So you want to paint onto fresh plaster on your wall or ceiling (hmmm, smooooooth…) and you’re dead excited to apply the top coat.

Woah, not so fast!

Before you get to slap the lovely top coat onto the surface, you need to prepare the fresh plaster for your topcoat of paint. Why? Because fresh plaster is extremely dry and will suck all the water out of the emulsion and will make the topcoat flake.

  1. Make sure your plaster is bone dry before you start any work – having left at least 4 days since the work was finished.
    IMPORTANT – If you rush things like we did, this will happen! Disaster!
  2. Buy the cheapest tub of white matt emulsion paint that you can find. Don’t worry if it’s “off white” versus “brilliant white” – they’ll work equally well.
  3. Pour some of the paint into a bucket
  4. Add about half as much water as you did paint into the bucket. You want somewhere between a 1:1 and a 2:1 ratio of paint to water. If you mix up steps 3 & 4 like I did, be prepared for paint splashes!
  5. The paint will sink to the bottom of the bucket. Give it a really good stir with a paint brush rather than a piece of wood. You should be stirring for 2-3 minutes so that you have a good mix.
  6. Now paint your surface in the way you normally would
  7. It will look very watery when you apply it to the plaster. Don’t worry about it being perfectly even in colour at this stage. You are trying to get 100% coverage of the surface, but the ever colour will come with later coats.
  8. You will need to apply 2 coats of this watered down emulsion to your surface before applying your top coat.

That’s it. Simple, eh? I know it’s a complete pain to have to paint the same surface 4 times (2x base coat and 2x top coat), but the final finish will look gorgeous and will be long lasting.


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