Painting new plaster is not just about slapping on a coat of paint; thorough preparation and well-researched technique is needed to achieve a perfect finish. In this guide, we walk you through a tried-and-tested method to prepare and paint new plaster, so you’ll get a beautiful and long-lasting result in no time.

Essential Tools & Equipment

Step 1: Put On Safety Gear

  • Painting plaster is a messy job, and watered-down paint will easily get in your eyes.

  • Put some safety goggles on and protect the surfaces with protective sheets.

Step 2: Prepare The Plaster

  • Before you begin, ensure that the plaster is completely dry, indicated by a uniform light colour without any dark patches.
  • Start by identifying and filling any discrepancies or trowel marks on the plaster using a filling knife and filler.

Step 3: Sanding the Surface

  • Once the filler is dry, sand down the imperfections using a 180-grit sanding mesh to prevent clogging, which is common with sandpaper.

  • Use a pole with a sanding head for ceilings and a hand sander for walls to make the process more comfortable.

Step 4: Mixing the Mist Coat

  • Prepare the mist coat by mixing a 50:50 ratio of water and contract matt emulsion paint using a paddle mixer.

  • Many manufacturers will advise a 10:1, 70:30 or 60:40 ratio of paint to water, so it’s best to start with less and add more as you go along.
  • Mix the solution using a drill with a paddle attachment in a large bucket or paint scuttle to achieve a watery consistency, like a very thin soup.
  • The paint should quickly and freely drip off your paint brush.

Step 5: Applying the Mist Coat

  • Apply the mist coat around the edges or covings around the wall using a paintbrush.
  • Follow up with a 12-inch roller to cover larger areas, ensuring an even application.
  • Apply a second coat after 24 hours if necessary for better coverage, but one coat should be fine as long as you’ve got the ratio right.

Step 6: Apply The Top Coat

  • Once you’ve applied the mist coat and waited about 24 hours for it to dry, paint the walls as normal.
  • Our How To Paint A Wall guide is here to help when you’re ready.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mist coat?

Why is sanding necessary before painting?

Can I use any type of paint for the mist coat?

How long should I wait before applying the final coat of paint?

What tools do I need for painting new plaster?

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