If you have taken the time to carefully and lovingly apply plaster to a wall or ceiling, you’ll be itching to finish the job and add a lick of paint. However, painting over wet plaster before it has had a chance to set can create a lot more work for you in the long term, including creating the perfect conditions for damp.
The period of time that fresh plaster needs to dry varies from surface to surface, with the temperature of the rooms in question and the size of the area covered affecting the finished period.
It may take six weeks before your plaster is fully dry and ready for paint to be applied. If you apply multiple levels of plaster, you could be looking at upward of two months.
You’ll be able to tell when the plaster is beginning to dry as the deeper colours will start to fade to the naked eye – don’t rely on touch, as you could damage or stain the plaster surface by doing so. If you are taking on a new project plastering and painting are on the agenda, keep reading this article to find out:
- How much it costs to paint over new plaster
- What affects the cost of painting over new plaster
- How to save money on painting new plaster
- How to know if you need a professional to apply your plaster before you paint it
- What’s involved in painting over plaster
- How to find the best professional for the job
To ensure you don’t ruin your fresh plaster job with some hasty painting, keep reading to understand the crucial dos and don’ts when it comes to fresh plaster.
How Much Does It Cost to Paint Over New Plaster?
Before you paint over new plaster, it’s important to have a misting layer added first. Prices can differ for this service depending on whether you have a general labourer or a painter and decorator carrying out the work for you.
|Tradesperson||Estimated Hourly Rate||Estimated Day Rate||Time Required for Mist Coating|
|Labourer||£10 to £15||£80 to £120||1 to 2 hours per room|
|Painter or decorator||£20 to £30||£160 to £240||1 to 2 hours per room|
A labourer will typically charge between £10 to £15 per hour and £80 to £120 for a day rate. Taking between one to two hours per room, the total amount will depend on the size of your home, and the number of rooms needing the mist coating.
Alternatively, you can opt for a painter and decorator to take on the work, costing between £20 to £30 per hour, or £160 to £240 per day.
Next up, let’s take a look at the cost of paint and accessories that you may need to get this job underway.
|Material||Estimated Supply Cost|
|Trade quality matt white emulsion||£12 to £20 per 10L|
|Semi-rough paint roller sleeves||£4 to £20 each|
|Extension pole for painting||£10 to £30 each|
|Paint scuttle||£2 to £15 each|
|Painting gloves||£2 to £15 per pair|
|180 grit sandpaper||£4 to £5 per pack|
|Sanding block||£4 to £8 per pack|
|Safety goggles||£2 to £16 each|
|FFP3 mask||£5 to £50 per pack|
|Drill driver||£50 to £250 each|
|Mixing paddle||£5 to £50 each|
|Dust sheets||£5 to £20 each|
Trade quality matte white emulsion can cost between £12 to £20 per 10 litres, depending on the brand you choose.
A semi-rough paint roller sleeve can cost between £4 to £20 each, depending on size. An extension pole may be necessary for those wanting to reach high ceilings and these cost between £10 to £30 each.
For homeowners wanting a paint scuttle for distributing large amounts of paint, these come in at £2 to £15 each.
Painting gloves can cost between £2 to £15 per pair, while safety goggles are of a similar price point at £2 to £16. An FFP3 mask helps to keep particles away from your mouth and nose, costing between £5 to £50 per pack.
Dust sheets are essential, and they cost £5 to £20 each.
180 grit sandpaper is great for getting rid of any rough edges, and costs between £4 to £5 for a pack. A sanding block is between £4 to £8 for a pack, while a drill driver can cost anywhere between £50 to £250 each, depending on your choice.
Finally, a mixing paddle can be useful, costing between £5 to £50 each.
What Affects the Cost of Painting Over New Plaster?
There are several factors to consider when it comes to painting over your fresh plaster, and each can have the ability to raise or lower your project’s fee. Let’s take a look at what they include.
The Number of Walls and The Size of the Walls
Simply put, the larger the space, the more money it will cost as you need a larger amount of paint to get the job done.
Ceilings are notoriously hard to paint, and a large-sized room can command costs of £380 for labour costs only. To have the entirety of a four-bedroom house repainted, you can expect costs of between £3,300 to £4,000, depending on the actual scale of the house.
For more information on internal and external painting and the associated costs, take a look at our dedicated page.
