Pros and Cons of Painting Over Newly Plastered Walls

The building material plaster is used to protect or decorate the walls and ceilings and for molding and casting decorative elements. It’s made by heating gypsum, limestone, or other minerals to remove water, creating a powder that, when mixed with water, rehydrates and can be molded and shaped. Upon drying, it forms a solid, durable surface.

As to the question of whether it is okay to paint over newly plastered walls when painting a house in Concord, CA, the answer is yes, you can. However, allowing the plaster to completely dry and cure before painting is important. The drying time for plaster can vary depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, and the type of plaster used.

Typically, waiting at least several days to a week is recommended before painting newly plastered walls. It allows the plaster to cure and any residual moisture to evaporate, ensuring that the paint adheres properly and the finish is smooth and durable.

Before painting, it’s also a good idea to prepare the surface by sanding rough areas and wiping down the walls to remove dust and debris. Applying a primer before painting can help improve adhesion and coverage, especially on newly plastered surfaces.

Understanding plaster walls

Plaster is a versatile material used in construction and artistic endeavors. To further understand the role of plaster in walls, explore the different types of plaster, each with specific properties and applications:

  • Gypsum plaster

    • Also known as the plaster of Paris, gypsum plaster is one of the most common types of plaster. It’s made by heating gypsum, a naturally occurring mineral, to remove the water content.
    • Gypsum plaster sets quickly when mixed with water, making it ideal for casting molds, creating sculptures, and as a decorative finish for walls and ceilings.
  • Lime plaster

    • Lime plaster is made from a mixture of sand, water, and lime. It’s been used for centuries and has excellent breathability and flexibility.
    • Lime plaster is suitable for historical restoration projects and can also be used as a base coat or finish plaster for walls.
  • Cement plaster

    • Cement plaster, also known as stucco, is made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water. It’s a durable and weather-resistant material commonly used for exterior wall finishes.
    • Cement plaster can also be used indoors for areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Clay plaster

    • Clay plaster, also called earthen plaster, is made from clay, sand, and sometimes straw or other fibers. It’s a natural and environmentally friendly material with excellent thermal properties.
    • Clay plaster is often used in sustainable building projects and can be applied to walls and ceilings.
  • Venetian plaster

    • Venetian plaster, made from lime and mixed with marble dust, is an aesthetic finishing plaster that imitates marble or stone.
    • It’s applied in multiple thin layers, which are then polished to a high shine.
    • It’s chiefly used for decorative finishes on walls and ceilings, providing a depth of color and texture unique in every application.

Drying and curing process of new plaster

The drying and curing process of new plaster is crucial for achieving a durable finish suitable for painting or wallpapering. This process involves the physical evaporation of water from the plaster and chemical reactions that cause the plaster to harden. Here’s a detailed overview:

  1. Initial drying – After the plaster is applied to a surface, the initial drying process begins almost immediately. During this stage, excess moisture evaporates from the surface of the plaster. Ventilation and airflow can help speed up this process.
  2. Setting time – Plaster goes through a setting time, during which it hardens and becomes more rigid. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the type of plaster used and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.
  3. Curing – Curing is a crucial stage in the drying process of new plaster. It involves keeping the plaster moist to allow it to harden and reach its maximum strength fully. Curing also helps minimize shrinkage and cracking. There are several methods for curing plaster:
    • Spraying with water – One common method is spraying the plaster surface with water at regular intervals to keep it moist. It is essential, especially in dry or hot climates, where moisture evaporates quickly.
    • Covering with damp cloth or plastic – Another method is to cover the plaster with a damp cloth or plastic sheeting to retain moisture. It helps create a humid environment around the plaster, which promotes proper curing.
    • Applying curing compounds – In some cases, curing compounds or sealants may be applied to the surface of the plaster to help retain moisture and facilitate curing.
  4. Curing times – The duration of the curing process can vary depending on factors such as the type of plaster used, environmental conditions, and thickness of the plaster application. Curing may take anywhere from several days to a few weeks.
  5. Monitoring and inspection – Throughout the drying and curing process, monitor the plaster surface for any signs of cracking, drying too quickly, or other issues. Make adjustments to the curing methods to ensure optimal results.
  6. Final drying – The final drying process occurs once the plaster has fully cured and hardened. During this stage, any remaining moisture in the plaster continues to evaporate until the surface is completely dry. Depending on the thickness of the plaster and environmental conditions, this final drying process may take several weeks.

