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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DIY Skim Coat: The Magic Trowel

*Steven rolling on the joint compound in the master bedroom*

As I mentioned previously, Steven did the skim coating of the master bedroom and nursery walls himself. Just like in the downstairs rooms that we renovated last year, these 2 rooms had rough, unfinished horse hair plaster under the wallpaper...but unlike the downstairs, we decided to save money and try to DIY. If it came out less than perfect, so be it.

We did, however, have our plasterer redo the ceilings in the 2 bedrooms--new blue board & plaster--as they were probably going to collapse on our heads within the next couple of years. Signed, Chicken Little

So anyways, Steven did his usual exhaustive research and came across a specialty tool called The Magic Trowel. Despite its rather infomercial-y vibe, the reviews were promising, so we decided to give it a try.

And it works! You basically use a paint roller to apply thinned out joint compound to the wall, then come along with the Magic Trowel and smooth it out. Of course there are some tricks here and there...getting the joint compound to the right consistency and keeping the applied compound & trowel nice and moist, for example...but all in all it's a great tool and Steven did a great job!
*See how smooth the just-troweled section to the right is?*

The 18" trowel costs about 25 bucks, and a 5 gallon bucket of all purpose joint compound is only about $14 at the home improvement stores, so we saved a serious chunk of change (hundreds) by going this route. Not too shabby!
*Freshly skimmed and primed*

1 comment:

  1. I'm getting ready to skimcoat and am also researching magic trowel. What "tricks" did you use to keep mud wet as well as trowel wet? Did you seal your walls before applying joint compound? Thanks for any advice.