How to Paint New Plaster

Written by richard kalinowski
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How to Paint New Plaster
After applying plaster, prep your wall for paint. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Painting some surfaces doesn't require priming or other extensive prep work. Fresh plaster surfaces, however, almost always need proper conditioning before painting. Prepping and priming new plaster is time-consuming, but a professional-looking finish is well worth the extra effort.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • 300-grit sandpaper
  • Damp rag
  • Paintbrush
  • Interior primer
  • Latex or oil-base paint

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  1. 1

    Consult the plaster container to see how long it takes to dry. Plaster is dry to the touch several hours before it is fully cured and ready to paint.

  2. 2

    Go over the plaster with 150-grit sandpaper. This medium-grit sandpaper helps remove rough patches from the new plaster surface.

  3. 3

    Sand the plaster again with 300-grit sandpaper. This extra-fine sandpaper takes off a very thin layer of plaster to create a smooth surface.

  4. 4

    Wipe down the surface with a damp rag. Don't saturate the rag, as excessive moisture will damage new plaster. Get it barely wet enough to remove the fine sandpaper dust.

  5. 5

    Brush general-purpose interior primer over the plaster patch. Use a paintbrush for small surfaces or a roller for larger areas. In most cases, primer isn't needed for the whole wall if it's already covered in latex or oil-based paint.

  6. 6

    Paint the primed plaster after it is fully dried. Don't use the same brush or roller that you used with your primer. A fresh brush will be free of unwanted residue, helping you achieve a more accurate colour match. Primed plaster patchwork and existing painted walls may need just one coat, but you can apply a second coat if necessary after the first one dries.

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