Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.

 
 
 
 
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern NH, north of tax-achussetts
    Posts
    2,082

    Default "Skip Trowel" texture...

    I always finish ceilings smooth, and occasionally will do a "random-roll" texture. Walls are always smooth. But I have a possiable customer interested in having me do a 'skip trowel' on an addition to match the exisisting ceiling texture in the rest of the house. From what I understand it is realitivly easy, but I would like to have a clue before I get into it. So is there a dvd that illustrates how to do 'skip trowel' texture as well as other textures? I have had a recent demand for texture ceilings, so this would be greatly helpful.
    "cheap labor pays for expensive headaches"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cape Cod, Mass.
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Hi Mike,
    I do that random skip trowel all the time here in MA. As you say, finish for smooth, then lay on , or spray on a 1/16 to 1/8 " layer of JC on the ceiling. Using a flat hard rubber trowel, extend your arm, apply the trowel to ceiling and pull toward you while twisting and moving the trowel around (not in a straight line). The idea is to smear the mud around in random directions. That's it. I can do all kinds of nice textures, but folks around here just love skip trowel. A hard rubber trowel is key, not foam. And bevel the edges a bit to prevent plowing. I like it thin, but lay on as much as needed to match the existing.I'm not aware of any DVD demos of texturing, but then I haven't looked lately either. Hope that is of some help -
    All for now -
    CapeTaper.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7,453

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Cape,

    When you say "hard rubber trowel", do you mean the ones used for grouting tile? Or do you mean the white rubber 9" ones that look like taping knives?

    DG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cape Cod, Mass.
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Hi DG,
    I think Marshalltown makes a good one. Not a tile grouting trowel, and NOT a taping knife,white rubber is good, if you can still find them, I haven't seen them in years, but they were the best. Basically any hard rubber trowel with a smooth surface works best. Plasterers use the stainless flat trowels to do skip trowel. It could be used, I suppose, for JC troweling as well, but they tend to plow the JC big time.
    CapeTaper.
    Last edited by CapeTaper; 12-26-2006 at 08:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Hey Mike,
    Firstly,Skip trowling is a plastering Technique. So the use of real plastering tools (hawk & trowel) would be preferable. Old guys with trashed shoulders are at times religated to an 8" trowel. We use 16" trowels and we prefer to water down our joint compound with a cup or two of water to make the mud more easy to pull. I have never heard of using a hard rubber trowel before, but I am sure that Cape Taper can make it look like the picture. His discription of "smearing the mud around in random directions"is relativly accurate. We however complete approximatly an 8 x 8 surface, then clean our blades against our hawks and VERY lightly re-trowel the completed surface with the edge of our blade. You know,,,we knock it down. gives it a less rough,less smeared look. Before we prime for paint (after its dry) we go back and shave off any boogers on our inside or outside corners and such.By the way, we never use this technique to hide any thing. We always make everthing dead flat before we texture. I know how peticular you are about your finishes. We use hawk & trowel for all of our finish work. Do many finishers use those tools elseware?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    PM imbound
    RLTW

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,003

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    skip trowel to me is using a 10 inch knife and pan . using a thin mix with silaca sand in the mud , hawk and trowel is what i call a palm texture . i trowel down the palm texture with a plastic panter shield i have pictures on my profolio at betterdrywall.com im not good at taking pictures so i will be hiring an expert somtime soon . been too busy to mess with the website lately .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    9,252

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    I've noticed in different regions / people skip trowel means many different things. I'd love to see some photos of the difference b/t knockdown and skip trowel as defined by whoever. Or what is the major difference besides application method - how is the final look different? Thanks...
    “Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
    Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Now I am also more curious to compair techniques. I have never heard of any texture being called "Palm Texture". Palm? I don't get it. I also think that adding silica/sand is an ancillary preference. Not much to do with the actual application. In my area the skip trowel look is performed by drywall finishers with broad knives because those are the conventional tools they used to learn with. Those are the tools that I leaned with and used for years until I worked with some old time plasterers. After learning how to not dump all the mud off of my hawk I soon realized that one can control the amount of mud applied to a wall surface more easily and faster. Peticularly walls that were really rough. I still use a knife on occasion, just for touch up. Plastering is a lost trade down here. I suspect they priced theirselves right out of the industry. Down here builders started using Rock Lath instead of the wood stripped lath in the early 50s. A peice of rock lath was 16" x 48" x 1/4" nailed to 16oc framing. Then brown coated, then top coated with white plaster either sanded or unsanded. Then the next generation of gyp. producers came up with our drywall systems of today by the seventies. Along with the new generation of hand tools and spray rigs that allowed for ease of training the newer unskilled work force of the seventies.Clearly aiming at increasing production with out having to pay for the high priced plasterer of the day.I beleive that in time the spray on "Knock Down" will fall from favor much like the "Pop Corn" ceilings of the seventies. In any case, applying any type of mud by hand is much different with hawk and trowel. Frankly, I am suprised that more tradesmen on this sight don't prefer plastering tools when doing remodel work. I am certainly not implying that pan and knife techniques are lesser (just newer). Aren't there any old timers out there that know what I am talking about?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Southern NH, north of tax-achussetts
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Lawrence-

