painting plaster walls

How to Paint Plaster Walls

Although for many it may not seem so, the painter’s task is and will always be one of the most complicated for the human being, since in spite of its simplicity it allows us to transform walls and simple spaces into true works of art. In this sense, it is important to rescue that many or most of the old houses were built or manufactured with plaster, giving them that rudimentary touch or appearance for the time.

If the walls of your home are designed of plaster, you can agree that it does not seem at all easy to give them a new face due to its rudimentary appearance and shapes, however, giving that special and modern touch to our plaster walls is not as complicated as it seems.

As in any remodeling regardless of the place, space or materials with which we are working, there will always be questions about the best ways or ways to work with certain types of structures, and this is the case of plaster walls, it is not very common today to have this type of materials in modern homes, so if it is our case and our walls are made of this type of material, it will be best to make the best of it.

When dealing with remodeling or simply painting plaster walls, there are certain aspects that we must take into account in order to give them the best finish, because if we only paint them superficially we will not be able to give them that modern and well-worked look that we expect, on the contrary, we will get walls with very bad finishes and undesirable aspects.

In this sense we want to show you some techniques that you should take into account when working with paint on your plaster walls, so you can give them that modern and fresh look you are looking for.


We will need:

  • A sander or sandpaper.
  • A brush
  • A roller
  • Paint of our choice
  • Plaster
  • A spatula or chisel

Once we have collected all the necessary materials or tools we can proceed to work directly on our plaster walls.

Plaster 101: DIY Repairs, Tools & Techniques

Clean surface: it is something very important when working with paint on any type of surface because it is not advisable to paint on dirty walls as we will damage the work filling it with impurities, therefore we must ensure that our plaster wall is completely clean, we can rub it with a damp cloth to remove dust or impurities.

If our wall has wallpaper we must remove it completely to have more freedom when starting to paint and achieve the best finish.

Smooth the surface to work: before starting to paint we must make sure to work on a completely smooth surface to completely cover the entire wall avoiding those annoying imperfections, for this we can use the spatula and go molding with it the wall.

Then with plaster or premixed mud, we must fill all the spaces or cracks in the wall, finally, we use the sander or sandpaper to give a perfect finish and completely symmetrical with the rest of the wall.

Remove residues: after sanding we will get a lot of dust and impurities and we must take care of it in a very detailed way because if we overlook the shavings left from the plaster, it will become a real headache when painting.

For the walls we will again use a damp cloth to remove these impurities, we must also wipe the remaining on the floor as it can adhere again to the walls while we are painting.

Priming: many areas on the plaster can fade because of various factors such as rust and moisture, these areas must be sealed by applying primer on the bricks and this way the final finish will look complete even when painting.

Edges: this technique is very basic but extremely useful when painting on any surface and consists of applying straight lines with a brush on the edges such as the ceiling, windows, sockets, among others, in this way we get to properly delimit each area to paint.

Paint: With the roller, we can start painting, always spreading the paint in the same direction until we get from one edge to another previously delimited.

Layers: in this aspect, the plaster works in a very similar way to the concrete walls, because the number of layers of paint that we must apply will depend only on the coverage that it receives, for example, if we are applying a light tone paint over other dark tones we will have to apply more than two coats of paint, and for this we must wait for the wall to dry before applying the next coat.

In this sense, we can realize that applying paint to our plaster walls is not a difficult but delicate task because omitting any of the steps mentioned above can turn a task as simple as painting a wall into a real headache.

Of course, when renovating any space we should always look for our own comfort when working with any type of materials, because certainly practice makes perfect and the more use we make of this knowledge by putting it into practice, the easier it will be to perform this type of tasks.