How to Use Self-leveling Compound - Part 2

Lead Image
  • 24 hours
  • Beginner
  • 60-250
What You'll Need
Power sander
Fine sandpaper, 800 grit
Self leveling compound mix
Mixing drum
Power drill with mixer paddle
Steel trowel
An assistant

In Part 2 of applying self-leveling compound, you will continue to pour and spread the compound and mix more to finish the area. You will then feather edge the surface and allow the self-leveling compound to dry and cure. Follow the guidelines below to finish your self-leveling compound application. (To return to Part 1, click here.)

Step 1 - Continue Pouring and Spreading the Self Leveling Compound

As you pour each row of compound, have your assistant spread it out with the spreader. Set the spreader so it will smooth the compound out to a depth of ¼ inch. Be careful not to walk in previously poured rows.

Step 2 - Feather Edge the Poured Compound

As soon as each full section is poured, feather edge the compound. Using your trowel, smooth out the outer edges of the section so they are as thin as possible while still providing coverage for the surface. Turn your trowel on its edge to do this. The edge will look like a series of overlapping feathers when done correctly.

Step 3 - Mix More Compound

You can only pour and spread self-leveling compound for 20 to 30 minutes before it thickens too much to pour. Mix more compound in the same way as shown in Part 1, adding the water to the mixing drum first, then adding the dry powder while the mixing paddle is turning. Mix for one minute, add the remaining water if needed, then blend at a lower speed for two minutes.

Step 4 - Pour the Compound to Finish the Floor

Pour the self-leveling compound in strips 12 inches wide, right up to the exit doorway from your room, and spread out to ¼ inch depth with the spreader. Use the trowel to work the self-leveling compound deeply into corners and edges of the floor surface.

Step 5 - Use the Trowel to Smooth Out the Compound

Smooth out and edge the compound with the trowel at once after pouring. Feather edge the compound along the edges of the space. Rub out any trowel marks from poured strips while the compound is still tacky. Use light pressure on the trowel to remove these marks.

Step 6 - Allow the Compound to Dry Fully

The typical rate of leveling of this compound is 10 minutes in a space with an air temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). In rooms that are slightly cooler, the flow rate will be slower. Prevent any cool air currents from passing over the surface as the self-leveling compound dries. Provide it with at least an hour of setting time. It should dry within 24 hours. Sand lightly with the power sander using 800 grit sandpaper, and sweep with a soft-bristled broom to remove dust.

Step 7 - Temperature Guidelines for Applying Self Leveling Compound

Avoid using self-leveling compound when the temperature is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 Celsius), as it will set just as rapidly as you pour it. Do not mix self-leveling compound when the temperature is below 42 degrees Fahrehenit (5 Celsius).