Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Skim Coating Over A Painted Popcorn Ceiling

Skim Coating Over A Painted Popcorn Ceiling

Hello there and thanks for stopping in and checking out this skim coating over a popcorn ceiling blog post here on our Calgary Painters low cost professional painting and decorating website. Today in this post I'm going to show you how to skim coat over a painted popcorn ceiling. I'll also explain why you're probably better off skim coating a painted popcorn ceiling than scraping it. 

I'll be using a 14 inch drywall taping knife, a 16 inch mud pan, and USG all-purpose joint compound for the skim coating over the painted popcorn ceiling. We've been low cost and pro drywall and painting contractors for over 20 years. So I wanted to show you the room is pretty good size room, and the painted popcorn ceiling before I start skim coating. 

So I will be doing this room in three different sections long ways. It is a older popcorn ceiling that's been painted many many times before, so the best option is to go ahead and skim coat over it instead of even attempting to scrape it off. There's a couple reasons you don't want to go disturbing this with a scrape, and I'll get into that further down in the post. This was a DIY drywall ceiling repair the customer attempted that didn't work out so well. 

I'm going to make that right too. Like I said, it's an older ceiling, so you got to watch out for asbestos and lead paint. Anything before say 1982. You definitely want to get it tested. They actually stopped making asbestos and lead products in paint and textures in 1978. But companies were allowed to use their back stock, and the problem with that is they mass produced knowing they weren't going to be able to manufacture with those hazardous materials any longer. 

All right, so I'm using a 14 inch dry wall taping knife, and a 16 inch mud pan. You can use 12 inch taping knife, and a 14 inch mud pan if that's what you more comfortable with. I did mix up the all-purpose joint compound with just a little bit of water, just to get it kind of creamy and getting any air pockets out, and I also want to keep it pretty thick to cover a heavy texture like this. 

So basically I'm getting the joint compound up on the ceiling, and over top of the painted popcorn, and then I'm going to just go over it to smooth it out. This is the first of two skim coats, but you can see that it's going to be pretty smooth after the first skim coat. There's some ridges, but I'll be able to take care of that between skim coat one and skim coat two. 

So again, I'm just getting the mud up, I'm going to smooth it out here. If you notice I'm kind of placing the joint compound on my knife over on the left side, a little more than the right side, just trying to get it consistent pull each time. And you want to leave it a little thick. The more you go over it the more ridges you're going to get. 

You kind of just want to get a couple pulls on it and leave it alone. After the first coat is dry, I'll just take my 6-in taping knife and kind of scrape any high ridges off, and when you're going against the popcorn that you haven't skim coated yet you can't get some chatter, so you kind of want to keep your knife lifted off the popcorn so it doesn't leave a lot of chatter. 

Which creates a bunch of lines. It's a little more tedious over a popcorn ceiling because it's such a heavy texture. If you're just skim coating say a wall with a orange peel texture, or a knockdown texture, it goes a lot quicker. I have got a lot of questions like can I use the paint roller trick for skim coating on a popcorn ceiling. I always say no you can't because in order to use the paint roller trick you need to thin down the joint compound a little more than you want to when you're going over this heavy of a texture. 

So I like to do the popcorn ceiling by hand, but if you're doing walls, most definitely you can use the paint roller trick for skin coating. I'm on this project all by myself, so I'm going to be doing this ceiling in three different sections. It's a huge room, so I'll do this side, and then I'll skip the middle, and head over to the other side. That way I'm not going into any wet mud, and then once both sides are dry I'll skim coat the center. 

So you could eventually tackle a popcorn ceiling to skim coat yourself. This best of the best techniques also work for skin coating walls. Just want to get any big voids, or divots, and pay special attention to the corners. You don't want to leave big humps in the corner. So I go over the corners a couple times, and that's usually about the thickest I leave the skim coat. 

If you have a popcorn ceiling that needs a skim coat, and really, if you're going to be skim coating over a popcorn ceiling, it should be painted. If you try to skim coat over just a popcorn ceiling that has not been painted it could blister and bubble as you skim coat. So you definitely want to do this over a painted popcorn ceiling. 

Get a little mud, now if it hasn't been painted, and it's a older ceiling, and your concerned about asbestos, or lead, you could go ahead and prime that ceiling and then do skim coating over that. You just need to lock down that popcorn or you're going to have a big mess. All right so there is the skim coated section. 

