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A Complete Guide to Painting Plaster Walls: What to Know

man plastering the wall

Painting plaster walls can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to it. However, with the right tools, preparation, and technique, it can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. Plaster walls are a popular choice for homes and buildings, but they require a bit of extra care when it comes to painting. 

This complete guide will walk you through everything you need to know to paint your plaster walls like a pro. From selecting the right paint and tools to preparing the surface and applying the paint, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started and transform your plaster walls into a beautiful and vibrant space.

Can you paint plaster walls?

Yes, plaster walls can be painted. However, it is important to properly prepare the surface before painting to ensure the paint adheres well and lasts for a long time.

Preparing Plastered Walls for Painting

Before painting your plaster walls, there are a few key steps you need to take to prepare the surface properly.

1. Clean the Walls

Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the walls and remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Let the walls dry completely before moving on to the next step.

2. Repair Any Damage

If there are any cracks or holes in the plaster, use a patching compound to fill them in and smooth them out. Sand the area lightly once the compound has dried to create a smooth surface.

3. Prime the Surface

Apply a coat of primer to the walls to help the paint adhere better and to ensure that the final paint colour looks even. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting.

Choosing the Right Paint for Plaster Walls

When it comes to painting plaster walls, it is important to choose the right type of paint. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

1. Look for paint specifically formulated for plaster walls: This type of paint will provide the best coverage and adhesion.

2. Choose a paint with a satin or eggshell finish: These finishes are ideal for plaster walls because they provide a smooth, even finish that is easy to clean.

3. Avoid using high-gloss paint: High-gloss paint can highlight any imperfections in the plaster, so it is best to stick to a lower gloss level.

Tools Needed for Painting Plaster Walls

To paint your plaster walls, you will need the following tools:

1. Paintbrushes

Use a high-quality paintbrush to cut in around the edges of the walls and to paint any areas that can’t be reached with a roller.

2. Rollers

Use a paint roller to apply paint to the larger areas of the walls. Choose a roller with a thick nap to ensure even coverage.

3. Paint Tray

A paint tray is necessary for dipping your roller into the paint and distributing it evenly.

4. Painter’s Tape

Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas you don’t want to paint, such as trim or window frames.

Tips for Painting Plaster Walls

Now that you have everything you need to paint your plaster walls, here are some tips to help you get the best results:

1. Work in small sections: Paint one small section at a time, starting at the top of the wall and working your way down. This will help prevent drips and ensure even coverage.

2. Use a technique called “feathering”: When using a roller, use a technique called “feathering” to create a smooth, even finish. Start at the top of the wall and roll the paint down in a “W” shape. Then, use light strokes to blend the paint together, creating a seamless finish.

3. Don’t overload your brush or roller: Too much paint on your brush or roller can lead to drips and an uneven finish. Make sure to remove any excess paint before applying it to the wall.

4. Use a second coat: Plaster walls may require a second coat of paint to ensure even coverage and a vibrant finish. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.

By following these steps, tips, and techniques, you can paint your plaster walls like a pro and create a beautiful, vibrant space in your home or building.


Painting plaster walls is a task that can be accomplished with ease by following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide. From preparing the surface to selecting the right paint and tools, the key to achieving a flawless finish lies in attention to detail and patience. By taking the time to properly prep the walls, choosing high-quality materials, and using the right techniques, you can transform any room in your home with a fresh coat of paint. 

Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a novice painter, this guide has provided you with the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle your plaster wall painting project with confidence. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your paint brushes, and get ready to give your walls a much-needed makeover!

If you’re looking for skilled plasterers in Brisbane, come to We Plaster & Recruit. We provide high-quality plastering services throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast and Queensland areas.

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