Proper drying and curing of new plaster are essential steps to ensure its strength, durability, and longevity. Following recommended curing practices and monitoring the process can help achieve the best results and minimize the risk of damage or defects.

A woman's hand with a metal spatula levels the plaster on the wall of the room, cosmetic repairs.

Environmental factors affecting plaster’s drying times

Environmental factors such as humidity and temperature significantly affect plaster drying times. Here’s a general overview of how these factors play a role:

  • Humidity – High humidity levels in the air slow down the drying process of plaster because the moist air takes longer to absorb water from the plaster. When the air is saturated with moisture, the water in the plaster does not evaporate as quickly, leading to longer drying times. Conversely, the air can absorb moisture more readily in low humidity conditions, resulting in faster drying.
  • Temperature – Temperature also plays a critical role in the drying time of plaster. Warmer temperatures can speed up the drying process as heat energy increases the water’s evaporation rate from the plaster. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air, facilitating faster drying under warm conditions. On the other hand, cold temperatures slow the evaporation process, extending the drying time of plaster. Extremely hot conditions, however, can cause plaster to dry too quickly, potentially leading to cracking and reduced strength.

The risks of painting too soon

What happens if you paint over a plaster that has not yet properly dried and cured? When paint is applied too soon, it can lead to several significant problems:

  • Paint delamination – It is one of the most common issues when painting over wet plaster. Delamination refers to the paint peeling away or detaching from the plaster surface. It occurs because the moisture in the plaster prevents the paint from adhering properly. As the plaster continues to dry and shrink, the bond between the paint and plaster weakens, leading to peeling or flaking paint.
  • Cracking – As wet plaster dries, it contracts. If a layer of paint has already been applied, the contraction of the plaster can cause the paint to crack and split. These cracks not only ruin the appearance of the walls but can also expose the plaster to further moisture issues, worsening the problem over time.
  • Mold growth – Plaster that remains damp for an extended period provides an ideal environment for mold and mildew to grow. If paint is applied over wet plaster, it can seal in moisture, creating conditions that encourage mold growth beneath the paint surface. It can lead to health problems for occupants and damage to the wall’s structure. Mold growth beneath paint may appear as discoloration and can significantly degrade indoor air quality.
  • Adhesion problems – Beyond delamination, moisture in wet plaster can prevent paint from adhering correctly, leading to a weak bond between the paint and the wall. It can result in a patchy or uneven finish, where some areas may seem well-coated while others appear thinly covered or bubbled.
  • Efflorescence – Moisture moving through plaster can carry salts to the surface. If painted over prematurely, these salts can cause efflorescence, a condition where crystalline deposits form on the paint surface. It looks unsightly and can cause the paint to lose adhesion to the plaster surface.
  • Color and finish issues – Moisture in the plaster can affect the color and finish of the paint. As the plaster dries out, it can lead to uneven drying, resulting in streaks or a blotchy appearance. Glossy paints may appear dull in some areas, while matte finishes might not appear uniformly flat.

Aesthetic issues

It is crucial to ensure that plaster is dried and cured before painting to prevent these problems from happening. This typically involves waiting several days or even weeks, depending on the thickness of the plaster, ambient temperature, and humidity levels.

Uneven paint finish:

  • Brush marks and roller strokes – Visible application strokes can lead to an amateurish-looking finish. This issue often results from using low-quality tools, applying too much or too little paint, or failing to maintain a wet edge during application.
  • Lap marks – These are noticeable differences in the appearance of the paint due to overlapping edges of paint that have partially dried. Lap marks occur when the painter does not maintain a wet edge, causing the overlap of wet and already-drying paint.
  • Runs and sags – Paint that drips or sags creates uneven surfaces and detracts from the smoothness of the finish. It is typically caused by applying too much paint in a single coat or painting on a vertical surface without the proper technique.
  • “Orange peel” texture – This describes a surface that resembles an orange rind with a slightly bumpy texture. It’s common in spray painting and can result from several factors, including spraying the paint too thickly, using too viscous paint, or spraying at an incorrect distance from the surface.