I've got a little more to go, I just want to drop down. I'll move my walk boards, and then show you what I got so far. Like I said, I'm going to do this whole side section. I'm just going to get the mud up there and then smooth it out. I'm not applying a lot of pressure, I want to leave as much mud up there as possible, but yet keep it as smooth as possible. 

A bigger knife allows me to go a little faster, and that matters to me. But if this is your home that you want to skim coat with painted popcorn ceilings, you can take your time. You don't have to have a wet edge. If you get tired or something you can just stop and then drop back and start over again after it's dry and it's not a problem at all. 

All right, going to get a little mud real quick. I want to let you know, we do have blog posts on how to mix the skim coat mud, and how to cover different textures, smooth walls, etc. A little more up close and personal skim coating of this ceiling and how it looks after I have two sections done. But in the meantime let's get back to the skim coating again. 

I'm just going to get it up there, and then smooth it out. I'm going to try and leave as much mud as possible, that way the second skim coat is going to be a breeze. I like the 14 inch knife, it just covers more ground, and then the 16 in mud pan holds a lot more joint compound for skim coating. Here I'm smoothing it out, and I'm putting pressure on the right side of the knife. 

You can see the line forming on the right side, but then on the left it stays nice and smooth. Great little trick for getting a pretty darn smooth skim coat. Pressure on the right, lifting on the left. I'm working on the Werner walk boards, which make it really handy. If I'm on a ladder, I just can't get as much ground covered. These walk boards make it super simple. 

It's too much stuff in this room to even attempt to walk on the stilts. I was trying to be safe on this walk boards, and have a nice open area. When I'm using those. So on the walk boards, I believe it took for both skim coats for 5 gallon buckets of the all-purpose joint compound, and no there's no dust coming off the ceiling whatsoever. 

It's been painted so many times that it's just a solid surface with a bumpy texture on it. I got a little more mud, I'm going to go ahead and smooth this out from the side, try and get rid of some of those chatter marks I created from the heavy popcorn that kind of sticks down knife want to chatter. You don't want to go over the whole bunch of times, if you can help it, but if you spot some areas that need some more mud now's the time to hit them. 

I'll be getting that repair shortly. I have primed it with some oil-based kilz, and a spray can, cause there is a water line where I guess there had been a leak. And then the homeowner's grandson tried to fix it but at least he tried. Getting credit for that, he needs to come see us in action. I love doing this skim coating. 

The homeowners are at work, so when they come home they're just going to be amazed at how much got done and how much the ceiling already looks better without that hideous painted popcorn. You just want to pace yourself. You don't want to try and run around too hard. Pace yourself, get a nice smooth surface, or as best as you can. Try not to leave any big lines that's the key. No big lines, nice tight corners, and you should be good to go. 

Pressure on the right side of the knife, lifting the left pressure. On the right, lifting the left as you see there's no lines being created from the tape. Wax on, wax off, Danielson. Basically, all it is repetitious. You get a feel for your knife, it becomes an extension of your arm. I've made a pretty good living at doing drywall and drywall repairs so for you young bucks practice. Keep practicing. 

Skilled labor is getting harder and harder to find. Looks pretty good, looks pretty good for a first coat. All right, so here's this first section. Pretty darn smooth, considering the hideous painted popcorn texture that I went over. Like I said, I won't even sand in between the skim coats. I'll come back with my six inch taping knife, and just kind of scrape off any of the little ridges, but I'm happy with this. 

Waiting for that kilz to dry on that water stain, and I'll skim coat that, and this will be dry probably in about 12 hours. All right, so here is the second section. Wearing my GoPro get up close to it so you can see exactly what I'm doing, how I'm placing the mud, how I'm pulling it. It's a pretty heavy popcorn just placement of the mud and no lines that's what you're shooting for. 

Here is the second section that I skim coated. The center is not done, I did both sides. I'll show you the whole process on the second section, but as you can see it's coming together pretty quick, and this is a huge room. Be sure you get some asbestos and lead test kits that you can buy at your local paint store or hardware store near you to test your popcorn ceiling.

When thinking about skim coating over a painted popcorn ceiling, you will likely get the job done a lot faster and cleaner, and get better results, by simply calling in a professional. The Pro Calgary Painters over at the low cost painting company 1/2 Price Pro Calgary Painting can very likely help you with that. Skim coating over a painted popcorn ceiling is hard work. And, it's not cheap. Give us a call today @ (587) 800-2801 and get a free skim coating price quote or a free skim coating estimate. We'll help you keep your prices and costs down without compromising on any aspect of your job.