Paint color isn’t all that makes a wall aesthetically pleasing. Being free from defects and imperfections such as cracks, dents, and holes is also a factor. Hence the importance of skimcoat and putty. Some Pinoys use skimcoat (a type of plastering material or palitada) and putty (masilya) interchangeably, but don’t be mistaken. Though they both correct surface defects, they’re different things. To clear up confusion, we’re discussing the difference between skimcoat and putty with the help of some Boysen products as examples.
The Difference Between Skimcoat and Putty
Both skimcoat and putty correct surface imperfections and defects. However, to put it simply, skimcoat is for more noticeable defects such as honeycombs and waviness on bare concrete. It’s also used to give walls a smoother texture if the bare concrete is rough or bumpy. Putty is for minor imperfections such as hairline cracks and slight unevenness on a primed or painted wall.
So, yes, there is a difference in what they’re applied on too. Skimcoat is applied on bare concrete and commonly over a large surface area such as the whole of a wall to correct waviness. Putty is applied on a surface that already has primer or paint and more commonly used over smaller areas such as when spot correcting minor imperfections like hairline cracks.
Knowing that, another difference between skimcoat and putty is when in the painting process they’re used—basically, if you’re using both for a project, skimcoat comes first before putty.
Here’s a quick overview of the step-by-step process of painting a concrete wall. Note how skimcoat comes before putty:
Because skimcoat is applied on bare concrete, it’s used during surface preparation (or before the painting process). Proper surface preparation helps ensure the wall is in the best condition before it’s painted.
Putty, on the other hand, is part of the painting system itself. When painting a new wall and a primer has already been applied, putty is the next step. It’s used to go over any final surface defects. Then, there’s spot priming and finally the wall is ready for the topcoat (a.k.a. your choice of color).
Skimcoat for Concrete Surfaces
As an example of a skimcoat, the Boysen family of products has Konstrukt Permaplast K-201 High-Performance Acrylic Skimcoat which can be used on both interior and exterior concrete surfaces.
Konstrukt Permaplast K-201 High-Performance Acrylic Skimcoat can repair and remedy concrete imperfections such honeycombs, waviness, and plumbness that are 2mm to 3mm in thickness. It can be used with different concrete paint types like water-based, solvent-based, or elastomeric. It also has excellent bond strength, is durable, and doesn’t chalk.
This product is mixed with sifted cement at a 1:1 ratio and applied as a thin layer using a steel trowel. Learn more about Konstrukt Permaplast K-201 High-Performance Acrylic Skimcoat here.
Putty for Concrete Surfaces
For putty for concrete walls, there are quite a few Boysen products to choose from depending on what your project requires.
As previously mentioned, putty is for more minor imperfections such as slight unevenness. And for such imperfections on interior concrete surfaces, reach for Boysen Masonry Putty B-7311. It’s a water-based putty so it’s recommended to be used with latex paints. If the imperfections are a little bit thicker, Boysen Perma-Putty B-7312, which is also a water-based putty, can fill them provided they are only up to 2mm in thickness.
If you’re using Boysen Acrytex for your home exteriors, know that there’s a putty specifically for it. Boysen Acrytex Cast B-1711 is an acrylic solvent-based putty for exterior concrete surfaces for when Boysen Acrytex topcoat will be applied after. Because Boysen Acrytex is known for its extreme durability and weatherability, so Boysen Acrytex Cast B-1711 is the same. This putty is tough, watertight, and able to repel water thus preventing seepage.
In summary, remember that skimcoat and putty—or palitada at masilya—are not the same. If you forget which is which, come back to this blog post. Have further questions? The Boysen technical team will be happy to assist you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 8363-9738 local 413 to 418 during office hours for a one-on-one consultation.