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Painting on newly plastered walls - need to put any other surface covering on walls before painting?

I have just had my kitchen fitted and to cut costs I decided to do the painting myself. I have painted walls and wood work before but I have never painted newly plastered walls or bare wood before and want to make sure I do the job properly. The walls have been plastered really well and have a smooth polished finish. My final covering will be a dulux endurance washable emulsion.

I expect to need to do two coats but am wondering if I need to put any other surface covering before on the walls before I paint them?

Regards the kitchen ceiling, I am considering just painting this with a white silk or matt emulsion. Would this be ok? Which should I paint first - I know I will need to be careful regarding the edges between ceiling and wall and have brought some 'frog tape' for newly painted walls. Any tips on how to achieve a crisp join between walls and ceilings - or is it just patience.

I will also be painting the new wood frames and skirting boards with a satin wood. Is an undercoat or wood primer the best option prior to the satin wood covering.

45 Answers from MyBuilder Painters & Decorators

Best Answer

Hi Novice_40,

Firstly, best of luck with your project - I hope you enjoy it.

Newly plastered walls/ceilings always need to be suitably sealed before painting begins (otherwise the paint will sit on the surface & come off very easily).

You can do this either by applying a couple of emulsion 'mist coats' (dilute an initial solution of 60:40 water to emulsion, then a second mist coat with the ratios reversed, to thicken the coverage but still watery enough to allow it to continue to sink into the plaster below).

Or, as Tom suggests, you can buy a purpose made primer. If the plasterer has 'over polished' the walls, this latter option will be the best, as the plaster will not allow the mist coat to seep in & adhere properly.

If you have a large area/several walls, then the most cost effective way for you will be the mist coats - these are industry standards and a perfectly acceptable method. Ordinary white emulsion is suitable and both affordable & easily available.

Start misting from the lowest point on the plaster and move up & out with your roller. The mist coat dries rapidly & this bottom up method stops you getting fat splashes of paint onto the plaster. Cut in around the edges with a brush. If the ceiling is also bare, then progress onto the ceiling.

Within the hour, your walls will be ready for the second mist coat. Apply this in the same order as the first.

A word of caution: even with the best intentions, mist coats can involve a bit of splashing, so make sure your flooring is protected & the sockets temporarily turned off & covered.

Once the 2 mist coats have fully dried you can more easily assess the plasterer's handiwork. Use a spatula to fill any minor dents & give these a light sanding, once cured. Anything major & get the plasterer back to resolve it. You don't want to be sanding down large areas of plaster, as this will cause a rough & spoilt finish that will need copious filling & sanding to put right.

Now, use a proper water-based wood primer for your bare woodwork - for the same reasons as you need to seal fresh plaster. A primer-undercoat is perfectly suitable - though you will need 2 coats: one to prime, a second to undercoat. A third coat is optional, but we'll get to that in a mo. Alternatively, you can buy 2 separate paints: one a specified wood primer & the second a specified undercoat. Whilst the primer should be water-based, the undercoat can be oil-based - though only if your satinwood is also oil-based. This method can improve the longevity of the finish.

Once your primer/first layer of primer-undercoat is dry, caulk your woodwork.

Next, move back to your ceiling/walls. This time begin with the ceiling (either silk or matt are suitable finishes - but silk is a more reflective surface that draws the eye & can accentuate any imperfections). Get your first coat on.

Cut in free-hand, moving your brush from 1/2 inch away from the corner inwards towards the join as your hand steadies & finds the line. Don't try to leap straight into the corner unless you've got a steady hand.

Whether you cut in before or after rollering is down to personal preference. I prefer beforehand as it avoids a visible 'tram line' created by dragging your brush through a rollered section. Whichever you choose, ensure you keep a wet edge (ie: don't allow the paint to dry between cutting in & rollering).

Allow the edges to dry, then move down to the walls. Get your first coat of Dulux Endurance on. Cut in free-hand.

Once dried, repeat the process for your second coats. If you are prepared to wait up to a couple of days between coats (dep. on drying conditions) for the paint to fully cure, you can use (yellow) frog tape to help you achieve a clean line between surfaces. Be very careful when removing it however, as this can pull the paint back off if it isn't fully cured.

Finally, give your woodwork a light sanding to remove any splashes of paint & nibs of rough wood fibres. Ideally, apply another undercoat, to improve the coverage & durability, then (when dry) apply your satinwood top coat. Again, if you're happy the walls have cured sufficiently, frog tape can give you a razor sharp line where the satinwood meets the emulsion. Take care when peeling it away.

