How to paint fresh plaster

When you have had your walls freshly skimmed by a professional plasterer, you'll want to decorate those walls when they are dry. This drying process can take 5-10 days depending on conditions. You'll know when it's dry when the dark, wet plaster turns to a lighter shade as you can see in our example here:

 Fresh plaster before mist-coating

Fresh plaster before mist-coating

New plaster is very porous and needs to be sealed to ensure a good quality finish whether you intend to paint or wallpaper. In this example, our client wanted wallpaper.

Step 1.
You need to apply a "mist coat" (traditionally referred to as "miss coat") to the fresh plaster. This is a heavily watered-down coat of paint (usually 30-40% water:paint). We would use a trade paint - usually a matt emulsion in the same colour as the top coat.

Step 2.
Apply the paint with a roller and brush, cutting in carefully, to cover the wall surface and allow to dry. This won't take long as the plaster will absorb the paint quickly.

 After the mist-coat

After the mist-coat

Step 3.
You can apply a second mist coat if you wish, but it's not usually necessary.

Step 4.
In this case, we applied wallpaper, but you could then paint straight onto the dried mist coat with your chosen top coat paint. 

 Finished wall

Finished wall

Voila!

You might be thinking, why bother with a mist coat if you are papering over the top? The reason is that if there was no mist coat, the wallpaper paste would soak in and dry too quickly meaning you couldn't make adjustments to the placing of the paper as you normally would. Depending on the surface, it may also be advisable to seal the mist-coated wall with a watered-down wallpaper paste mix (this is called "sizing"). This will help slide the paper into position for adjustments. Then allow to dry as normal. 

If this all sounds like too much hassle, contact us for a professional finish. We provide free, no obligation quotations and advice. 

Kim Spooner