For more than a century, plaster interior walls were the preferred construction in Melbourne homes. From ancient mansions to old country cottages, these beautiful walls are still found in many homes today. Modern homeowners are probably familiar with drywall or sheetrock but not with plaster. This article will guide you through all queries about painting your plaster walls.

Can we paint plaster walls?

Many classic homes may have completely intact plaster walls hidden behind layers of dated wallpaper or peeling paint. The good news is that you can paint these walls with the same supplies you would use on sheetrock! From classic restorations to modern styles, you can make your walls look beautiful with a new coat of paint.

Paint on this will only look as fresh and beautiful as the prep work underneath, however, so be sure not to skip any steps.

Preparing Plastered Walls for Painting:

Most older house paints contain lead. Always use eye safety and a respirator when sanding or stripping old paint.

Remove Old Paint:

The first step to painting old plaster walls is to remove whatever is covering them. Old paint can be removed in two ways:

Patch and Repair : 

Patch and Repair Plaster

Once you have the walls stripped down to bare plaster, you’ll need to repair and patch any cracks or old damage. This process can be tedious, but it’s one of the most important steps. Plaster walls are unforgiving, and any cracks that are left alone will likely spread.

Paintable caulk can be used to fill minor cracks. It remains flexible, so the crack will be less likely to reappear. Larger holes from old bolts or longer cracks should be patched just like drywall and sanded. The goal is to create a smooth, even surface with no visible cracks or holes.

To do that, start by blending any patches or new plaster into the old with rough grit sandpaper. Once the surface is roughly level, smooth the surface with high-grit sandpapers to create a smooth surface for the primer coat.

What’s the best primer for plaster walls?

Plaster walls are more sensitive to mist than drywall and need high-quality primers. Oil-based primers are a good option for old walls. They have superior stain-blocking power and will keep any old stains from bleeding completely to new paint. Oil-based primers are also best at sealing out mist, which can be a major problem for old walls. Perhaps most useful is oil primer’s ability to fill and seal the surface of the plaster.

Many brand primers are known for their stain-blocking capabilities and are available at many home improvement centers. For a premium option, Sherwin Williams offers durable primers specifically for plaster.

Some bright colors, especially reds and yellows, will usually look better with a tinted primer. The paint shop or home enhancement store should know if your paint requires this and can mix the appropriate primer.

What is the best paint finish for plaster walls?

Plaster walls can be polished in any luster, from high-gloss to ultra-matte. The most accomplished finish for most home appliances is a satin finish that blends the smooth warmth of a matte or flat ending with the luxury of cleaning that comes with semi-gloss or gloss finishes. If your home has traditional Victorian styling, a softer finish will finely complement lacquered or glossy enameled trim around doors and ceilings.

Flat or matte finish paint will not be as easy to clean and will show scuffs much easier than satin paint. Still, the lightly textured finish can be very useful for hiding minor imperfections in the underlying plaster.

What kind of paint should we use on plaster walls?

What kind of paint should we use on plaster walls

Use The best kind of paint for plaster walls in whatever color appeals to you!

Once plaster walls are perfectly patched and primed, they can easily take any color or finish. Satin and eggshell finishes are very famous, and lighter, smooth shades of cream and white are ideal if resale value is a concern.

There is one kind of paint you shouldn’t use: all-in-one paint and primer. The label is misleading, as these paints do not actually have a primer in them. Instead, they are blended to create a thicker, more durable coat.

While durable paint is not a bad thing, these products won’t help with the two largest problems that primer solves on old plaster: making paint stick to the wall better and blocking decades of potential stains from bleeding through to the fresh paint.

Painting Plaster Walls:

Painting Plaster Walls

So, your plaster has been patched, and the exterior

 is flat and primed. Now it is time to paint!

Plaster can be comfortably painted in the same way as drywall. Even with the best coat of primer, plaster walls are notoriously thirsty for paint. Using a roller for open areas and brushes around trim and borders increases an even coat of your choice of paint. Don’t try to cover the wall in one go completely. Two or three thinner coats will create a much prettier finish than one thick coat, which is likely to end up running and looking uneven.

Plaster walls also lend themselves to creative painting schemes, like sponged paint and rustic, antiqued finishes.

Need Help Painting ?

Find a professional painter near you.  If you need a home painter in Melbourne, give Meggycopainting a call today (045) 071 2009! 

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