So you have a nice, freshly-plastered room with neat, smooth even walls. You’re pleased with the job, but the task is far from over.
The next step is to paint and to ensure the paintwork looks as flawless and neat as the plaster. You also want to take steps to guarantee a long-lasting finish that will keep its looks for the long term. Follow our simple steps to find out how to paint a newly plastered room.
Wait a while
Plaster should not really be painted over right away. Standard paint will form an airtight seal over the top of it, and if there is any moisture left in the plaster it will become trapped and will create problems later. Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast answer as to how long you should wait. Depending on how warm the room is, with a newly plastered room it can be anything from three to six weeks before the plaster is ready for painting. For a room which has just been reskimmed it will obviously not take as long.
If you really can’t wait this long then the alternative is to use microporous paints. These tend to be thinner and it is often recommended that you only treat them as a temporary solution and paint over them a few weeks later. They do, however, allow the plaster to breathe even after painting so trapped moisture will still be able to escape. This means you can paint them as soon as the surface is solid enough.
Prepare the plaster
Plaster must be properly prepared for painting if you want the resulting paint to perform well long-term. Usually, this means applying a mist coat to seal the plaster and then priming it to help the paint adhere and to improve the look of the painted colour. This is the most common way of preparing the plaster, but it is not necessarily the easiest or the best.
An effective alternative which saves both time and money is to use Emulsa-Bond, a mix-in product suitable for use with water-based paints and varnishes. It removes the need for a mist coat and helps the first coat of paint to bind effectively to plaster that has not been primed. Essentially, it means you are applying primer and the first coat of your final colour at the same time. It also gives better adhesion between the first and second coat for a more professional finish.
The final step is to paint your plaster. It’s as simple as that, but there are still a few things to bear in mind. It will likely take multiple coats to achieve a finish that looks good and is hard-wearing. The number of coats that are actually needed will depend on your chosen product, so consult the instructions. It can also be difficult – but thoroughly worthwhile – to achieve a smooth finish, without significant brush or roller marks. This will give you a much smoother, neater, more professional look.
A product such as Floetrol for water-based paints or, if you prefer oil-based paints, Owatrol Oil when added to your paint will allow it to flow better and help to reduce or eliminate brush and roller marks, making it much easier for the DIY painter to get a professional-looking finish. It won’t affect the inherent qualities of the paint but will make the paint much easier to work with.