What Mud To Use For Skim Coat

Hassan Shakeel
Hassan Shakeel Home Improvement
6 Min Read

Skim coating a wall is an effective way to create a smooth and even surface prior to painting. To achieve the best results, it is important to choose the right type of mud for your skim coat. There are several varieties of drywall mud available, each with its own properties and best uses. In this article, we will be discussing which types of mud are best for skim coating and explain why.

What is Skim Coating

Skim coating is a process that involves applying a thin layer of joint compound or drywall mud to a wall. The purpose of the skim coating is to smooth out an uneven surface, repair damaged drywall, cover up unwanted textures such as orange peel, and also create new textures like knockdown. When deciding which mud to use for skim coating it is important to consider the desired outcome.

For most surfaces, a lightweight all-purpose joint compound should be used as it will provide good coverage while still allowing some texture if desired. If a smoother finish is desired then using setting type joint compound would be appropriate because it dries harder and faster than lightweight compounds. For heavily textured surfaces like orange peel or popcorn, using ready-mixed all-purpose joint compound would provide better coverage and allow for more control when smoothing out the surface. It’s also important to note that adding water can help give more time for working with all-purpose compounds before they start drying out too quickly.

Types of Mud for Skim Coating

Portland cement-based mud is a popular choice for skim coating. This type of mud is easy to mix and use, making it ideal for both professional and amateur contractors. It creates a strong bond with existing drywall surfaces, creating a smooth finish that looks great after sanding. The downside is that it can be difficult to feather the edges where the mud meets existing walls or ceilings.

Gypcrete Mud is also used for skim coating applications, as it provides superior coverage over Portland cement-based mud. Gypcrete has added strength and flexibility, so when applying this type of mud it’s easier to achieve feathered edges without significant effort. Additionally, Gypcrete Mud allows more time between coats than other types of mudding material, making the job faster and easier overall.

Drywall Joint Compound (aka “mud”) is another option for skim coating projects. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to other types of mudding material and easy to apply with a trowel or putty knife. However, Joint Compound tends to shrink more than Portland cement-based or gypcrete muds do; requiring multiple coats in order to achieve an even finish on large areas like walls or ceilings.

Choosing the Right Mud for Skim Coating

When it comes to skim coating, there are a few different types of mud you can use. It is important to choose the right one for your project as each type will have its own benefits and limitations.

One type of mud that is often used for skim coating is the pre-mixed drywall compound. This has the advantage of being ready to go right out of the package, but it may need thinning with water before application. Drywall compound also dries quickly and tends to be less expensive than other types of mud, making it a great choice for larger projects.

Another popular option is a joint compound, which comes in both pre-mixed and powder forms and works well on many different surfaces. Joint compounds tend to be more flexible than drywall compounds and offer better homeing adhesion when applied properly. They can also be sanded easily after drying, allowing for a smoother finish. However, they require more mixing time since they need more water added before use and take longer to dry compared to drywall compounds.


In conclusion, skim coating is a great way to get a fresh new look for your walls without having to resort to more expensive and drastic measures. When deciding which mud to use for skim coating, it’s important to consider the surface being covered and the desired outcome. For smooth surfaces with minimal texture, a pre-mixed all-purpose joint compound is an affordable choice that can be easily applied with a putty knife or trowel. If you’re dealing with a rougher texture or need extra adhesion, ready-mix drywall mud should do the trick. Additionally, if you plan on doing additional painting after the skim coat has dried and cured, a self-leveling compound might be necessary in order to get an even finish. With careful consideration of these factors, you will be able to choose the best mud for your needs and achieve professional-looking results!

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *