maximum time interval limits between coats when skimming

by Angela

hello Paul, and many thanks for your very helpful videos on u-tube, which helped me get up the nerve to try skimming my bathroom walls - you make it look so easy!
I followed your clear instructions and really enjoyed the plastering, but unfortunately since I'm a novice I take quite a long time to do each stage. my questions are about the time between 1st and 2nd coats:
does the 2nd coat have to be applied before the 1st one dries out, or will it still adhere?
and if the 1st coat dries out before I'm ready to apply the 2nd, should i treat it with pva solution again or is it better to wet it with water?
I can only mix up smaller quantities of plaster at a time because I work slowly, which causes delays since I have to clean out the mixing basin then do a new mix. although you explain very well about the problems when the plaster is too wet, there is mo mention of the correct procedure when it dries out quicker than a beginner can work. I'd be very grateful for some advice on how to go back and finish off a semi-skimmed piece of work, please, so it doesn't fall off on me!

Hi Angela,

The 1st coat should not be allowed to dry out too much. If it sets then you need to start the whole process again, so if time is an issue plenty of pva or damping the wall down first. Increase your trowel stroke as much as possible to cover a greater distance quicker and just be content with a flat even coat. Don't mess about with it just get on through the stages as quick as possible.

But if it sets then you need to apply pva before starting again,

Good luck


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Aug 13, 2019
Outcome if too dry...
by: Mick

If the first coat does become slightly too dry how will the second coat react? I've recently done some plastering and it's blistered slightly in places. It was into plasterboard and was well ventilated and noticed some patches were starting to become lighter coloured as I applied the second coat. I'm now having to fill these blisters before painting.

Jul 07, 2019
Dried out skim NEW
by: Uoobi

Wow these are the tips no one tells you on YouTube ,they all blabber on about the same methods but not what to do when
Your plaster start going off the minut you put it on .
Thanks for the help

Oct 06, 2017
Duration between two coat plaster NEW
by: Raghu

I want to know duration between first coat and second coat plaster

Oct 16, 2016
out of time
by: novice platerer

I also find myself in this predicament. I put the first coat on the ceiling and now its too late to do final skim. Will it be more difficult if I do the final coat next weekend?


You'll have to apply PVA to the ceiling and start from scratch.


Oct 11, 2016
ran out of time for 2nd coat ?? overnight
by: Anonymous

I started on a ceiling today hoping that I would have the thing sealed coated coated then trowled but I only managed to get the first coat on then had to leave it overnight as his kids was going to bed how will I be able to resolve please ?? thanks kieran


Hi Kieran,
You'll have to PVA the ceiling and start from scratch - reapplying the 1st Coat as the 2nd coat needs to be applied to a firm but pliable 1st coat. Hopefully you had time to flatten any lumps or ridges out before you put the kids to bed - if not they will need sorting before you re-do.
It really is a case of only starting if you know you have a good few hours free of interruptions.


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