The Type of Paint You Choose
There are many different types of paint on the market, and all carry different costs. If you’re looking to be as cost-effective as possible with your project, it’s good to bear this in mind when making your selection.
Trade contract matt – this is suitable for both new and old walls, costing around £16 per 10L
Paint for new plaster – there are also paints designed specifically for use on new plaster, which cost around £20 per 10L
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t use diamond matt, vinyl matt, or flat matt emulsion at this stage.
While this is only relevant if you’re choosing to hire someone to do the painting, it’s good to note that prices for services in capital cities such as London will see higher costs for labour than those in more rural locations due to the increased demand.
Are you ready to paint new plaster? HouseholdQuotes can help you find the right tradesperson.
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How Can I Save Money on Painting New Plaster?
The easiest way to save money on painting new plaster is to simply do the job yourself. As long as you have waited the required amount of time to let your new plaster dry out thoroughly and completely before beginning your painting project, you shouldn’t run into too many issues.
Painting is a labour-intensive job, and without experience, it can take you far longer than an experienced painter or decorator.
Professionals can get an entire four-bed home painted in seven to ten days, expect this to take longer for you to complete, as you’re likely to only be able to dedicate time to your project in the evenings after work and at the weekends, while a professional can work on it throughout each day of the week.
If time is a crucial factor for you, it can be worth getting in a professional to get the work done quickly, but if you are more flexible this route can be a great cost-saving option.
Do I Need a Professional Builder or Painter and Decorator to Apply My Plaster Before I Paint it?
You don’t have to get a professional decorator in to do the work for you, especially if you are reasonably confident in your DIY abilities and competent in such tasks. Of course, there is nothing to stop you from hiring a tradesperson to do the work for you, but don’t feel that you have no other option if you’d like to try to task yourself.
Again, the best advice is to be patient and wait for the plaster to fully dry out before you start to apply paint, else you will end up having to have the entire work done again.
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your project. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple tradespeople near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
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What’s Involved in Painting Over New Plaster?
We have said it a few times already, but it is crucial advice – you must wait for your new plaster to dry out entirely before you begin any painting.
In most cases, it should take about a week for the new plaster to dry. However, the exact length of time required depends on the thickness of the plaster and the level of humidity and air circulation in your home.
You can tell when your walls are dry as the new plaster should be pale pink, and the colour should be even with no dark spots. You can use any trade contract matt paint for a mist coat. Some manufacturers also sell paint designed especially for use on new plaster, and remember, don’t use diamond matt, vinyl matt, or flat matt emulsion.
Prepare your new plaster walls by gently sanding any rough patches down first, and then move on to sealing the plaster to reduce the porous nature of the plaster. If you’re using contract matt paint, always check the side of the tin or tub to see how much water the manufacturer recommends adding to thin the paint – the amount of water you need to add may vary by manufacturer.
You can then apply the thin mist coat to your walls. Once this is fully dry, you can then complete your work with a coat or two of flat matt paint.
Is Painting Over New Plaster the Best Choice for My Home?
To complete a room, you must paint over plaster. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
|Gives a clean, uniform look to your room||Can be expensive if you call in a professional|
|Seals the plaster properly and leaves a non-porous finish, ready for normal paint||If applied incorrectly, your paint can end up peeling off the walls|
|Ensures paint or paper won't peel off in the future if applied correctly|
|Is an essential step prior to painting and decorating a room|
I’d Rather Not Paint the New Plaster Myself. How Do I Find and Hire a Painter?
Painting can be an arduous job, and with fresh plaster, it’s something you don’t want to have to do twice. Hiring a professional can alleviate some of these troubles, and the best place to start your search is by asking friends, family and neighbours if they have used anyone recently who they would recommend to you.
If this leads to a dead-end, try the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) website to find trusted traders in your area. Alternatively, using HouseholdQuotes can help to save you money on your project – which is especially useful if you have a particularly large area of your home to cover.
Finding the right tradesperson can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to painters and decorators in your area.
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Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
While painting might seem like a simple task, when it comes to painting over fresh plaster, a little more care is needed. Do it too soon, and you risk inviting damp into your home, and you might end up rendering your new plaster useless.
It’s important to check that your trader is competent and qualified before you agree to work with them, by checking their experience and looking at any photos or videos of their work. Is it up to scratch, and does it look like something you’d be happy with in your own home?
