Our Guide To Painting New Plaster

Enhance paint adhesion on new plaster by starting with a carefully applied mist coat, as discussed in our tutorial.
Written By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
How To Paint New Plaster
Edward Bailey/DIY Works

As soon as you’ve had a room plastered, you may be counting down the days until you can begin to paint it and add some colour. However, when it comes to painting new plaster, it’s not the same process as painting an ordinary wall due to the plaster’s surface.

For example, more preparation is needed, and you will also need to apply a mist coat, which acts as a primer before your top coat. As we recently had multiple rooms plastered within our house, we created the below guide with photos while painting the room.

What You’ll Need

  • Step ladders
  • Bucket
  • Paint stirrer
  • Masking tape
  • Paint tray
  • Emulsion paint
  • Filler
  • Paint roller
  • Paint brush

How To Paint New Plaster

1. Check The Plaster Is Dry

Before you begin to paint new plaster, it’s crucial that you have allowed it to dry out completely. Failing to do so can cause adhesion problems, and you may find that the paint you applied has peeled off.

Regarding whether or not the plaster is dry, its current colour is a good indication. For example, plaster that’s dry will be much lighter in colour, and it will also have no dark spots.

If you are still unsure, our guide on how long plaster takes to dry goes into further detail.

2. Prepare The Plaster

Depending upon the quality of the plaster that’s been applied, you may need to prepare it before painting. If preparation is required, use medium grit sandpaper to remove rough patches and extra-fine sandpaper to create a smooth surface ready for paint. After you’ve sanded down the plaster, it’s also a good time to mask up the area with quality masking tape.

3. Mix Your Mist Coat

In short, a mist coat is a mixture of water and emulsion paint that acts as a primer and avoids uneven brush strokes when painting new plaster. Ideally, it should be mixed at a ratio of 80% paint and 20% water. As you can see in the below image, we are mixing up a mist coat in a bucket and using a paint stirrer to mix the paint and water together.

If you don’t want to mix up a mist coat yourself, you can use a water-based primer instead. However, this will cost far more than mixing up a mist coat yourself.

When it comes to mixing up a mist coat, you don’t have to use the best-rated emulsion paint on the market. Instead, you can use any light-coloured water-based emulsion because it’s being mixed with water anyway.

how to paint fresh plaster

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

4. Paint Your Mist Coat

With the mist coat mixed up and ready to be used, you can proceed to paint the new plaster.

As you can see in the image, we used a paint roller to apply the mist coat. However, for some people, this may be quite messy because it can cause paint to splatter. Alternatively, you may wish to brush the mist coat onto the walls to avoid paint splatter, but this may take some time.

After applying the mist coat, it’s advised that you wait at least 24 hours before applying the top coat.

how to paint bare plaster

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

5. Paint Your Top Coat

After allowing the mist coat to dry and using a filler for any imperfections, you can proceed to apply a final coat of emulsion to your wall. For the best results, you may need to apply more than one coat.


Painting new plaster is relatively easy and as long as you mix the mist coat correctly, there is very little that can go wrong. Hopefully, our guide has provided you with an insight into what’s involved. However, if you need further information, feel free to get in touch with our team, and we will try to help out where possible.

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