Lots of people ask how to decorate on new plaster.
Firstly make sure it is completely dry. On the picture to the left the pale patches are dry, the darker colour is still wet. Preferably, if at all possible, give it a good few days to be completely dry before decorating,
New plaster is "thirsty". It will soak up paint or wall paper paste, not helping you to get a decent finish at all. So its really important to seal or seize it before decorating.
Some people like to use watered down PVA to seal new plaster, but every plasterer I've ever asked, and that's quite a few (!), have recommended my preferred method - cheap white paint. B&Q do a budget range of white matt at £9.99 for 10L. In my opinion, all paint that thin is useful for is sealing new plaster. I always put a couple of coats on to new plaster to make sure its absorbed all its going to.
Once the plaster is sealed then your quality paint will go on much more evenly and easily.
Many wallpaper manufacturers now instruct you to paste the wall. Do that on unsealed new plaster and its not going to stick for long! Paste over a couple of layers of cheap white matt and you have the perfect surface.
The price of paint... People keep asking me how much to pay and about the different brands. All I can say is that you get what you pay for.
If you pay £10 for 10L then its like coloured water and only good for sealing new plaster work.
Before buying think about the surface you're painting. If its a bright or dark colour its going to take more covering so the more you pay for your paint, the easier that will be.
Brands like Dulux and Crown are much better. Valspar (mixed up at B&Q)), imho, is the best of that price bracket.
If you can go for a luxury brand like Little Greene Paint Co then do - it wont let you down, but it will cost you four times more than the mid quality brands.
Paint Finishes.... this appears to be another thing that confuses people. Your basic traditional finishes in emulsion (for walls and ceilings) are
Matt (flat colour)
Silk (a slight sheen - purple material image)
Satin (more of a shine than a sheen - cream material image)
For kitchen and bathrooms, a lot of the paint comes in "soft sheen" which is, in my opinion, somewhere between a silk and satin. But if you search you can find it in matt.
Gloss is a high shine and usually used on woodwork and doors. Eggshell can also be used on woodwork and doors and has less of a shine than gloss.
It is worth noting that different brands of paint can give you a different finish for the same name. I was asked to use Satin on the woodwork in a property and the owners complained it was too shiny. They showed me the empty tin of what they'd used before. It said 'satin for woodwork' but it dried matt.
In past years matt paint has been difficult to clean down if it gets marked, but most brands now have made it much tougher and you can usually wipe it down with a wet cloth without damaging the surface. As a general rule of thumb though, the more shiny the finish, the tougher the paint is.
Some brands also do a basic range and a premium range. Id always recommend premium as it will be a much tougher surface and very possibly easier to apply and cover old colours.
In December a client moved into a new home. To say she had issues with it upon moving in is an understatement! I dread to think what the plumber and electrician's bills will be. There's more to do, but it desperately needs decorating.
She asked me to go over and have a look at the stairs, landing and living room which are open and so need to flow. At the moment one wall looks a bit like a tablecloth (see image). Another wall has a totally different wallpaper on, and some of the woodwork is white gloss, some white matt paint and some very off colour sections too.
Since then we've discussed which walls to wallpaper and which to paint. How to pick other features out of the room by going a shade or two lighter or darker than the other walls. She's even putting colour palettes together for other rooms in the house.
I simply cannot wait to get started on this house. The ability to make it feel like my client's own home, make her proud to have visitors round and show her space off ... well, its a real honour.
It may be a few weeks until I begin the project. As soon as I do, I'll post some before and after photos so you can see what's possible.