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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    149

    Default Prep coat vs. skim coat

    Hi guys,
    I am a general contractor. I recently got several bids for a new house I am building in CA. All local drywall subs, except a guy from LA, who is trying to establish himself here (near PalmSprings) gave their proposals with the 'prep coat' to achieve a good, level 5 smoot finish. I checked out the manufacturers web site and they claim it gives level 5. What is your experience regarding skim vs. prep. The guy with the skim coat proposal is not expensive, but he most probably does not have a good size crew. I have a feeling that he will just give it piece work to a few guys he has worked with.
    What is your advise?
    Thank you very much.
    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    Such a simple question. Don't you guys have 20 seconds to answer?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    1,155

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    What do you mean a prep coat? What is that, touching up parts of the walls? Thats why no one answered!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, Fire Island
    Posts
    5,414

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    I think he's talking about a particular product, "prep coat" being the product name... Tom, how about a link to the website you mentioned?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NH Seacoast
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    Tom,

    A level 5 can be achieved either way. Whether its sprayed on or skimed by hand. It is really up to you to spend the time to look at their work and ask them specific questions. If you do not have a regular drywall co. that does your work then you need to do your homework in finding one.

    The choice of who to use needs to be based on a lot more than which way the level 5 is applied. Don't let the size of a company fool you. Often the smaller co. is the more reliable and gives a higher quality product.

    If your needing help in determining how to pick out the best co. to meet your needs and standards than fire away with questions. If your not serious about finding the right co. and your really shopping for price than.....oh well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NewBern NC
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    the 20 secomds to answer is easy,,,,

    I've read that post about 5 times, and I still don't have a clue what your asking???

    You asking about price? crew size? level 5 products? or level 5 in general?

    As for the comment about subing out piece meal to a few guys, thats the way drywall is done,,,

    got to give us hint,,, we're drywallers, remember???
    Capt-Sheetrock---Drywall Master of the Universe
    Craig D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    1,151

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    Why does everyone automatically treat level 5 as some paragon of excellence? A good level 4 would be heaps better than a bad level 5, surely.

    Ok, I've never done a level 5 - and I'm not trying to hijack Tom's thread - but isn't it just about equalizing paint (or primer) absorbtion, texture, and reflection of light? Sounds to me like the sort of thing a sandable primer would take care of (and with a lot less mud work), but I don't know much about paint. I'm definitely following the thread to see what the concensus is though.
    “If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Mr. Red Green

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    Sorry guys, but because all the subs in Palm Springs used the term "prep coat", I assumed it is a generic term. I am not from PS and the only sub who quoted smooth finish with skim coat is also from Los Angeles (he moved here about a year ago). As far as I understand it is a spray on compound which is sandable. Hamilton has one which is called Prep Coat Plus. I don't really know if it is the only manufacturer. Of course I will throw questions to subs but I don't want to sound totally clueless. This is why I posted here. To educate myself better to ask the right questions. The web site for Hamilton is:

    www.hamiltonnw.com/FP_HamiltonPrepCoatPlus.asp

    Thanks again for your help.

    Tom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NewBern NC
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    Tom ,, heres my take on this

    Level 4 is the way we have been doing it for years, but greadually, more cathedreal cielings have become the norm, also, "eggshell paint" (really semi-gloss with a new name so owners and contractors don't realize their getting semi-gloss)has become epedemic.

    whats happens routinely is this, you get a good level 4 and then a thinned down primer coat, no sand before the paint is applied, and then the sun highlites the joints, more so at differant times of the day. At this point the drywallers and painters begin blameing eachother.

    Enter the level 5 ,, sparying the wall (or skimming it) with mud, or a ready mixed level5 finish (usually paint and mud mixed together) is used. This creates the same texture on the field as on the joint (just like a primer coat thats back-rolled, and then sanded before paint is applied will do)

    So to sum it up, somewhere in the process, you have to create the same texture across the whole board for a finish that shows no joints, these are just some of the ways it is done.

    Personally, I spray all purpose mud just like paint for level5 finish, if a level5 is called for, If I do the drywall and the paint, I spray PVA with an airless after a level 4 finish, and back-roll it with a 1/2" knapp roller, which creates the same finish albeit, with one less step.

    Maybe this is not the answer your looking for, good luck
    Capt-Sheetrock---Drywall Master of the Universe
    Craig D

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sunny san jose, where mud dries on time!
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    Hi guys,
    I am a general contractor. I recently got several bids for a new house I am building in CA. All local drywall subs, except a guy from LA, who is trying to establish himself here (near PalmSprings) gave their proposals with the 'prep coat' to achieve a good, level 5 smoot finish. I checked out the manufacturers web site and they claim it gives level 5. What is your experience regarding skim vs. prep. The guy with the skim coat proposal is not expensive, but he most probably does not have a good size crew. I have a feeling that he will just give it piece work to a few guys he has worked with.
    What is your advise?
    Thank you very much.
    Tom



    Hey tom im from San jose Cali and i do know what a prep coat is. Many tapers around here will not give as good a price or guarantee their work unless its prep coated right after the smoothwall is sanded. This is because other subs have no comprehension of how difficlt it is to make smoothwall as nice as it is. because they have no value and or consideration for it , they have an uncanny knack for dinging the ****e out of it. This can cause a nightmare for an average taper. This is where things get technical. Soft muds with less adhesives in them r required to make beautifull smoothwall, they also sand a whole lot easier. That being said, when smoothwall is sanded the surface becomes more dense and or fine. If someone or 50 people make dings everywhere, they have to be fixed by someone. In order to fix them they have to be filled. Well when you come back to sand the touch up areas they r more dense than the existing wall, they sand slower than the existing wall. this creates slight raised welts that look terrible when light hits them. By prep coating it you can avoid this nightmare all together. When u come back and sand a prep coated surface everything has the same density exept the nick which with a little skill can be sanded out perfect. Hope this helps u understand. If i was'nt so far away i would come and try to steal the job. However if he was the only sub that mentioned pre coat, He's probobly better prepared to deal with the job than the others.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Prep coat vs. skim coat

    Hi Taper. I could not understand. Are you prep coating over a full skim coat or just after taping and mudding the joints? How is the prices in San Jose? I am curious.

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