Color inconsistencies:

  • Fading and chalking – Over time, paint can fade or begin to chalk due to exposure to sunlight and weather elements, leading to uneven coloration across the surface. The quality of the paint and the pigments used can influence how quickly this occurs.
  • Mismatched colors – Even slight variations in paint color can be noticeable and detract from the uniformity of the painted surface. It can happen when mixing paint from different batches or failing to mix paint before application.
  • Patchiness – Uneven paint absorption can lead to a patchy appearance, especially on porous surfaces. It is often resolved with proper surface preparation and the application of a suitable primer.
  • Bleeding – Older colors or stains bleeding through the new paint layer can cause color inconsistencies. It is often the result of inadequate surface preparation or failure to use a primer when needed.

Preparing to paint

Assessing plaster dryness and readiness for painting is crucial to ensure a successful paint job. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you assess the dryness of plaster:

  1. Wait for the initial drying period – After plaster application, it’s essential to allow sufficient time for the initial drying to occur. This period typically lasts around 24 to 48 hours, depending on the type of plaster and environmental conditions.
  2. Check the surface temperature – Before assessing the plaster’s dryness, check the surface temperature. Plaster dries more slowly in cold temperatures. Ensure the room is adequately heated and ventilated for optimal drying conditions.
  3. Inspect the color – Wet plaster is noticeably darker than dry plaster. Examine the surface for areas that appear darker or have a wet sheen. Dry plaster tends to have a uniform, lighter coloration.
  4. Do the touch test – Gently touch the surface of the plaster with the back of your hand. If it feels cool or damp, it’s likely still wet and not ready for painting. Dry plaster feels dry and slightly warm to the touch.
  5. Check for moisture – Use a moisture meter to measure the moisture content of the plaster accurately. Insert the probe into several areas of the plaster surface to ensure consistency. Ideally, the moisture content should be below the recommended level for painting.
  6. Perform the tape test – Apply a piece of painter’s tape to the surface of the plaster and firmly press it down. After a few seconds, peel off the tape. If the plaster is adequately dry, the tape should come off cleanly without any residue. If the plaster is still wet, the tape may pull off plaster particles or leave a sticky residue.
  7. Inspect for cracks or shrinkage – Dry plaster typically exhibits minimal shrinkage and cracking. Inspect the surface for any signs of cracks or shrinkage. If you notice significant cracking or shrinkage, the plaster may not be fully dry or require additional preparation before painting.
  8. Consider humidity levels – High humidity levels can prolong the drying process of plaster. Use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels in the room, if necessary, especially in areas with poor ventilation.
  9. Consult manufacturer guidelines – Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific type of plaster used. They may provide specific recommendations regarding drying times and readiness for painting.
  10. Perform a final inspection – Once you’ve completed the assessment and are confident the plaster is dry, perform a final visual inspection to ensure the surface is smooth, uniform, and free of imperfections before proceeding with painting.

By following these steps, you can effectively assess the dryness and readiness of plaster for painting, ensuring a successful and long-lasting paint finish.

A well-ventilated space is essential for drying plaster effectively, minimizing the risk of structural defects, mold and mildew growth, poor indoor air quality, and corrosion. Ensure proper airflow and moisture control by having adequate ventilation contributes to successfully completing plastering projects while maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

Tips for speeding up the drying process of new plaster

Speeding up the drying process of plaster can be necessary in certain situations, such as when working on tight schedules or trying to avoid potential issues like mold growth. Here are some tips for speeding up the drying process of plaster safely:

  • Increase air circulation – Good airflow helps to remove moisture from the plaster more quickly. You can use fans or open windows and doors to improve ventilation in the plaster drying room.
  • Dehumidifiers – Dehumidifiers help remove excess moisture from the air, which can speed up the drying process of plaster. Place one or more dehumidifiers in the room where the plaster is drying, especially in humid environments.
  • Apply heat – Gentle heat can help to accelerate the evaporation of moisture from the plaster. However, it’s essential to use caution when applying heat to avoid damaging the plaster or causing uneven drying. You can use space heaters or infrared lamps to provide enough heat in the drying area.
  • Optimize temperature – Plaster dries more quickly at warmer temperatures. While you don’t want excessively high temperatures, maintaining a moderately warm environment can help speed up drying. Aim for temperatures between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C).
  • Use absorbent materials – Place absorbent materials like paper towels or cloths on the surface of the plaster to soak up excess moisture. Replace the materials as they become saturated to continue absorbing moisture effectively.
  • Apply a setting accelerator – Some setting accelerators can be added to plaster mixes to speed up the drying time. However, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper application and avoid compromising the quality of the plaster.
  • Avoid direct sunlight – While heat can help dry plaster, direct sunlight can cause the plaster to dry too quickly, leading to cracks and other imperfections. Position the drying plaster away from direct sunlight or use blinds or curtains to diffuse sunlight.
  • Monitor moisture levels – Regularly check the moisture levels in the drying area using a moisture meter. It can help you determine when the plaster has reached the desired dryness level and is ready for further finishing or painting.

By following these tips, you can safely speed up the drying process of plaster while ensuring the quality and integrity of the finished product.

Primer: your best friend

Using a primer on new plaster walls is crucial for several reasons:

  • It seals the surface.
  • It improves the adhesion of the topcoat.
  • It provides the paint finish with a uniform appearance
  • It conceals stains.
  • It enhances paint performance and durability.
  • It provides a barrier against moisture.

Types of primer

Here are some common types of primers suitable for plaster walls and their benefits:

  • Acrylic primer – Acrylic primers are versatile and compatible with various paint types. They provide good adhesion, help to seal porous surfaces, and dry quickly. They also offer excellent durability and resistance to moisture.
  • PVA (polyvinyl acetate) primer – PVA primers are cost-effective and widely used for priming new drywall and plaster surfaces. They help to seal the surface, reduce porosity, and promote better paint adhesion. PVA primers also dry quickly and provide a smooth base for the topcoat.
  • Alkyd primer – Alkyd primers offer excellent adhesion and sealing properties. They are particularly suitable for stained plaster walls. Alkyd primers provide good moisture resistance and help to prevent the topcoat from peeling or blistering.
  • Shellac primer – Shellac primers, often based on natural shellac resin, are excellent for sealing and blocking stains, odors, and tannin bleed from the plaster surface. They provide a strong barrier against moisture and offer good adhesion for subsequent coats of paint or finishes.
  • Bonding primer – Bonding primers are specifically designed to improve adhesion on challenging surfaces such as plaster, glossy paints, or surfaces with existing finishes. They contain special bonding agents that help paint adhere securely to the substrate, minimizing issues like peeling or flaking.
  • Water-based primer – Water-based primers are low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and are environmentally friendly. They dry quickly, have minimal odor, and provide good adhesion and sealing properties. Water-based primers are easy to clean up with water and are suitable for interior plaster walls.
  • Oil-based primer – Oil-based primers offer superior adhesion and sealing capabilities compared to water-based alternatives. They are highly durable and provide excellent stain-blocking properties. However, they typically have a longer drying time and require mineral spirits for cleanup.

How to properly apply primer

Applying a primer on plastered walls is essential to ensure proper paint adhesion and to achieve a smooth, uniform finish. Here are the general steps in applying primer on plastered walls:

  1. Prepare the surface
    • Ensure the plastered walls are clean, dry, and free from dust, dirt, and loose particles.
    • Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the walls if necessary.
    • Repair any cracks or imperfections in the plaster using a spackling or joint compound.
    • Allow the compound to dry completely before proceeding.
  2. Protect adjacent surfaces
    • Use painter’s tape to mask off areas you don’t want to paint, such as trim, ceilings, and adjacent walls.
    • Lay down drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect the floor and furniture from primer drips or spills.
  3. Stir the primer
    • Open the primer can and stir thoroughly with a stir stick or a paint mixing tool. It ensures that the primer’s components are well mixed for consistent application.
  4. Pour primer into a paint tray:
    • Pour a sufficient amount of primer into a paint tray. Avoid overfilling the tray to prevent spills.
  5. Apply primer
    • Dip your paint roller or brush into the primer, coating it evenly.
    • Start applying the primer to the plastered walls in smooth, even strokes.
    • Work from top to bottom, overlapping each stroke slightly to ensure uniform coverage.
    • If you’re using a roller, use a W-pattern to distribute the primer evenly across the wall.
    • Work in manageable sections, covering small areas at a time to maintain a wet edge and prevent the primer from drying too quickly.
    • Apply a second coat of primer once the first coat has dried according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Allow the primer to dry:
    • Allow the primer to dry completely before applying the paint. Drying times may vary depending on the type of primer used and environmental conditions. Refer to the primer’s instructions for specific drying times.
  7. Clean up:
    • Clean your brushes, rollers, and paint tray with water or paint thinner, depending on the type of primer used
    • Remove the painter’s tape carefully while the primer is still slightly tacky to prevent peeling.

Choosing the correct paints and tools

Here’s a rundown of the best types of paint for plaster walls, focusing on breathability and overall performance:

  • Clay paints – Using clay paints offers a unique aesthetic with a very matte, natural finish and excellent eco-friendly credentials. They are breathable and can help regulate indoor humidity levels, absorbing excess moisture when the air is damp and releasing it when the air is dry. It makes them ideal for plaster walls, contributing to a healthier indoor environment.
  • Lime-based paints – They are highly breathable and naturally antibacterial, making them an excellent choice for historic and new plaster walls. They work well with the natural properties of plaster, allowing moisture to evaporate from the surface, which is particularly beneficial in older homes where moisture issues are more prevalent.
  • Silicate (mineral) paints – Silicate paints penetrate the surface of the plaster and chemically bond with it, creating a durable, long-lasting coat that is highly breathable. They are resistant to UV light, which means they won’t fade over time, and also mold and algae-resistant. These paints are well-suited for both interior and exterior plaster walls.
  • Distemper paint – Distemper is a traditional paint made from water, chalk, and pigment, sometimes with a binding agent like lime. It’s very breathable and has a soft, velvety finish. However, it’s not as durable as modern paints and can mark easily, so it’s best for low-traffic areas and ceilings.
  • Acrylic emulsion paints – While not as breathable as lime, clay, or silicate paints, high-quality acrylic emulsion paints can be suitable for plaster walls if breathability is not the primary concern. They offer a wide range of finishes and colors, are easy to apply, and dry quickly. Some modern acrylic paints are formulated to be more permeable, so look for those options if moisture is a concern.

Painting tools and equipment

Having the right tools and equipment is crucial to achieve a smooth application in your painting projects. Here’s a list of recommended items for house painting:

  • Paint rollers and covers
  • High-quality brushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper or sanding blocks
  • Paint tray and liners
  • Extension pole for paint roller
  • Drop cloths
  • Ladder

Painting plastered walls: step-by-step guide

Painting plastered walls after drying requires careful preparation and execution to achieve a smooth and lasting finish. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Clean the surface – Before painting, ensure the plastered walls are clean and free of dust, dirt, or debris. Use a dry cloth or a vacuum cleaner to remove loose particles.
  2. Repair imperfections – Inspect the walls for cracks, holes, or other flaws. Fill these areas with spackling compound or joint compound, then smooth them with a putty knife. Allow the compound to dry completely before sanding the surface smooth.
  3. Sand the walls – Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the entire surface of the plastered walls. Sanding helps create a smooth and uniform texture, ensuring better paint adhesion.
  4. Prime the walls – Applying primer helps the paint adhere better to the plastered surface and ensures a more even finish. Choose a primer suitable for plastered walls and apply it evenly using a paint roller or brush (follow the primer application steps detailed earlier in this article). Allow the primer to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Choose the paint – Select a high-quality paint suitable for plastered walls. Latex or acrylic paints are for interior walls due to their durability and ease of application. Choose the desired color and finish for your walls.
  6. Do the correct painting technique – Start by cutting in around the edges of the walls, including corners, and along the ceiling and baseboards, using a paintbrush. Then, use a paint roller to fill in the main areas of the walls with paint. Apply the paint in smooth, overlapping strokes to ensure even coverage.
  7. Apply multiple coats – Depending on the color and type of paint, you may need to apply multiple coats for full coverage and a uniform finish. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying times between coats.
  8. Finish and clean up – Once you’ve achieved the desired coverage and finish, allow the final coat of paint to dry completely. Remove any painter’s tape from the edges carefully. Clean your painting tools with water (if you’re using water-based paint) or paint thinner (if you’re using oil-based paint).
  9. Inspect the finish – After the paint has dried, inspect the walls for missed spots, drips, or uneven areas. Touch up as needed to ensure a flawless finish.