There you have it!

Any questions, feel free to give me a holla. Meantime, I hope this helps. Happy painting!


Alix James Decorators


Answered 27th Apr 2014

Newly plastered internal walls have to apply Plaster primer and when is dried you can apply you choice of paint. Painting bare wood is very simple buy good quality solvent based undercoat and a pair of good brush. After the first coat of undercoat you can see if need a second. When is dry you can use your clean brush to apply your gloss/satin or matt paint. Job done perfectly.


Answered 26th Apr 2014

Option 1 is to use a higher quality plaster sealer on the walls and ceilings before painting or use a good quality white emulsion and mix it down well to roughly 50:50 paint and water, apply 2 coats of mist coat to the walls, leave to dry and sand down with a finer sandpaper to remove any lines or marks. If necessary apply a 3rd coat.

New woodwork is usually primed, sanded, under coated, (recommend dulux trade) lightly sanded and finished with gloss or satinwood.


Answered 1st Feb 2017

To keep it short and sweet.
You can either mist coat the new plaster with basically watered down paint or use a plaster sealer.

Cutting in takes time and practice.

New wood work you will need to use a primer then fill any holes from screws and nails and caulk any gaps joining woodwork together. Then sand down and undercoat. Followed by your top coat of satinwood.


Answered 21st Sep 2016

hi first of all painting fresh plaster has been made so easy you have 2 options you can dilute ur emulsion using water mixed in use around 20 -30% water or you can go to wicks where they sell ready mixed fresh plaster paint witch i use it is brillant coverage and verywell priced hope this helps thanks barry at moores decorating .


Answered 22nd Jan 2018

Firstly anyone saying 2 coats are completely wrong!

80-20 is absolutely fine, meaning 20% water to 80% paint

Always give newly plastered walls/ceilings 3x coats one mist coat (water added paint) 2x TOP coats with a light rub down all over in between coats with 240 grade sandpaper, this takes off any nibs, ie anything on the wall that shouldn't be!
(de nibbing)

For bare wood- you need a wood primer aswell as knottting to pre knot Any dark brown/black marks, or I use bin zinser which has shalaker in it meaning no knotting required.

Hope this helps and good luck with your project....


Answered 5th Jan 2018

Use a water based primer. Mix it with 10% water, apply liberally.
Then you should need 2 coats of a Matt emulsion.


Answered 21st Nov 2017

Mist coat with any contract emulsion but mcphersons eclipse is designed for new plaster. There is no need to water down contract, very rarely see that happen theses days as it's designed for the purpose. It may go further for the decorator but why make the contract thin and spray when rolling. All sellers including brewers and trade paints suggest mist coat with contract white emulsion without water added.
Woodwork is Knotting to knots,primer,undercoat and topcoat of choice,rubbing down between coats and tack cloth all woodwork between coats.


Answered 9th Mar 2018

Newly plasterd walls ceilings will always need a decent mist coat 60 percent paint and 40 percent water mix thoroughly apply a mist coat to all new plaster to bring out any imperfections the mist coat will make them stand out making the job and treating these are alot easier to the eye then I'd get a decent decorators caulk all skirtings boards frames picture rails so there are no visible gaps get a decent primer on the woodwork once this has dried I'd gently sand the surface of the wood to remove any rough looking parts use some 120grade sand paper get a dust brush remove any dust get an undercoat on the woodwork then hit my ceiling first you can either use a 4 inch rad roller or get a decent quality brush and bring in the edges when you come to each corner bring the corners out with your 4inch roller making it easy to bring the rest of your ceiling in with either a 9 inch sleeve or a 12 inch whatever makes your job easier dont forget once going over new plaster try not to drag your roller as if you are being tight with the paint you will scar your new plaster creating a patchy look pending on the size of your ceiling really hit your ceiling twice more then bring your chosen colour in cut it in top and bottom of the said rooms make sure when you have cut your colour in twice to get an even coverage ceiling done walls cut in top and bottom roll all walls twice allowing 4to5 hours between each coat once this has been done get the top coat out for your final coat on your wooden surfaces always make sure that your caulk has dried properly to stop any untidy drag marks


Answered 20th Mar 2018

Fresh plaster will need a sealents before painting with any finish paints/colour. You can either but the fresh plaster sealents which can prove to be alot more expensive, or you can you a contract Matt emulsion thinning paint with a 60-40 ratio of paint and water this will help seal the plaster and stop and peeling, chipping of paint on future. As for the woodwork I would recommend a water based primer applied before painting any of your finish coats.


Answered 16th Mar 2018

Next plastering needs to be mist coated . A 60 40 ratio of any emulsion mix well the coat new plaster once dry paint ×2 of your chosen colour of emulsion.
As for the wood work use Knotting solution if there are any Knotts .use a wood primer the ×2 of your top coat .hope this helps. Chris.


Answered 16th Mar 2018

Newly plaster wall ceiling should have a good mis coat 2 show any imperfections that may need 2 b filled then another 2 coats

And 4 new wood if theres any knots in wood have 2 put knoting on the knots because they will come back and stain once dry light rub down then water based paint rub down 1undercoat . Then 1 gloss


Answered 6th Dec 2017

Hi painting fresh plastered walls I would dilute my emulsion and apply a mist coat, then apply a further 2 -3 coats of top quality emulsion. As for the wood bare wood I would use knotting, in case there are knots in the wood, this stops the knots from bleeding through the paint. Then you will need to apply a primer then a light rub down, then gloss. Or use satin wood. That would be the customers choice.


Answered 8th Feb 2018


You should always apply what is called a ‘mist’ coat. This is just a first coat of a contract Matt (I personally use armstead)

Once you have done this you are then able to apply two coats of whatever finish you require.


Answered 20th Jul 2018

Hello so on the new plaster you can use 70% paint and 30%water for mist coat after they dry you need it to put some easy filer if they need if they have any crack you need to put joints tape and over easy filer you can start with 10 cm to 30 or 40cm to look straight the ceiling or the wall when you put the joint tape after you need it to send it to clean and after do all the place you put filer one coat mist coat and after is ready to paint 2 coats So on the new wood bare. First you need knot killer with one small brush you can put some knot killer in all knots cause if you dot do it after they will look over the paint in yellow colors so after one primer some wood filer if they need it some coack between walls and wood bare but the coack it’s better to put it when you have do the mist coat after that you can send the wood after clean one coat undercoat send again 120 no sand paper cleaning one coat satinwood again sending again cleaning and the final coat so the new wood need 99% 4 coats so the most important is every coat you paint need and the time to dry dose no matter what it is plaster plastic wood


Answered 17th Sep 2018

U should water down your paint that you are goin too use first 30% water then mist coat the wall let it dry then u will be ok to start using paint out the tin 👍🏻


Answered 11th Dec 2018

Hi there good luck with your project

You will need to apply a miss coat to the walls which will seal the walls it has to have atleast 30% water mixed to the paint so it’s very thin so it can soak into the plaster other if you apllied the paint without adding water you might get the paint flaking off the wall because it has not soaked into the wall.

You will need to roughly apply 2 coats of paint after you have applied a miss coat depending wat the paint covers like.

Good lunch and hope this has helped


Answered 8th Jan 2019

hi first of all painting fresh plaster has been made so easy you have 2 options you can dilute ur emulsion using water mixed in use around 20 -30% water or you can go to wicks where they sell ready mixed fresh plaster paint witch i use it is brillant coverage and verywell priced hope this helps,
Kind Regards


Answered 28th Feb 2019

You have two options, the first is to use a high quality plaster sealer on the walls and ceilings before the actual paint, or you can use a white emulsion and mix it down to about 50/50 paint and water, apply 2 coats of mist coat to the walls, sand down with finer sandpaper after the paint is dry so you remove any lines or marks. If necessary apply a 3rd coat.

New woodwork should be primed, sanded, under coated, ( recommend dulux paint) sand the dry undercoat lightly and finish with gloss or satinwood(usually for modern look clients choose Satinwood)


Answered 19th Oct 2020

Apply a thinned down coat of matt emulsion dobt use a silk as a primer coat as this will Come off like a face mask lol .you can slso buy a suitable primer from dulux that goes on bare plaster , personally i would just use a thinned down coat of matt emulsion of the colour that u will be using as a top coat


Answered 10th Nov 2020

Preparing "new" walls:

How to prepare the walls for painting to get a flat surface? The plastering of the walls made of panels, bricks or blocks is made according to the beacons, and the bridging is necessary to dry the wooden walls. Before plastering the surface, apply the plaster primer in a thick layer or in a thin layer. The last layer of soil is applied before painting.

