So the insulation work came and went, leaving us with some lovely fresh plaster on the newly insulated walls. They even managed to replicate the nice old fashioned curved ceiling at the top corner.

We waited 3-4 days for the plaster to dry before quickly painting the ceiling and the walls. We wanted to maintain a sharp line of white about 10 cm along the top of the wall so I meticulously applied the painter’s tape with a spirit level. (I’ll post about this bit separately.)

Once the paint was dry I excitedly removed the tape at the top of the walls and…… half of the paint came off with it.


Turns out that to create the curved top of the wall you need a lot more plaster which needs longer to dry out. The ceiling paint that I applied too quickly then locked in the moisture so it didn’t stick properly to the wall. This post is about how to fix flaking paint on new plaster – something I really wish I didn’t have to write!

Flaking paint on new plaster wall

How to fix flaking paint on new plaster

  1. Scrape off any flaking paint, being careful not to gouge the soft new plaster beneath
  2. Gently sand the edges where the paint meets the plaster
  3. Wipe it clean and let the whole thing dry properly
  4. Build up really thin layers of your top coat directly onto the plaster with a brush.
  5. Allow plenty of time to dry between each coat.

So what are the lessons we learned from this one?

  1. When working with new plaster leave it 5 days to be safe
  2. If it’s thicker in any parts to cover big holes or for ornate finishes give it an extra 2-3 days
  3. Mix white matt emulsion with water in a bucket (50:50) and paint two coats onto your surface.
  4. Apply two coats of your top coat
  5. Leave min. 4 hours between each coat.

Also, don’t use cheap masking tape. It won’t stick properly and you won’t get a straight line.

See our other article about how to paint a perfectly straight line.

– Seán

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