Paint perfection; Painting newly plastered walls and ceilings can throw up problems - JULIA GRAY shows you ways to solve them.
Byline: JULIA GRAY
1 BEFORE painting newly plastered walls and ceilings, you first need to seal the plaster.
New plaster is very absorbent and although there are paints and sealers designed for it, a common way to seal it is with watered-down emulsion, as the plaster sucks up the water. Painting plaster before it's fully dry can cause the paint to peel, so don't start too soon.
2 WATERED.DOWN emulsion is messy to work with because it drips more than standard emulsion.
Wipe, roller or brush out drips immediately to avoid a bad finish - the drips dry quickly because the plaster's so absorbent.
If your topcoat is white, use watered-down white emulsion for sealing, or you'll end up doing more coats of topcoat than you need to.
3 ANOTHER problem with using a white topcoat on new plaster is that you can get patches where the topcoat needs several coats to cover.
To save time and paint, use a basecoat emulsion on these patches, which should cover them in one or two coats. Basecoats are designed to cover problems like dark colours, stains and hairline cracks, depending on the product.
4 A REALLY good paint for covering these patches is Crown Solo One Coat Matt Emulsion in Pure Brilliant White (PS17.99 for 2.5ltr, Homebase), which you can use instead of a basecoat or as the topcoat, missing out the basecoat stage. One-coat emulsions can save time, but some give a patchy finish, which can look terrible, especially in light from a window or door, so choose carefully.
5 IF PATCHES of new plaster don't dry out, they're probably damp. Often the best solution is to remove the plaster back to the brickwork and get a plasterer to do a waterproof render before re-plastering. This should stop any moisture in the brickwork coming back through the plaster. The cause of the damp should also be addressed.
Alternatively, there are quick fixes, such as applying damp paint/seal to damp patches, then painting, tiling or cladding the wall (with tongueand-groove panelling, for example). However, you're covering the damp rather than dealing with it and it may come through again once the damp paint/seal starts to fail.
To see how to paint a newly plastered wall, watch Tommy's Trade Secrets - How To Paint Fresh Plaster at youtube.com/watch?v=7WVJ18EZK8o product of the week PROFESSIONAL decorators love to use trade paints, but there's no reason why DIYers can't enjoy the benefits of them too - some are available in DIY stores so buying them couldn't be easier.
It's often a struggle to find a good white emulsion, but Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt in Pure Brilliant White (from PS21.13 for 2.5ltr, B&Q) is a great choice, as it covers well and produces a hard-wearing, wipeable finish. If you want a white white, Pure Brilliant White is for you, but if you prefer an off-white that's more cream than white, you need Dulux Trade Vinyl Matt in White (from PS28.48 for 5ltr, B&Q).
After plastering you must seal it before you start painting