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How to paint plaster walls

In the houses built before 1960, the interior walls have used a combination of slats and plaster. In many old houses, these walls are still in existence and are in sufficient condition to repaint. However, there are some considerations in preparing a plaster wall to paint. If you want to paint the plaster walls in your house, follow some general guidelines and you will have the smooth walls that complement your decoration.


  1. Remove old wallpaper before painting a plaster wall. As long as you can paint on the existing painting, the wallpaper, which was very popular in the latter part of the 20th century, will bend and bubble under a layer of paint.
  2. Prepare the exposed plaster wall for painting by inspecting it by cracks, cracks and loose plaster. Use the chisel to scrape the brittle plaster from the cracks before filling with premixed gypsum plasterboard.
  3. Use a tape spatula to collect enough mud to fill the crack and smooth the hole. Pull the edge of the spatula along the filled crack to smooth the level of mud with the surface of the wall. If the crack is very large, you may have to repeat the process until it is refilled and smooth.
  4. Sandpaper with a wall sander equipped with a sanding pad. These sanders fit into the extension posts, making the sanding of the top of the wall easier. Put your hand on the wall after sanding to make sure the wall is very soft. If not, dispose of it again.
  5. Vacuum dust from the room after sanding and wipe the walls with a cloth to remove dust still clinging to the plaster. Dusting on a wall will create a mottled effect on your paint.
  6. Apply primer to gypsum brick staining. Because gypsum often has bleached areas on rust points that fade through the mesh area or existing dyeings, a brick primer will seal these areas, preventing them from showing through the final coat of paint.
  7. Cut into the paint along the edge of the wall where the ceiling is located with an angled brush. Cut with a light touch and a firm hand. Cuts around windows and doors too.
  8. With a wall rod, start at one corner and apply a smooth coat until you reach the opposite corner. Avoid pressing the roller on the wall to prevent paint from running.
  9. Repeat the cut in the process and pass the roller once more for a professional finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Painting a light color over a dark color may require multiple layers to completely cover the old paint.
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