How to Skim Coat Cement Board

Cement board is a popular material for walls and flooring. It’s a composite material made of cement, sand, and water. Skim coat cement board is a newer product that uses a coating process to make it more durable than regular cement board. This article will outline the steps necessary how to skim coat cement boards.

How to Skim Coat Cement Board

What Is Skim Coat Cement Board?

If you’re a homeowner, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of skim-coat cement board. But what is it, and what are its benefits?

Skim coat cement board is a thin layer of cement that’s applied over a regular piece of drywall. It’s typically used in areas where moisture is likely to be a problem, such as a bathroom or a kitchen.

One of the main benefits of skim coat cement board is that it’s waterproof. This makes it ideal for use in areas where water could potentially damage the drywall.

Skim coat cement board also has a smooth finish, which makes it less likely to show bumps and imperfections. This can be especially helpful in areas like the bathroom, where tile is often installed.

Pros and Cons of Skim Coat Cement Board


There are several pros of skim-coat cement boards. First, it is a very thin layer, so it dries quickly. This means that you can start to tile or paint over it soon after it is applied. Second, it is a smooth surface, so it is easy to work with. This makes it less likely that you will have any bumps or ridges in your finished product. Third, it is a very strong material, so it can hold up to a lot of wear and tear.


One potential downside of skim-coat cement board is that, if it is not applied correctly, it can be susceptible to cracking. In addition, because skim coat cement board is so thin, it can be easily damaged.

Skim Coat Cement Board Can Be Susceptible to Cracking

How to Skim Coat Cement Board

A cement board is a great material to use when creating a tile backsplash, shower surround, or even a floor. It is waterproof and can be painted or stained to match any decor. Here we will learn how to skim-coat cement board. All the basic Instructions you will need are discussed below.

Tools You Will Need

To skim-coat cement board, a straight edge, a notched trowel, and a hawk are the basic tools you will need. A straight edge is used to create a level surface to work on, while a notched trowel is used to apply the skim coat evenly. A hawk is a small platform that holds the material you are working with, so you have both hands free to use the trowel.

How to Prepare the Surface?

It’s important to properly prepare the surface before installing a skim coat cement board. This involves removing any old paint or sealant and repairing any damage to the surface. If there are any cracks or holes, they need to be fixed with mortar or caulk before installing the cement board. The surface should then be cleaned with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust.

Applying Skim Coat

To skim-coat the cement board, you will need to mix some plaster in a bucket. You will then want to use a trowel to spread the plaster over the cement board. Be sure to spread it evenly and make sure that all of the gaps between the boards are filled in. Let the plaster dry completely before applying a second coat.

Be Sure to Spread It Evenly

Finishing Up after applying a skim coat

Finishing up after applying skim coat is just as important as the preparation and application process itself. The goal is to achieve a smooth, even surface that will be ready for the next coat of paint or plaster.

In order to do this, you’ll need to make sure all of the bumps and ridges are smoothed out. Use a putty knife or other scraping tool to do this, making sure to go over the same area several times until it’s level. You can also use a sandpaper block to help with this step. Be sure to wear a dust mask while sanding, and work in a well-ventilated area.

Make Sure All of the Bumps Are Smoothed Out

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the job done right:

  1. Make sure the surface you are working on is clean and dry before beginning.
  2. Use a trowel or other flat tool to apply a thin layer of mortar to the surface.
  3. Place the cement board in position and press down firmly to secure it in place.
  4. Use a hammer or other blunt object to tap around the edges of the board until it is fully secured.


When working with skim coat cement boards, it is important to take some precautionary measures. First, make sure that the surface you are working on is clean and free of any debris or dust. Next, mix the skim coat according to the instructions on the package. Be sure to use a trowel to apply the skim coat evenly and avoid any lumps or bumps. Finally, allow the skim coat to dry completely before applying any additional finishes.


In conclusion, skim-coating cement board is an easy and affordable way to improve the appearance of your walls. It is a quick and simple process that can be completed in just a few hours. If you are thinking about skim coating your cement board, be sure to follow these steps to ensure a smooth, seamless finish.

How to Finish Cement Board for Paint?

The preparation of cement board for painting begins with the removal of any dust, dirt, and grease from the surface using a degreaser. The surface should then be primed with a bonding primer that will adhere to the surface and provide a good base for the paint. Once the primer is dry, the board can be painted with latex or oil-based paint.

Can You Finish Cement Board Like Drywall?

A cement board is a material that is often used as a substrate for tile installation. It is similar to drywall, but it is made of cement and fiberglass instead of gypsum and paper. Cement board can be finished like drywall, but it is more durable and less likely to dent or sag.

Screwing Cement Board

To screw cement board, you will need a drill, screw gun, and screws. The first step is to measure and mark the placement of the screws on the cement board. Next, use the drill to make pilot holes in the cement board. Then, use the screw gun to drive in the screws. Make sure that the screws are driven in evenly so that the cement board is secured properly.

Make Sure That the Screws Are Driven in Evenly

Cement Board Installation

Installing a cement board is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to your walls. It is important to install it properly, or you could run into some problems down the road. In this article, we will go over the basics of how to install cement boards.

The first thing you’ll need is some cement board. You can buy it in different sizes and thicknesses, so it’s a good idea to measure the wall before heading to the store. Cut the board to size. Lay it up on the wall and use a level to make sure you have it level. Start to screw the boards into place, starting in one corner and working your way around the room until you reach your last board.

You Can Buy Cement Board in Different Sizes and Thicknesses

How Do You Smooth Cement Board?

To smooth the cement board, one would use a trowel to apply a thin layer of mortar to the surface and then use a hawk and trowel to spread the mortar evenly. One would then use a groover to score the mortar in a brick pattern and then use a grout float to press the grout into the scored lines. Finally, one would use a brush to remove any excess mortar.

Do You Need a Scratch Coat on Cement Board?

There is some debate as to whether or not a scratch coat is necessary when installing cement boards. Some professionals believe that the adhesive on the back of the cement board is sufficient to secure it to the wall and that a scratch coat is not necessary.

Others believe that a scratch coat provides extra security and helps to create a smooth surface for tiling. Ultimately, it is up to the individual installer to decide whether or not a scratch coat is necessary for their particular situation.

What Can I Use to Cover Cement Board?

The use of a cement board over a wooden subfloor is recommended to provide a level, stable surface on which to install flooring. The cement board should be primed and sealed before installation of the flooring to prevent moisture from seeping up through the cracks between the boards and damaging the finish of the floor. A variety of materials can be used to cover the cement board, such as ceramic or stone tile, laminate, or hardwood.

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