How to: Paint a Newly Plastered Wall

When it comes to decorating, there are few things as inspiring as a freshly plastered wall.


That fresh, clean flawless wall gives you a completely blank canvas. Done properly, and your finished wall will look absolutely stunning. However, without the proper preparation, you could end up with a patchy, dry and flaky wall.

Image shows a room with a teractotta coloured wall with wet patches. there is a single light bulb in the room and a set of stepladders in the centre. To the right of the image there is a window.

We want to help you avoid that, so our experts have put together the Unitas guide to preparing a newly plastered wall.

Step 1 – the waiting

As tempting as it is to get going on the painting as soon as that lovely plaster is applied, there’s a waiting game to play first. Ideally, you should leave the plaster for 2 – 3 weeks before doing anything with it.

Step 2 – a polish

Before applying any primer or paint, sand the whole wall, getting rid of any imperfections and giving you a smooth finish. Once you’ve sanded, give the whole area clean to get rid of the plaster dust. Remove any plaster from skirting boards or coving and make sure there’s no dust that could ruin your finish.

Step 3 – bring the mist

New plaster is dry and extremely porous. Putting paint straight onto it will give a patchy, dry and flaky appearance, which is obviously not what you want. So you follow a process known as “misting”. Misting a wall sounds a little more dramatic than the process actually is – it’s simply the name given to the priming stage. The mist is essentially watered down emulsion (we would recommend 7 parts paint with 3 parts water, but essentially you’re looking for a milky consistency and it’s far better to have thin mist than thick). The paint solution may look extremely patchy as it’s being applied, but this is fine. It’s the plaster absorbing the moisture from the misting solution, which is far better than it absorbing the moisture from your paint.

Image shows a paint roller, spreading a light brown paint onto a white wall

Step 4 – the first coat

Once the mist has fully dried, you’re ready to apply a first coat of the paint you’ve chosen.

Step 5 – the waiting

Once again, you’re playing a waiting game here. Although you’ll need a second coat of paint, you’ll need to wait until that first coat is completely dry before putting anything on it. Ideally, leave it overnight to ensure it’s completely dry.

Step 6 – second coat

Once the first coat is fully dry, the wall is ready for a second coat.


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