Painting Plaster Walls for First Timers!
Whether it’s a brand new home or a ‘new to you” home, painting plaster walls for the first time can be a trap for new players! With the Perth real estate market always in flux, doing a little DIY home improvement can make a big difference to your sale price. Plaster walls aren’t as simple to dress as other types of walls, especially if they’ve signs of wear and tear that need correcting. Even if it’s a brand new home, where your builder has completed the basics, you may wish to add a splash of colour. So, what do you need to know about your upcoming journey with plaster walls?
The best type of paint for plaster walls
We recommend using a good quality low sheen acrylic paint as it is easy to clean and for first time painters, a low sheen paint can be…more forgiving.
A good choice would be Dulux Wash and Wear Low Sheen as higher quality paints give you a better finish but also deliver longevity. Nobody wants to be re-painting before they have to! So now what?
First thing to do is to make sure you select the colours and shade of the colour that you would like. To do this:
- Purchase some “sample pots” and some white cardboard.
- Apply two coats of your selected colour to the cardboard, and then move the cardboard around the room or rooms to see how the light will affect it in different parts of the house.
- Once you have decided on the colour only then purchase the paint.
You’ll be shocked how different a paint colour looks in a big room compared to a small, in a well-lit room, compared to a dark hall. Don’t simply decide on a colour and go to town, that’s a classic “newbie” mistake.
What you’ll need to buy
- When buying paint make sure you use a good low sheen acrylic for all main areas of the house.
- In the wet areas (bathrooms, ensuite & Laundry) use a Kitchen/Bathroom paint which is more durable for these areas.
- You may also need to buy some good quality brushes and roller. We recommend an Oldfield 10 nap roller sleeve for applying the paint, masking tape and a small extension pole.
- You may also need drop sheets, cleaning agents, masking tape and any ‘stenciling’ items you choose. Your paint supplier should be able to advise you on what you need.
- Remove any dust, grit or oil from the surface. If your walls are damaged, you may find a fine layer of “plaster dust” on the wall. This must be removed before you start.
- Plaster walls – dust down the walls with a soft broom, apply one coat of sealer binder thinned approximately 5% with turpentine for penetration into the plaster.
- Make sure you roll the paint on from top to bottom, cutting in the top, bottom and edges with a brush.
- When the walls have been done, sand them down from top to bottom with a light 120mm sandpaper to make sure that the walls are smooth.
- Fill any holes with Pollyfiller, let dry, sand down and touch up with a small amount of acrylic undercoat. Be sure to remove any dust from the sanded area before moving on to the next layer – colour!
Now it’s time to apply the colour you have chosen
- Make sure you have applied masking tape to all areas that are not to be painted or cover with a drop sheet or plastic.
- When applying the low sheen to walls tackle one wall at a time. Cut in the wall at the top next to the cornice first, down each side of walls and across the floor, then roll all walls evenly.
- Try to apply the paint in an even finish laying it off from top to bottom.
- Repeat this process throughout the house.
What happens if your DIY painting job goes south?
House painting can be a soothing and very satisfying DIY project. A fresh coat of paint makes a remarkable difference to the appearance of a room. But what happens if there’s a bit of a disaster? What happens if you accidentally do major damage to your lovely plaster walls? How about correcting a poor colour choice? What can you do if that feature wall is now your “wall of shame”? While painting is sometimes a much-loved job and sometimes a much-loathed job, it’s always a much fiddlier job than you’d first expect. Getting a Master Painter in to do the work for you could save you a lot of time, a lot of heartache, and actually INCREASE the value of your home. It’s OK to20 not enjoy painting plaster walls. It’s not for everyone! Talk to us if you need help or advice. We’ve been painting Perth houses and businesses for four generations. Whatever happened, we know how to fix it!