I am finishing up a master bath remodel which involved removing some walls, and creating new walls. I have:

  • Hung new sheetrock for the new walls
  • Patched the ceiling where the old walls were with drywall (~4.5" wide strips)
  • Patched some gaps with hot mud
  • Taped all the joints and covered with the first layer of all-purpose joint compound.

The next step will be to sand down this first layer as prep for the subsequent layers, repeating until the joints 'disappear'. For the final finish, we have decided to skim coat as we like the way this worked and looked in our previous bathroom. My question is: Do I need to do the subsequent (2 or 3) layers of joint and screw-divot feathering if I intend to put 2 or 3 coats on for skimming? I have not skim-coated a wall before, and I just don't know how much of the surface topography I will be able to hide.



Read the datasheet for the compound you want to use to skim coat and see what's the maximum allowable depth for a layer. (For European products I'm familiar with it's about 2 or 3 mm.) Then you can decide what dimples need pre-covering and which can simply get covered in the skim coat. If you exceed the max depth you might get hairline cracks, but [in my experience] that only happens on larger areas, not screw-size... and you can fix it anyway by filling the crack(s) with the same compound, which usually takes less time than strictly following the prescribed layer depth. YMMV.

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Treat the skim coat, as you would a layer of paint. Any imperfections will telegraph through, and require much more compound to hide/feather out.

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Everything is 3 coats. Thin is best.

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