    I'm a taper by trade and was taught how to tape with a 12" flat trowel and a 6" broad knife. Then when I worked in the union in Boston there were companies that wanted us to use curved trowels. That was the case when you had an older Canadien forman. But there was alot of guys that would tape with either a pan knife and pan or a pan knife and hawk, and they were the 1st to get laid off. The only acceptable use for a pan in the eyes of those guys was to use it to wipe behind the bazooka or bake a loaf of bread. I will say that I personally can tape with a soup spoon and bowl if I had to! It really comes down to the ability of the person using the tool. I think pan knives are popular because the learning curve is much shorter that using a trowel. And in most of the US its been 40 years or so since plastering was the thing, so plastering tools aren't as popular. Now here in the northeast plastering is really popular. Expsecially in the states of MA, RI, and CT.

    Now being a knife and trowel taper, the job I'm currently taping I used knife and pan. The reason is I wanted to see if it would reduce my material amount and it did. I really believe you can achieve great results taping with pan knives or trowels as long as you know how to use each tool.
    "cheap labor pays for expensive headaches"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Mike,
    Its true. Its all really about getting the mud on the wall/ceiling surface as efficiently as possible. As long as one's installation is sound and flat and made to look like the picture. I think your right about material use too.Much of what I do is T&M, so I generally don't worry about an extra bucket or two. For an average tape and slick finish job, I would say that troweling uses more material. But when installing a hand applied textured top coat I believe the use of material is reduced. Especially when compared to the heavier spray on "Knock down" finishes that seem to be so popular down here now. When doing a remodel I don't have to bag and mask the job site like the spray guys do so we can still be competitive with a hand textured finish. Plus many of the older houses have a flater textured finish that can only be accuratly matched with a trowel(don't want to see any trowel or knife lines within the finish coat). Lots of production companies down here are skimping on the second and third coat, then try to hide everything with the heavy spray cuz its fast. But you can see the poor quality in the corners and butt joints. I read posts on how to deal with ceiling medalions that have been chiped off. Some want to perscribe a really protracted solution. When hot mud and trowel or total demolition seem to be the best way to solve the problem. I guess for me, the trowel still has a place in modern drywall finishing. And I bet if more finishers knew how to use a trowel they would find ways to use it. I am not an old school blow hard. I mean I believe in new tools. Shoot I haven't hand driven any kind of nail in I don't know how long. I had a gun for every thing (till I got ripped off a few weeks ago). Any way. I'm done.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    I suppose this is what I would consider to be a skip trowel.

    http://www.contractortalk.com/galler...to=149&cat=505

    I like my mud a bit thinner than a rolled on texture (stomp, crowsfoot, slapbrush) yet thicker than a knockdown. I'll use a 12" knife ....I apply the mud and knock it down in one motion. Light pressure and holding the blade almost flat to the wall tends to "skip" the mud off the blade. Make sure the texture is going in random directions and keep a chunk free mix so there are no drag lines.
    Last edited by sheetrock26; 12-31-2006 at 09:29 AM.
    Cory Merryman

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Spokane Washington
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Davenorthup touched on the differences in textures as they vary from region around the country. In Seattle almost all the popcorn has been scraped off. I tell people you can open your windows at night and hear the din, from the people staying up late and scraping it off. 90% of walls and ceilings being done today are a very light orange peel. No one does a knockdown. A knockdown in Washington is spraying on an orange peel and dragging something across it to flatten it out. When people did knockdowns here in Washington in the 1975-1985 years, some people put sand in the mud. A skip trowel here is putting the mud on the knife and dragging it across the ceiling which leaves mud in some places and skips it in others ala Mexican restaurant. There are very few of these skip trowels used here. When I moved 300 miles east from Seattle to Spokane, Washington the ceilings changed. In Spokane 80% of the ceilings have a “crows foot” texture. They look nice and cover almost as much as popcorn. I had never seen the “crows foot aka stomp or slap brush” in Seattle. The walls are still light orange peel here. Only 3% (guessing) of the homes in Washington are smooth wall. One more quirk. In upscale situations the “crows foot” texture is knocked down. I don’t like it as well, but that is the way they do it in the $500,00 and up crowd, at least in the formal living room. That’s the way it is here.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Cory,
    Pics look just fine. And if the HO is happy and pays on time, then it looks even better. There are probably also some differences in finished product because no two people coordinate their movements the same way. For this reason, I never let my crew members texture in the same room. It keeps the final product looking consistant(at least in that room). Or if one man is on the lid he stays on the lid only. And the other installer stays on the walls. I don't want newly finished walls looking like they were patched and matched.Just trying to keep everything tight and clean looking.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: "Skip Trowel" texture...

    Nice gallery, Cory.

    I like to use a 18" broadknife/mudpan for doing a skip-trowel type texture.

    I don't add sand/skid-tex to the mud unless I am trying to match a texture that incorporated it.

    It is somewhat tricky, though, untill you get down the right application angle that you need to minimize as you apply the texture.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts