Ask a tradesman

Restoration & Refurbishment

Will spray painting a stripped-back decorative cornice give a professional finish?

I've spent a long time stripping off layers of paint from the decorative cornice in the bedroom and can't face repainting, especially as I believe it needs a coat of PVA or similar too. The internet for once is short of answers - do I need to stipple paint with a brush or will a spray paint job do the trick in a lot less time?

Any advice gratefully received!

3 Answers from MyBuilder Restoration & Refurb Specialists

Best Answer

actually spray painting it is the best finish you can do. unless you are painstakingly delicate at painting it with a brush, brush painting often losses alot of detail. hiring a sprayer is cheap and will be much quicker - although it will need quite a few coats. can also use pva with sprayer.


Answered 20th Oct 2011

I would not use PVA,it is actually a harmful substance for most decorative substrates and in the future say you want to redecorate it will be a nightmare as PVA get absorbed by the substrate.This is why it gets watered down massively .
Get Zinsser 123 or BIN this will protect,give you good key and lay the road for a great finish by brush or spray.if your going to spray use the HVLP type or another great way of attaining a great finish with this sort of substrate is sponge,decorative sponge I have used the new born baby ones as there really soft and release the paint ,EGGSHELL, really well.
Dulux New Work undercoat is a really good pre coat too as it as the ability to act has a filler for small dents and damage,scrape marks etc..
There's a hand held HVLP spray gun by Bosch that's good for this type of work. There about 60 quid and are ment for garden fences etc but are great for coving,rads and doors,you can pick up at BandQ.
Hope this helps
Chris spence


Answered 19th Dec 2011

Hi 'Bevnandy',

Spraying would certainly give you the smoothest finish you could possibly achieve - but make sure you get the HVLP thinning ratios right to ensure a smooth consistency & that everything is safeguarded from potential overspray.

With regards to the cornice itself: first you must check what material your cornices are made out of. If they are original lime plaster, commonly found in Victorian & Georgian properties, then this is best painted with a distemper or a lime wash. These give a beautiful matt finish which modern paints struggle to replicate.

With stripped back lime plaster, you also risk the finish crazing & cracking up if not treated carefully - not what you want after all your hard work! Despite their age, they can sometimes still be a bit particular about the paint used - so, if you did decide to use an modern emulsion, make sure it is breathable & prime the area properly first ('Zinsser 123' is a good option), before applying your top coats.

Hope you enjoy the project - you're on the downhill stretch now & I'm sure you'll be delighted when you see how well your hard work has paid off!

Alix St.Claire
Alix James Decorators


Answered 29th Feb 2016

Post your job to find high quality tradespeople and get free quotes

Can’t find an answer? Ask a new question

Question Categories