Old walls in new clothes:

The preparation of the walls for painting begins with the removal of the old layer of paint by chemical or manual composition, with a brush with metal bristles or with a stainless steel spatula. Once the walls of the fungus or mold have been damaged, the surface is treated with an antiseptic solution of copper sulphate. After processing, the surface must dry well.

It is necessary to check the quality of the adhesion of the old plaster to the wall. To do this, the wall is hit with a wooden hammer or a tool handle. Areas with poor adhesion are crushed, the surface is brushed with a metal brush, peeled off and primed. Sites plaster repair composition and deep penetration soil composition.

For the final alignment of the wall putty 2-3 times, each layer of putty drying, sanding and priming. The last is applied a coat of colored primer with the color of the paint.


Answered 30th Dec 2021

On new plastered walls you will need to apply primer first in order to seal the wall, and then when is dried you can apply a top chosen paint. About the bare wood is easy, but good materials are essential to get a great final result. Undercoat is recommended for this case, just apply the first coat and double check if is necessary a second one. After dry use a clean brush to apply gloss/satin or matt paint. That's all your job will be done perfectly.


Answered 30th Apr 2018

I hope your project went well and you applied the mist coat on the fresh plaster. Good luck if you have not done it yet.

Best Coat Decorating.


Answered 13th Nov 2018

Nice to see peopled doing DIY you get a sense of satisfaction in doing your own projects.
Use some emulsion for the base coat for the newly plastered walls this would need watering down to 50:50 ratio depending upon the colour you are going on the walls you'd need white for a light pastel colour or if it's a dark deep colour I'd recommend using a grey emulsion watered down to 50:50 ratio.
In regards to the wood work give them a good sand down especially the tops where the emulsion would have splashed from the walls , fill where necessary screw/nail holes after drying , sand until smooth. Use a wood primer first coat , allow to dry , then use an undercoat allow to dry , then apply the finishing coat gloss/satin.
In regards to the tape I wouldnt recommend as this could ruin your finish by peeling it off, you can buy straight edges from most DIY stores where you just put it up the edge your painting and stroke the brush clean across it leaving you the perfect cutting in line.
Good luck with your project


Answered 24th Nov 2018

Newly plastered walls allways need to be mist coated. The cheapest and most effective way is to use white emulsion and water it down roughly 60% water 40% paint.
Be sure to stir well before painting on the mist coat to the plaster, lighty sand before hand if needed. Then apply two/three coats of none watered down emulsion of choice.
(Take care when applying mist coat as the paint will be runny)
When painting bare wood be sure to use knotting on dark areas of wood otherwise the sap will leak threw after painting.
Undercoat the wood with undercoat paint.(water based paints generally stay brighter white for longer where as oil based is more durable) 2 coats of either then one or two coats of gloss paint light sanding inbetween if needed


Answered 13th Jan 2021

Make sure you’re mist coat is non-vinyl. That’s the most important part.


Answered 15th May 2022

Leave the plaster to dry. First priority , let your plaster dry for a minimum 3 days.
Mix your mist coat paint. Painting new plaster that's completely dry can also leave you with uneven brush strokes.
Apply your mist coat paint
Paint your walls with a top coat


Answered 8th Jun 2022

Hi first I want to say good luck with your project hope you enjoy it then second thing always on fresh plaster you have to use 2 mist coat 60/40 for a nice cover in smooth finish for the woodwork it will be nice to have a Mist coat and then undercoat which that should cover the wood nice good luck with your project


Answered 12th Oct 2018

Hi plaster holds moisture, so firstly it's best to let it properly settle for a couple of weeks, yea it doesn't look great but after that you can do a watery mist coat , but I would use waterd down PVA good sealer and reasonably cheap , let it dry overnight then happy days start your painting. Happy House Interiors.


Answered 1st Sep 2020


You need to prep the wall before you paint it.
You need a mist cost which is matt emulsion watered down to a mix of 70/30. I would apply 2 coats after reasonable drying time and then go ahead and paint with your desired finish paint.


Answered 19th Sep 2020

Seal the plaster with either a mist coat at around 80% paint, 20% water and mix well. It will splatter. Get cheap contract or other matt emulsion.

Or screwfix do a bare plaster paint which is £18.99 for 10L. As a novice would suggest you use that. Cleaner to use and doesn't require any diluting.

