It’s incredibly satisfying to have a room plastered to a high standard, but it needs to be treated carefully in order to get the best finish for your paint – so this month we’re going to give you our top tips for painting fresh plaster like a pro.
Painting fresh plaster
It would seem that painting fresh plaster is a simple task, but if you rush to get the job done you’ll struggle to get the high-quality finish that a well plastered wall deserves. Firstly, it’s absolutely crucial that the wall is dry, but how long do you need to leave it? There’s no definite time frame because every wall, type of plaster, and atmosphere is different, so if you’re not sure it’s best to wait a little longer. Generally, you want the wall to be a uniform light colour with no dark patches – even small dark spots where the wall is still a bit damp could ruin the finish.
Don’t be tempted to speed up the process with hairdryers or fans because that may lead to cracking – instead leave the windows open to allow natural drying to take place.
Once your plaster is dry you may need to lightly sand the surface – although this shouldn’t be necessary if you’re plasterer is a good one! Use a nice fine sandpaper of around 200-400 grit for a smooth finish. After a sanding, it’s time for a mist coat to seal in the plaster…
Essentially, a mist coat is a watered down coat of emulsion that sinks into the plaster to create a surface for the thicker coats of emulsion to stick to. Some decorators recommend a coat of watered down PVA, but it’s much less reliable for the amateur DIYer looking for a simple, quality finish.
The ratio of water to emulsion depends on a number of factors (and which decorator you ask!), but between 50/50 and 70/30 water to paint is a good starting point. As long as the mist coat is watery and has enough paint in to seal the plaster effectively you’re good to go.
Apply the mist coat with a roller and allow to dry for at least 24 hours, but be careful to either remove or cover your floors and furniture because the mist coat paint will splash much more readily than thick emulsion.
Once the mist coat is dry you can apply your top coats. As with all painting jobs, it pays to cut in around the edges first with a 2-4 inch brush before applying the paint evenly with a smooth roller. Use the best quality brushes and rollers for a great finish – that’s often the difference between the DIYer and the professional!
Follow these tips and your freshly plastered walls will soon look fantastic – there’s no simpler way to transform a room! Of course, if you’re nervous about undertaking a job like this yourself and you live in the Leeds area, you can call in our professional decorators in to give you a quote!