us. As a result, our customers have come to expect only the highest quality work from us, whether we’re providing dry lining, coving, plastering or skimming.

Would you like to talk to a member of the Logic Plastering team about a plaster skimming job you need doing? Call us on 07809 228328 and we’ll provide a free no obligation quote.