Take a look at their references – these are usually far more factual than their websites, as they are coming from real customers. See if the trader has the correct insurance in place to cover themselves and you in the event of any issues during the work.
Finally, before agreeing to the work, make sure you have a written quote in hand to prevent any surprises with higher-than-expected bills at the end of the project.
To move one step closer to completion on your interior room project, painting over fresh plaster is a great move to make. Here’s our final checklist when taking on this project:
- Find a tradesperson on HouseholdQuotes to save money on your project
- Make sure a written quote is agreed upon before any work starts
- Ensure plaster is fully dry before painting, with a uniform colour on all walls
- Prep the walls, using sandpaper to soften any rough patches
- Apply a mist coat, mixed to manufacturer’s instructions, on all walls and wait to dry fully
- Finish off by applying a few coats of matt paint
- Enjoy your freshly-painted room!
Use HouseholdQuotes to find local tradespeople and potentially save money on your project.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Really Need a Mist Coat?
Yes, you must have a mist coat before painting your fresh plaster. You need a mist coat to ‘seal’ the new plaster to create a smooth finish for additional coats of paint, and ensure that any additional layers of paint properly adhere to the wall without flaking off.
Should I Seal My Plaster Before I Apply Decorative Paint?
Yes, although you will need to make sure you use the correct product, and that you don’t seal it while the plaster is wet unless you have purchased microporous paint.
You can purchase a specialist item for this from any DIY shop, which is usually made of PVA solution, or if you are confident in your painting abilities you can use a light shade of any water-based emulsion paint (this is typically a more cost-effective solution).
Apply this sealing coat, which is also sometimes referred to as a mist coat, apply filler to any areas that may require the attention of such a product, and then paint over your plaster with the colour that you intend to retain.
Should I Sand Plaster Before Painting?
If you have any rough patches on your walls following plastering, then sanding those sections down is best before painting to ensure an even finish. Usually, though, professional plasterers should leave the room with a uniform finish so this might not be necessary.
How Do I Find a Plasterer?
If you can get them, word-of-mouth recommendations are the best as they can help you to navigate away from rogue traders, as you’re going off someone’s verbatim response rather than their website which could say anything about them.
For more information on plasterers and their associated costs, take a look at our dedicated page.
How Much Do Painters Charge?
While the idea of painting a small area of your home might seem manageable, for larger areas and ceilings, in particular, the effort seems less appealing. In these situations, it might be best to hire a professional painter and decorator to get the job done with minimal effort for you.
For more information on painting and decorating and the associated costs, take a look at our dedicated page.
I Painted on Wet Plaster. What Do I Do?
Painting on wet plaster can cause damp – every homeowner’s nightmare. If you add paint to plaster that is still damp – and remember that could take several weeks – you will be trapping moisture into the wall or the ceiling by applying a skin over the surface.
This skin will prevent the moisture from escaping to the atmosphere and harmlessly evaporating, and as a result, it will seep into the surface. This will, in turn, generate mould – hugely dangerous to breathe in, as well as being extremely unsightly – and eventually turn to damp.
As anybody unfortunate enough to deal with damp in the home will be able to advise you, the effort and costs incurred in dealing with this problem are considerably more frustrating than having to wait a few extra weeks to apply some paint to a wall or ceiling. What’s more, with no moisture you will find that the paint you have applied flakes and falls off the surface quickly.
If you have painted over wet plaster, there is nothing to do immediately until you have given the surface a prolonged period of time to see what the results are. The plaster may dry itself out, or you may notice a stained result, that could appear inconsistent in colour and tone.
The paint may also crack and peel, or you may notice a damp smell. If any of this happens, take a sander to the wall and start again – though be sure to check that the wall itself is not damp as a result.
Should I Re-Plaster a Damp Wall, or Can I Just Paint Over it?
Applying plaster can be a great way of re-rendering a wall that has suffered from damp in the past, but be sure to use plaster with a cement or sand backing in this instance.
Also ensure that you have primed and prepared the wall accordingly, rather than applying plaster straight to a damp surface – this is just making more labour for yourself as it will need to be replaced again before long, and consult a professional for advice if necessary.
Should I Use PVA Glue on New Plaster?
It’s not recommended to use PVA glue on new plaster. This will only create a skin over the plaster, and cause your paint to peel off in the future.
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