My first Skim

4 Aug 2007
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United Kingdom
Evening all,

I have recently done my first skim(Kitchen ceiling), and really enjoyed it. I am fairly pleased with the result :) even though it will need a little sanding in the corners, but was expecting to do some.

What i have noticed is now it has dried, there is quiet alot of white power over the surface. So I was wondering, where i went wrong, and what problems (if any) i may have when i want paint.

I was thinking that perhaps, i either put too much water on during the wet trowel, or whether i didnt have clean enough water and was basically spreading the 'fat' around.

Any advice appreciated.

Oh one more question if i may, If you over mix the plaster will it go off quicker - I mixed the second skim quite a lot and had to rush in the end as it went off quite quickly.


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using copious amounts of water, when trowelling, is common for beginners.

pros use the water less and do a 'dry trowel' at the end, to remove any trowel stroke marks and residue.
p.s. paddle or machine mixed mud does tend to go off quicker than the old stick and bodger method.

it must be due to the extra air being introduced into the mud. ;)
Dirty bucket/tools will also send a mix off quicker.
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Thanks for your replies.
I tried again on the wall, this time to use less water, but i still think i had too much, as there is still a slight white film over. I did try a dry trowel as well this time, which i think helped.
I might use a smaller brush next time as it seems to easy to splash too much on with 5" brush.

The mix was better this time - i mix it up so long this time too.

i put pictures up to show you what it looks like - first and second goes. Not as good as Fred's pics from his previous post, but i am still learning!

Any ideas on how to get rid of the white stuff - damp sponge perhaps?






Not a bad looking job at all.

White powdery stuff should come off if you use a coarse cloth and wipe over the surface. Sacking is ideal.


I splash very little water to finish trowel as you progress you will do the same
its not polished enough, polish it a little more next time :D

looks excellent though
Is that really your first attempt at plastering ? :eek:

Looks superb to me , must be very satisfying!
hey, thanks for the kind comments.

Yeah, my first go at skimming. I got a dvd tutorial which explains the basics and watched it around 4 times before starting.

I've finished the other wall now as well.
YES totally great feeling when i had finished :D and when i look back at the old photos! Been without the kitchen for 4 months now, so i really am ready for a normal hot meal (being doing microwave meals since i moved in) :oops:

One thing i didnt realise was how exhausting the plastering would be! I am 27 and fairly fit, but plastering is so tiring, I am not sure if i could do this as a living - respect to the professionals.

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