How to paint new plaster

In this article we are going to tell you how to paint new plaster or how to paint on new plaster walls and ceiling which is also known as a mist coat. We will tell you which paint is best to use on new plaster walls. We’ll tell you how to mix it with water in the correct ratios. We’ll tell you how to apply it to the wall in step by step process and we’ll give you some tips and tricks along the way .

when painting onto fresh plaster for the first time the plaster will suck the moisture out of the paint extremely quickly. So we need to make sure we get the right texture paint to soak nicely into the fresh plaster. if we get this wrong rather than actually adhere to the wall the paint will tend to create more of a skin on the wall which can be prone to peeling off at a later date and the way we get around this is by thinning down the paint with water.

Now we are going to start our step by step process of how to paint on new plaster wall.

The first thing we need to know is what paint to use well quite simply you want a basic matte emulsion as a general guide you go for the value matte emulsions and if you get a 10 need to turn for around 10 to 12 pound in uk money then they’re perfect. if you go for anything more expensive then in my opinion you’re wasting your money.

Water and Paint ratio

The next thing to consider is your ratio of water to paint. It is recommended to start with 40 percent water and 60 percent paint. I find that the wall is sucking the paint up too quickly then it needed sometimes to add more water but this is something you just have to gauge as you go along . Don’t be afraid to mess around with your ratios to suit your particular wall and what most people don’t realize is that it actually tells you how to do this on the back of the tub.

At the back of some tubs  it says that if you’re painting new plaster seal the surface by adding a coat of paint diluted with up to 40 of clean water. Now just bear in mind, on the back of some paint terms it will say mixed with up to 10 water some say up to 20 water and personally we always start with about 40 water


Painting tools

You’re going to need a few tools for this job. For mixing the paint you’re gonna need a paint mixer or paddle mixer. You’re gonna need a drill to turn the paddle mixer.  You need a bucket for clean water it’s always a good idea to have a bucket with measuring marks on the side. So we can work out the exact ratio of water to paint and a paint scuttle for mixing and holding our paint.

You can use a bucket to mix your paint if you want in which case you’re gonna need two buckets and you can pour it out from the bucket into your scuttle. Then to apply the paint to the wall you’re gonna need a paintbrush. You need to got a pack of different size brushes for cutting into the corners.

You’re going to need a basic paint roller and some compatible rolling sleeves to go over the top of the roller. if you’re painting a ceiling then you may want to invest in an extendable pole that is compatible with your roller so you can paint the ceiling while stood on the floor. And finally a good quality sheet to cover the floor to stop paint getting all over the place.

Measure and mix paint and water

Now give your bucket and scuttle a good clean to ensure there’s no debris that’s going to get into our paint. Then put two liters of water in the bucket when you are going to add three liters of paint. It is better to measure the water out in the bucket first and measure the paint out in the scuttle and then add the water to the paint. Do this process by using the measuring scale on the side of the scuttle and the measuring scale on the side of my bucket.

When you open your paint it’s also a good idea to give this a stir first just to ensure it’s well mixed before adding it to your scuttle.  You can use anything to do this but just make sure it’s clean and doesn’t have dust all over it because you obviously don’t want that in your paint.

 Now pour the paint up to the three liter mark in the scuttle just use your brush to wipe off any excess off the tub like that. Now add the two liters of water to the paint. At this point keep your roller tray just to hold any brushes to keep paint off the floor and the bucket we just used have refilled the water and i can now use this to clean my utensils and tools.

Stir the paint with paddle mixer

stir paint with padel mixer

Take your paddle mixer or your paint mixer and place it into the drill and then on a nice slow setting stir your paint. Once you’ve mixed your paint you then want to put your panel mixer in a bucket of water to give that a clean and use the brush to get the paint off. Now take your roller and place the roller sleeve over the top.

Start applying the paint and cover all corners first

First of all take your paint brush and get some paint on the brush and cut into all the corners. When you do this just do the paint into the corners and your brush will probably leave a slight line then you can use the roller and just go over that gently until you remove the line and then carry on across the wall.

Now apply paint on rest of wall

 Once you’re happy that you’ve got paint into all the corners with your brush you can now get paint on the roller and go over the rest of the wall. To do this just lightly put some paint on the roller and make sure you get paint right the way around the roller.

Obviously at first it’ll be a bit lopsided as the paint will stick to one side of the roller once it starts to get even coverage you’ll be able to do this get a bit more paint and roll it around in a full circle in scuttle. Once you’re happy you’ve got paint all over the roller you can apply it to the wall.

One thing to note is with the watered down paint obviously you’re going to get a bit of splashback so you want to be a little bit careful. When you’re applying it if you go a bit aggressively it’s going to end up everywhere.

Apply paint gently

When you’re using the roller try to get a nice even coverage and apply an even pressure across the wall as you’re using the roller but you’ll still notice that when you have quite a bit of paint on the roll and you first put it on you’ll get little lines coming off the end of the roller. just gently go back over those and try to smooth them out so you get even consistent coverage of paint across the wall. Do exactly the same over the paint marks and try to paint over the top. you’ll get rid of those brush strokes and you’ll get that nice even roller finish.

 When you’re painting over the edge of rough plaster it’s a good idea to go over this with a hoover first if you’re not careful you’ll pick up bits of plaster on the roller and then you’ll roll that into the rest of the paint so be very careful when going over  the edge.  It might seem a bit fussy for your first coat if you don’t sort this out now when you get a few little bumps and raises and drip marks they will just get exaggerated with every coat that you put on.

So by your third coat they might be sticking out and they’ll be quite noticeable so best to nip them in the bud now roller over it worst case scenario if you find a few bumps after your first coat. Just go over it lightly with a bit of sandpaper give it a clean and then when you go over the next coat hopefully the mark will be gone.

Don’t overload the roller

As i mentioned earlier on this first coat it will absorb the paint quickly so don’t be afraid to get some more paint on the roller. If you try to go over too much with the roller without applying more paint to the roller you’ll find that you’ll start to take the paint back off the wall as the roller wants to take the paint off the wall and absorb into the fur on the roller.

Use mini roller for tight gaps


If you are trying to get in tight gaps like in the corner you can just buy a smaller mini roller. If you have a look in your local diy store or online you’ll find there’s different size rollers and just choose whichever ones are suitable for your needs.

After first coat you can see the difference between the plaster and the coat of paint and it will be really nice good base coat with good coverage it will absorbed nicely into the plaster and so that’s ready for a second coat but first leave it for a couple of hours to dry.

Now, I hope you will get all about how to paint new plaster or how to paint newly plaster walls and ceilings. You can also read our guides on other topics like How to remove paint from wall or how long does gloss paint take to dry etc. And if you want to buy paint for your home you can read our review article “best paint for walls” and select the best paint for your home.

Leave a Comment