Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Back in Australia I worked with some plasterers. The process involved hanging plaster boards to the frame and then stopping. Stopping involved appling a compound (setting base coat and drying top coat) and joining tape along all of the joints and over the screw holes followed by sanding for a perfectly smooth and level finish.

Since arriving in the UK I have noticed that often people prefer to skim the entire wall after hanging sheets of plaster to it.

Having seen both finished products, there look equally good to me.

Why do people do this and not just stop over the joins and screw holes? Is the process of skimming stem from older methods of plastering? or is there some other advantage that I am missing.

share|improve this question
    
Was it plaster board or drywall? Drywall is typically just mudded over the joints and holes, where as plasterboard is generally skimmed over completely. You can also completely skim over drywall to have the same appear of plaster. –  Zach Dec 9 '11 at 18:31
    
what exactly is "drywall" ... coming from oz all our walls are plaster attached to a stud frame with a single brick wall on the outside ... so nfi about drywall... –  smashtastic Dec 10 '11 at 16:37
    
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drywall It's gypsum stuck between two sheets of paper. You can apply plaster over the top, basically using it as a replacement for the base coats of plaster and lathe, or you can just smooth the seams and holes over with drywall mud and paint it. They have different types, with certain ones being made specifically for plaster base and others made for wet environments and what not. –  Zach Dec 23 '11 at 14:39
    
oh you mean plaster board ...... thanks for clarifying :) never used the term drywall before only ever called it plaster board in australia... –  smashtastic Jan 2 '12 at 9:00
add comment

1 Answer

Skimming probably does come from before plaster board became ubiquitous. Previously you'd apply a coat of undercoat plaster to the wall or laths and then a top coat to finish. You'd also skim a new coat of topcoat if the wall had been damaged beyond simple filling. A good plasterer would be able to get a glass like finish on this topcoat with no sanding required.

Skimming over plasterboard gives you the same options. You can get a good finish without sanding - which is a messy job.

share|improve this answer
    
so skimming does not require sanding after? –  smashtastic Nov 7 '11 at 23:25
    
@smashtastic - not if you do it right :) Something I've yet to master. –  ChrisF Nov 7 '11 at 23:26
    
I guess that is one reason to skim instead of stop .... cos you are right about sanding it is messy - dust throughout whole house ..... –  smashtastic Nov 7 '11 at 23:47
    
You can stop the dust throughout the whole house by 1) closing all the doors. 2) using a zip-wall. 3) a fan exhausting the plaster dust outside - it creates a negative pressure preventing the dust from going back into the house. –  Matt Jul 12 '13 at 1:32
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.