Painting On New Plaster

newly plastered room

How To Paint New Plaster – In 5 Easy Steps

1. Be Patient and Let the Plaster Dry 

Plaster is a very permeable substance, which basically means it absorbs moisture very quickly. The main factors that determine how soon you can paint a newly plastered wall are; temperature, humidity level, type of plaster, and weather conditions. Generally, you should be prepared to wait about 4 weeks for fresh plaster to dry completely.

If the walls have only received a skim coat of plaster, they will take less time to dry. Typically, it will take 3-4 days for a skimmed surface to be completely dry.

Some people recommend using a heater or dehumidifier to speed up the drying process. Be cautious if you plan to use either of these methods, for if you remove moisture from the air too quickly, it can cause surface imperfections or cracks to appear in the plaster. Patience is perhaps your best choice, and simply let the plaster dry naturally.

When the plaster is fully dried, the wall will be a uniform light colour. If you notice any dark patches, even if small, wait until they disappear completely as they are an indication of moisture under the surface.

Beware: If you don’t let the plaster dry and apply emulsion paint to wet plaster, it’s likely to crack and peel off.

2. Do I need to Sand the Plaster Before Painting?

If you hired a professional plasterer and they have worked to a high standard, it is unlikely that you will need to sand the walls. If however, you do notice some imperfections in the surface, then you will need to lightly sand those areas using a fine sandpaper (120 grit or higher). Don’t be tempted to use a coarser grade of sandpaper as it could create scratches in the wall surface, which will spoil the paint finish.

3. Mix your Mist Coat

Your plaster is completely dry, very good. Painting directly on top of it, not so good! Painting on dry plaster can often result in uneven brush strokes. So what to do? Apply a mist coat.

What is a mist coat you might ask? Very simply, it is watered-down emulsion applied to the wall as a primer coat. Pick up a tin of white emulsion and thin it out with water, 3 parts paint to 1 part water. That’s it.

4. Cover your Floors and Furniture

Protect the floor and furniture with cloth drop cloths, as they absorb spills and prevent them from spreading. Remember to tape your drop cloths to the floor to prevent any spilled paint getting underneath.

man looking at camera smiling thumbs up, painting a wall yellow

5. Apply your Homemade Mist Coat

Apply the mist coat using a roller for the main area and a brush in the corners and next to any trim. The mixture will soak into the wall and seal the plaster. This extra layer will help your top coat stick, so you can achieve a professional looking finish. Let the mist coat dry before applying your top coat.

6. Paint the Walls With a Top Coat

This really is the fun part, watching the room transform before your very eyes with your beautiful new paint.

Wallpapering Too?

If your plan is to complete the room transformation with a beautiful wallpaper, then we suggest using WallpaperBuddy™, which makes wallpapering easy.

WallpaperBuddy™ holds wallpaper away from the wall at an ideal angle for aligning and smoothing, and helps to reduce bubbles and creases. The telescopic design allows you to progress down the wall at a pace that is perfect for you, working with both hands free the entire time. At a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional, why not DIY with WallpaperBuddy™.

How To Use WallpaperBuddy™

person hanging wallpaper on ladder with wallpaperbuddy

We hope you found this article helpful, and we would appreciate it very much if you shared it with someone else you feel might benefit from it.


Here are some more guides to decorating:

A Beginners Guide To Painting A Room 

How Much Paint Will I Need?

Tips for Choosing Wallpaper