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How to skim plaster walls smooth? Toupret TX130

Listed under abranet, Blog, Mirka, preparation, Toupret Posted Jul 10 2012

Toupret TX130 fine surface filler is a first class choice to skim plastered walls that have been damaged, dinged or badly patched in.

With Toupret skim coats, and abranet abrasives, I can achieve a super smooth surface, and the paint finish is far superior to what it is possible on conventional gypsum based plaster walls. It also takes less time and paint and money to paint a Toupret skimmed surface versus a newly plastered surface. All part of a high quality interior decorating service.

The following explains how I renovated skimmed plaster walls and ceilings that had been covered in woodchip wallpaper to disguise the original plastering defects.

The process to save this room and bring it into century 21:

strip painted woodchip paper

I scraped the top layer off then soaked the backing liberally with cold water. Roll carefully from bottom to top. One soak was enough for this backing paper.

When the paper was stripped off, on closer inspection, I could see why it had been stuck up. The “brand new” plaster on the walls was rough as old boots, victim of one shoddy renovation too many.

It is simple to tidy up the worst of the mess, if the floor has been masked up like this.

If there were no carpet, you could lay plastic down, and once you have finished just wrap it all up and bin it at leisure.

sand off glue and old size to leave clean plaster

I used 180 grade Abranet on the CEROS sander. The dark areas are the old glue.

Almost dust free, quiet, fast, and not too heavy on the arm.

You can see the spots of white filler, which is Toupret TX 110 all-purpose filler

tape over cracks with Toupret Elafib fine scrim

Cracks on joints in ceiling boards especially will always tend to open out with movement from above or excessive heat and cooling. They have to be reinforced for a fit and forget solution. Paper and sticky back mesh have worked well over the years, but trust Toupret to perfect the scrim. It is so thin and light.

In terms of weight it is like handling cotton thread, but it is very cooperative off the roll, as long as you treat it gently!

The process is to rake out the crack, then paint a strip of thick vinyl matt emulsion along the crack. Bed the thin scrim in the paint and apply more paint over the top. It dries rock hard and hardly protrudes from the surface.

I extend the scrim 12-18″ beyond the end of a crack. Back in the days of artexing, we were told that reinforcing scrim tape changes the tension in the surface and can cause further extension of old cracks. Sounded good theory, so that’s we did / do in practice! Is it a correct theory, let me know!

skim plaster walls with a fine surface filler Toupret TX 130

The filler is ready mixed in a 20kg tub, and is really smooth to apply. I use a 10″ plastic caulking blade. Others may use a metal trowel, which would give a denser skim.

the caulker is from DDC, it isnt very good. Artex used to do the grey plastic caulkers, far superior. The filing knife is Hamiltons, it is nice to use but not sure the steel is as good as in the past. Do you notice a pattern with the UK decorating trade supplies?

I start skimming from the bottom up, as far as I can comfortably reach from the floor, and work along the wall.

The filler dries off in about half an hour, so in this case, I could just keep working round the room, double checking and adding a bit more filler where necessary.

The final stage of preparation is to buff the filler. I used 320 grade Abranet with a thin backing pad.

I make a line or grid to keep myself systematic. I just use the rubber on the hose to make the marks, and sand them out as I go

Andy Farrall at Derby Maintenance has loads more information and knowledge about these products – he talks in terms of microns and wet and dry states.

Correct me if I’m wrong, Andy, but for instance, conventional matt emulsions are 100+ microns and shrink back considerably when dry, so to get the finish paint to fill the “pores” and leave a super flat finish, you can use a fairly coarse 220 grade sander. When the wall paint is Mythic, however, you have a very fine paint that barely changes in thickness between its wet and dry state – just 25 microns when wet, and the dried paint is almost as thick at 20 microns. So Mythic clings better and lies flattest on a finely abraded surface.

Toupret good for speedy work and high class finish

I will get a perfectly smooth wall when sanded. The dust, what there is of it after using the Mirka CEROS dust free sander, is very fine.

It may sound extravagant to go to these lengths for a smooth finish, but it took no more than 4 hours to skim 45m2 and tidy up the edges and leave ready for sanding. On past experience I know I can comfortably sand 15m2 per hour of skim coat with the dust free sander. A quick wipe down with the trusty Wooster dust eater, job done… so all in all, this additional step on the walls in a 20′ x 11′ room takes an old painter like me an extra day of labour.

Toupret skim coats are kind on painters

On the plus side, you can recoup 30% of your painting time by using a Toupret product. The beauty of Toupret skim products is that they seem to have been designed specifically to receive paint. I have previously used TX120 and the Pulsar spray filler, and in both cases, 2 coats of mid colour Mythic or Little Greene acrylic matt, denibbed between coats, have covered beautifully, no initial 50/50 wash coat to worry about, no roller marks. (I did have to apply 3 coats of particularly dark colours, so no advantage there, to be fair!)

The end result is worth it. You need good paint though, because your visitors will have their curious grubby fingers all over the walls. Why not put up a sign, “Do not stroke walls, Toupret TX130 at work.

Ask questions about Toupret TX130 on the forum. The Traditional Painters usually have something helpful to add to the mix.

TP Associate supplierIf you like the Traditional Painter approach to general decorating, please contact a TP Associate Painter and Decorator. Please bear in mind, they are all about the quality, and will not take shortcuts to meet a low ball budget.

However their prices will be competitive with the normal decorator rates charged by established companies in your area.



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6 comments to “How to skim plaster walls smooth? Toupret TX130”

  1. Charles Budd

    This is a great technique Andy, I’ve been trying it quite a bit. But I can’t get as fast as you! And it doesn’t dry as quickly – maybe I’m trowelling it on too thick? I really do think this technique is a great alternative to getting a room reskimmed by a plasterer, and it produces a much smoother wall overall than one or two layers of lining paper.

  2. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

    You need longer arms Charlie to get faster 🙂 These specialist decorating skim coats provide a better surface than conventional plaster in terms of over painting. Over the Touprets especially, it really is 2 coats of acrylic latex wall or ceiling paint, job done. Dark bases, I have put an extra coat for good measure. Sanding between coats even better, and even better again is a base coat and 2 tops, but really, for the most part, you will get great results skimming plus CEROS sanding.

  3. Charles Budd

    If my arms were any longer I’d be covered in orange hair and be in danger of going extinct in the forests of Borneo. I’m still a bit afraid of putting a finishing coat directly onto the filler, and I’ve been putting on a mistcoat. I’m going to experiment with Owatrol EB too. Using the Ceros and Toupret fillers really do transform what I’ve been able to do as a decorator. I can’t imagine going back to the stone age of ‘regular’ sand paper and rubbish fillers which crack and slump.

  4. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

    EB will grip to the surface for sure. Go on, you know you want to try 2 coats only.

  5. Charles Budd

    I’ll give it a go! 🙂

  6. Michael Schwar

    What is Toupret? Is it plaster of Paris? Is is lime plaster? We need to advise our clients as to what the material is before we are allowed to apply it. Can you help?

    Best wishes

    Dr Michael SCHWAR

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