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Skimming is a plastering technique used to create a smooth and even surface on walls and ceilings. It involves applying a thin layer of finishing plaster, known as skim coat or skim plaster, over an existing surface that may have imperfections, roughness, or an uneven texture. Skimming is often used in both new construction and renovation projects to achieve a clean and polished finish. Here's how the skimming process typically works:

    1. Surface Preparation: Before skimming can begin, the existing surface is thoroughly cleaned and any loose or damaged material is removed. Any large gaps or cracks are usually filled with a suitable filler or joint compound.

    2. Priming: A primer may be applied to the surface to improve the adhesion of the skim coat. This helps the skim plaster adhere securely to the substrate.

    3. Skim Coat Application: The skim coat, which is a thin layer of specialised plaster or plaster-like compound, is applied evenly and smoothly over the entire surface using a trowel or plastering tools. The thickness of the skim coat is typically very thin, often just a few mm's thick.

    4. Feathering and Smoothing: As the skim coat is applied, the plasterer carefully feathers and smooths it out to eliminate any imperfections, bumps, or ridges. This process requires skill and precision to create a flawless, flat surface.

    5. Drying: The skim coat needs time to dry and set. This can take several hours to a day or more, depending on the thickness of the skim coat and environmental conditions.

    6. Finishing: Once the skim coat is completely dry, the surface may be lightly sanded to achieve a perfectly smooth finish. After sanding, the surface is typically ready for painting or wallpapering.


Skimming is a popular method for achieving a high-quality finish on walls and ceilings, especially when the underlying surface has imperfections or a rough texture. It's commonly used to renovate older properties with damaged or uneven plasterwork and is also applied to new drywall or plasterboard installations to provide a smooth and paint-ready surface. Skimming requires skill and experience, so it's often best left to professional plasterers to ensure a flawless result.


in Rickmansworth & Watford


"Would Recommend without Hesitation"

“We asked Paul to carry out several fairly small pieces of work and he completed the whole job to our great satisfaction. An extremely tidy worker, Paul ensured that all floor surfaces would be fully protected. we are very pleased with his plastering, would definitely ask him back, and would recommend him without hesitation to others.”

Contact Info

Paul Atkins Plastering

Rickmansworth, Watford



Monday - Sunday: 8am - 8pm

Landline: 01923 588737 | Mobile: 07792 819 890

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