Additional tips:

  • Keep the room well-ventilated during the painting process to aid in drying and reduce paint fumes.
  • Good lighting is essential to spot any painting imperfections.

If you follow these steps and tips, you can successfully paint plastered walls after they have dried, creating a beautiful and long-lasting finish for your interior spaces.

Aftercare and maintenance

Caring for freshly painted plaster walls is essential to ensure the paint job remains pristine and durable over time. Here are some tips to help you in caring for your newly painted plaster walls:

  • Allow sufficient drying time – Ensure the paint has dried before touching or cleaning the walls. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying time, which typically ranges from a few hours to a few days, depending on the type of paint and environmental conditions.
  • Avoid touching walls – Avoid touching or leaning against the walls until the paint has fully cured. It will prevent smudges, fingerprints, and other marks from marring the freshly painted surface.
  • Gentle Cleaning – If you need to clean the walls, use a soft, damp cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes, which can damage the paint finish. Start with mild soap and water, and test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.
  • Patience with stains – If you encounter stains or marks that won’t come off with gentle cleaning, resist the urge to scrub vigorously. Instead, try using a slightly stronger cleaning solution or a specialized cleaner designed for painted surfaces. Always spot-test first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.
  • Protect from moisture – Keep the walls dry and avoid exposing them to excessive moisture, especially during curing. Moisture can interfere with the paint’s adhesion and cause it to blister or peel over time.
  • Prevent scratches and dents – Be mindful of furniture, objects, and other items that may come into contact with the walls. Use furniture pads or bumpers to prevent scratches and dents caused by movement or accidental bumps.
  • Monitor for damage – Periodically inspect the walls for any signs of damage like cracks, chips, or peeling paint. Address any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening and requiring more extensive repairs later.
  • Maintain proper ventilation – Adequate ventilation is essential in allowing the paint to cure and prevent moisture buildup. Keep windows and doors open when possible, and use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to help remove excess moisture.

By following these tips, you can help preserve the beauty and integrity of your freshly painted plaster walls for years.

Male hand painting wall with paint roller

Pros and cons of painting newly plastered walls

Painting newly plastered walls can offer several benefits but also presents some challenges. First, here are the pros:

  • Fresh appearance – Painting newly plastered walls can give your room a fresh and clean appearance, enhancing the overall aesthetics of the space.
  • Smooth finish – Plaster provides a smooth surface, making achieving a flawless paint finish easier than older, more textured walls.
  • Better adhesion – Fresh plaster provides a better surface for paint adhesion than older surfaces that may be flaking or peeling.
  • Sealing the surface – Painting newly plastered walls can help to seal the surface, protecting it from moisture and potential damage.

