DIY Tips & Advice

Quick DIY Tip: Re-skimming old walls

Many people are put off major DIY projects by the prospect of having to make good the finish coat plaster at the end. Plastering / skimming is shrouded in mystery and many DIYers unneccessarily consider it beyond them, before even attempting it.

Plastering is difficult, there's no doubt about that, but good results can be achieved with the right preparation and effort. True, at first your efforts often require a bit of filling and sanding here and there, but practice makes perfect. Never say never!

Here's a tip that will help you achieve a good, flat plaster finish:

Before re-skimming old walls mix a bit of water based paint in with the Unibond (PVA) prior to plastering. This will ensure that you have completely covered the walls and you have left no suction spots which could craze the new skimming, because you will be able to see uncovered places.

Thorough application of a strong PVA mix is essential for novice plasterers. Don't be tempted to dilute down your PVA with 5 parts water, as often recommended on the container. This will seriously reduce your working time. Two coats of 50:50 PVA water mix will help ensure good coverage and allow you plenty of time to trowel-up your plaster before it goes off.