Screeding is simply a method of smoothing and flattening a wall surface by applying a band of plaster or mortar. This usually helps with deciding the plaster’s thickness level that must be applied to the walls.
Screeding is done before painting to prepare the wall and maximize the effect of the paint finish, improving its durability and preventing cracking.
How can you do it?
If you want to screed your internal walls, you’ll need to mix screeding paint, pop cement, and multipurpose bond. Then use a long, flat screed board to put the pop-screeding paint on a pliable surface and start to smooth it out by dragging it back and forth.
Once the screeding is complete, you can finish and polish it using polished paper or sandpaper before you paint.
Pros and Cons of Wall Screeding
Screeding the surface before you paint ensures that the quality and beauty of the paint can shine, giving it a more attractive appearance than painting the wall alone will.
Without doing it, you may not be able to entirely remove flaws, holes, or cracks in the wall, which lends itself to an imperfect result.
After properly leveling off the wall, before putting paint over it, it will not only improve the outcome of the painted wall but will strengthen the coat itself, so it won’t wear off quickly.
The good thing is that the process can be done to any uneven surface, such as walls before wallpapering or floors before painting. For example, you might have a crack in a concrete floor in your house that can be filled with cement to fix and then smoothed over by dragging a board across it for a smooth finish.
The only disadvantage of applying the screeding materials is it’s more complex than many other wall finishes and is also challenging to clean. Also, the screed wall is prone to defects or cracks, and it is difficult to maintain a straight and even surface, especially in large areas.
Different Wall Screeding Materials and Paints
The practice of screeding has gained popularity over the years, and if you want to screed your wall surface before painting, it’s crucial to know the necessary materials you will require.
1. Plaster of Paris
This is one of the most popular and highest-quality screeding materials you can use to give your walls a nice finish and smooth appearance.
This screening mixture requires you to use two ingredients, including pop cement (or a gypsum powder), along with screeding paint. The mix will quickly harden, so you must mix it all up in small amounts to prevent that.
Here are a few things to look for when purchasing screeding paint:
- Easy to work with and handle
- Able to cover a wide area of space
- Offers fair drying time and optimum smoothness
- Waterproof, resistant to weather humidity and heat
2. Cement Sand Screed
Cement Sand Screed is another traditional style of screed that can be used for a large number of applications. The products used, and their quality can be different from brand to brand, so it is essential to research before you buy.
To prepare this mix, you will have to be sure you properly mix the formula and are willing to wait for an entire drying time before you can put the paint.
Keep in mind that these screeds are not the best option in humid or damp weather or anywhere that might become wet.
Bonded sand screed is also an alternative mixing material often used in buildings, houses, and other areas to fill the small cracks in floors and walls.
This bond screeding needs to be applied thinly to get the perfect outcome. However, it will fail if the material isn’t able to bond to the substrate properly.
3. Calcium Sulfate Self-Smoothing Screed
The calcium sulfate screed is made from recycled material and is eco-friendly. Although shrinkage cracking is not fully avoidable, this screed has less shrinkage, minimizing the risk of cracking.
The materials can be laid out across a much larger area than cement sand screed and used on virtually all types of floors and walls. However, to get the best results, the materials should be appropriately mixed with the correct percentage of each ingredient and applied correctly.
Tools Required to Screed the Old Walls and Floors
Besides the essential materials, there are a few different types of screeding tools you will need to consider buying. These include:
- Wooden screed made from durable wood material to use as a surface smoothing bar in masonry
- Aluminum screed made to be pulled across a wet surface to smooth it over
- Motorized screed that offers high efficacy and takes much less time than completing the process manually
When planning out the screeding process, carefully check any abrasions the surface may have. The location of any cracks or joints, along with the ability to resist impact damage, should also be taken into account.
Finally, you need to make sure all plumbing, electrical, and other such inner workings in the wall are completed before you begin screeding so you don’t disrupt the order of the renovation.
The Bottom Line
When applying the screed, it is important to use the right materials and techniques in order to ensure a quality finished product.
Shiny and silk paints against a screeded wall will give the best outcome for interiors. And it’s easy for experts to tell the difference between walls that have been screeded before painting and those that haven’t.
So, if you are into the wall makeover process for your new home or apartment, you should definitely give it a try.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.