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How to prepare a wall for skim coating with plasterboard joint tape

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Fibreglass scrim tape Skim coating is used to create a perfectly smooth finish on a wall. Applying a very thin layer of plaster to the wall conceals any imperfections.

Because the entire face of the wall will be eventually covered and the finish is less important, scrim tape is usually used to reinforce the plasterboard joints of a wall before skim-coating.

Applying scrim tape to plasterboard joints

Step 1 – Apply tape

Starting at one end of your first joint, centre your scrim tape over the seam and unroll it, pressing it into place as you move along its length.

When you get to the end of the joint, use a taping knife to cut the tape to length.

  Wonkee Donkee says: 'Although scrim tape is usually used for this task, if you are using paper tape, remember to cover the joints with a base coat of mud before applying the tape.'
Cover scrim tape with jointing compound

Step 2 – Cover tape with compound

Load a 150mm (6″) taping knife with jointing compound.

Apply the compound to the tape smoothly and evenly, ensuring it is completely covered. Then, run your knife along the joint to ensure that the tape and compound are flush to the face of the plasterboard.

Taping internal corner plasterboard joints

Step 3 – Tape and joint other joints

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for all joints, including internal corners.

Cover fasteners with jointing compound

Step 4 – Cover screw heads

Screw any fasteners that are sitting proud of the plasterboard so that they are below its surface.

Then cover each one with jointing compound.

Applying skim coat of plaster

Step 5 – Wait for compound to dry

Once the jointing compound has set, the wall is ready for a skim coat.