May need to sand the plaster after first coat of sealing paint. 2 coats of top coat on top always.


Answered 13th Oct 2020

A mist coat is required watered down paint and applied in a thin layer. You should put a mist coat of paint on new plaster on your walls to seal it and prevent peeling Start by preparing the mist coat so it has the right ratio of water and paints a bout 40/60 ratios Then, apply it evenly to your walls and let it dry. You can then apply a top coat over the mist coat without having to worry about creases or cracks in the paint your woodwork requires primer undercoat then a top coat of either gloss or satinwood each to there own requirements hope this helps.


Answered 3rd Nov 2020

Personally i would use Zinsser PeelStop on newly plastered walls as that gives an extra layer of sealing, Then apply the chosen primer and continue with preferably 2 coats of chosen emulsion.


Answered 18th Aug 2021

Newly plastered internal walls have to apply Plaster primer and when is dried you can apply you choice of paint. Painting bare wood is very simple buy good quality solvent based undercoat and a pair of good brush. After the first coat of undercoat you can see if need a second. When is dry you can use your clean brush to apply your gloss/satin or matt paint. Job done perfectly.


Answered 15th Feb 2022

Good luck on your painting, you do need to apply a mist coat which is water down coat for the plaster to soak up the water like that the main colour coat you apply will stick to the walls otherwise it can peal of


Answered 12th Apr 2022

I do agree with the above answers, mist coat would be needed before hand to get that base on there 60/40 is the best way of measuring it up, it dries quickly and will be more effective when rolling your emulsion next.


Answered 6th Jul 2022

Mist Coat, water down some Matt Emulsion for the first coat 👍🏻


Answered 11th Dec 2022

As most people above have said, dilute the paint for the first couple of coats then if needed fill any small imperfections and sand back the filler when dry, then the walls should be good for painting normally.


Answered 16th Mar 2023

-First things first , make sure you let your plaster dry properly as it's likely to crack and peel off if you apply emulsion paint to wet plaster , it takes up to 4 weeks to dry completely.
-furthermore you'll need a coat to prime , you can either use a higher quality plaster sealer or create your own mist coat paint , it is simply watered-down emulsion paint ( 60% paint - 40% water) Next apply 2 Top coats of your choice of paint with a light rub down all over in between coats with 240 grade sandpaper to take off any nibs .
- moving on to the wood work , take a decent caulk and fill in any gaps or holes joining woodwork together , clean it with a slightly wet sponge and let it dry . Treat it with a wood primer once it's dried sand it gently with 120 grade sandpaper to remove , brush the dust , undercoat the wood let it dry and finish it with your gloss / satin / matt wood paint .
- Next paint the ceiling with 9 or 12 inch roller sleeve and cut the edges with a decent quality brush , use a 4 inch roller to easily blend the edge with the rest of the ceiling. whether you cut in before or after rolling ensure you keep a wet edge to fix any visible "tram line" let the first coat dry completely and add the second coat once it's dry take a look to see if the old paint is showing through , if lots of paint is showing through, you'll need an entire third coat.
- you can use a frogtape to have a clean finish , depending on what FrogTape product you use, check how long your tape can stay up, if it should be removed before the paint dries .

Kind Regards


Answered 19th Apr 2023

For newly plastered surface you would need to mix normal emulsion down about 20% with water. This ensures smooth first layer as the plastered surface is very dry by itself and would hasten drying of the paint. Quickly drying paint would not settle evenly and will leave rough surface marks. Mixing it with water or getting specialised emulsion for first coat will avoid this problem and additional work in getting smooth finish.


Answered 30th May 2023

Primer first and then paint


Answered 10th Jul 2023

Mist coat or primer - both work equally well and then 2 coats of good quality paint. Never failed me in over 12yrs!

Regarding wood - definitely need a stain block on those knots and then if the wood is bare primer, undercoat and then gloss. If wood has old paint on that you’ve just sanded down I’ve found just undercoat and gloss is fine.


Answered 16th Jul 2023

First you need to paint the ceiling,then you can do walls and finnally the wood.


Answered 17th Oct 2023

You should water down your paint that you are goin too use first 30% water then mist coat the wall let it dry then you will be ok to start using paint out the tin


Answered 17th Oct 2023

Dulux primer sealer is best covers like a first coat.
If not then just water down and seal it


Answered 19th Dec 2023

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