While there are pros of painting newly plastered walls, there are also cons. So, watch out for any of the common issues in the first few months after painting – and what you should do with them:

  • Drying and curing time – Plaster must be fully dry before painting, which can take several weeks, depending on the thickness and environmental conditions. Painting over damp plaster can lead to paint discoloration, peeling, or blistering.
  • Poor adhesion – Paint may not adhere properly to smooth, unprimed plaster. Using a primer specifically designed for new plaster can improve paint adhesion and result in a more durable finish.
  • Color inconsistency – Inconsistencies in plaster drying or variations in texture can lead to noticeable color differences after painting. Applying an additional coat of paint or using a high-quality primer can help achieve a consistent color.
  • Mold and mildew – In areas with high moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens, painted plaster walls may develop mold or mildew. Using mold-resistant paint or adding a mold inhibitor to your paint can help prevent this.
  • Cracking and shrinkage – As new plaster dries, it may shrink and form cracks. These should be filled and smoothed before painting for a flat and uniform surface.
  • Efflorescence – This is a condition where salt deposits form on the surface of the plaster as it dries, leading to a white, powdery residue. If painted over, it can cause paint to flake off. Removing efflorescence before painting is crucial.
  • Moisture damage – If the underlying plaster remains damp or there’s high humidity, paint may bubble or peel. Ensuring proper ventilation and that the plaster is completely dry can prevent these issues.
  • Mismatched absorption – Different absorption rates between patched areas and the original plaster can lead to an uneven finish. A mist coat (a watered-down layer of paint) as the first coat can help to unify the absorption rates across the wall.

When to call a professional

Hiring interior painters in Dublin to paint freshly plastered walls can benefit you in several ways. Here are some situations where opting for a professional might be the better choice:

  • High-quality finish
  • Ability to deal with complex surfaces or designs on walls
  • Speed and efficiency
  • Knowledge of materials
  • Ability to deal with problematic walls (such as bumps from an improperly plastered surface)
  • Safety
  • Warranty and insurance
  • Stress reduction
  • Value for money

How to hire the right painting contractor

Hiring the right painting contractor can make a significant difference to the outcome of your painting project. Here are some steps to help you find and hire the right painting contractor:

  • Define your needs – Determine the scope of your painting project. What areas of your home or property need to be painted? What is your preferred timeline for completing the project?
  • Get referrals – Ask friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues for recommendations. Word-of-mouth referrals can be valuable in finding reliable contractors. Additionally, search online for painting contractors in your area and read reviews and ratings.
  • Check credentials and experience – Look for painting contractors who are licensed, insured, and bonded. Verify their credentials and inquire about their experience in the industry. A contractor with a proven track record of quality work can deliver satisfactory results.
  • Request multiple quotes – Contact several painting contractors to request quotes for your project. Ensure that each quote includes details such as the scope of work, materials to be used, estimated timeline, and total cost. Comparing multiple quotes can help you make an informed decision.
  • Interview potential contractors – Schedule meetings or phone calls with the contractors you are considering hiring. Use this opportunity to ask questions about their experience, painting process, preferred materials, and availability. Pay attention to their communication style and professionalism.
  • Ask for references – Request references from past clients and follow up with them to inquire about their experience working with the contractor. Ask about the quality of work, adherence to timelines, and overall satisfaction with the painting job.
  • Review contract terms – Before hiring a painting contractor, carefully review contract terms. Ensure that all details discussed, including the scope of work, timeline, payment schedule, and warranty, are clearly outlined in the contract.
  • Verify insurance coverage – Confirm that the painting contractor has liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage. It protects you from liability in case of accidents or property damage during the project.
  • Discuss preparation and cleanup – Inquire about the contractor’s process for preparing the surfaces to be painted and cleaning up after the job is completed. A reputable contractor should take steps to protect your property and ensure a clean work environment.
  • Trust your instincts – Pay attention to your instincts when selecting a painting contractor. Choose a contractor who makes you feel comfortable, communicates effectively, and demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction.


It is possible to paint over newly plastered walls. However, it differs from regular drywall, so there are some factors to consider and challenges to expect when painting over new plaster. You can do this project successfully with proper preparation and patience. Following the recommended drying times and surface preparation steps will help ensure a professional-looking finish that lasts.

Or if you want a great-looking and long-lasting paint finish for your newly plastered walls but don’t want to bother with all the work, hire professional painters in Concord instead! You prefer to hire skilled, experienced, licensed, and insured paint contractors who will do the job right the first time.

To learn more painting tips, discover more about Custom Painting Inc.’s services, or request a free quote, contact Custom Painting, Inc. at 925-686-0903 or send a message. We’re looking forward to working with you!