1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

How to paint

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Harry028, 31 Mar 2016.

  1. misterhelpful

    misterhelpful

    Joined:
    19 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    3,205
    Thanks Received:
    522
    Location:
    Ohio (formerly Mid Glamorgan)
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The house I was born in was built in 1903 and had distemper in the walls, and I know for a fact it's still there, in the bedrooms, under the current wallpaper.

    Those images look similar in some respects, with the grey-white lime mortar/plaster finish. I can't say I ever had any trouble wallpapering over that, or in any of the dozens of houses in the locality that I worked in over the years. Obviously, distemper is powdery, and somewhat flaky, but as long as the walls are sized there was never any adhesion issues.

    That said, paints really don't adhere as well and after time will start to flake. This seems to be what has happened in this case and people have probably painted over it (maybe even with oil paint in some cases), just to seal the surface, before papering.

    There are options to get good results but they will be time consuming and may not leave a good enough surface for just painting onto.
    You can scrape off the thicker stuff, and anything else that isn't well adhered, sand back to a relatively flat surface, then seal with a stabilising solution suitable for use over distemper.
    Another method is to remove all of the paint and any remaining distemper with lots of elbow grease and a few dozen nylon scouring/sanding pads with hot water.
    The other method is to get a plasterer to skim it all but be warned, some spreads will want the loose stuff/ distemper removed beforehand so that they have no comeback if the plaster doesn't adhere properly.
    If you don't want any, or all, of that hassle, I would be tempted to just scrape off the loose stuff, apply a coat of Zinsser Gardz or a suitable wallpaper size, and re-paper. Wallpaper doesn't look out of place in older houses and there are some pretty nice ones out there these days.
     
  2. opps

    opps

    Joined:
    16 Jun 2006
    Messages:
    3,692
    Thanks Received:
    515
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom

    Did you paste straight on to the distemper or had the distemper been previously sealed?

    I once tried (in my early teens) to line a wall with distemper. The paper would not adhere. From that point onwards I have either washed it off or sanded it away.
     
  3. misterhelpful

    misterhelpful

    Joined:
    19 Feb 2011
    Messages:
    3,205
    Thanks Received:
    522
    Location:
    Ohio (formerly Mid Glamorgan)
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I always sized distemper with diluted wallpaper paste (because that was how I was taught) and then just papered as normal. The only time there was an issue that I can recall was with a ceiling in a customers spare room where some came loose. I will admit that I cut corners there because I only had a small pack of paste on the van to mix some size and paste, so can't really blame the distemper. I think it was more because I mixed too much size and then tried to mix a really thick paste to add to the left over size but it still ended up a little thin. I stripped it off and did the job again, at my expense, and it was fine. You live and learn! :oops:
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. opps

    opps

    Joined:
    16 Jun 2006
    Messages:
    3,692
    Thanks Received:
    515
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom

    I stand corrected.

    As you say "you live and learn".

    Thanks for teaching me something new.

    :)
     
  5. Harry028

    Harry028

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Surrey
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    When you say that paints don't adhere too well over distemper, what if I was to seal it first with PVA and then paint as I'm not too excited about having to wallpaper it again??!
     
  6. JohnD

    JohnD

    Joined:
    15 Nov 2005
    Messages:
    59,689
    Thanks Received:
    3,073
    Location:
    21st Century
    Country:
    Cook Islands
    never put PVA on any surface which you hope one day to paint.
     
  7. Harry028

    Harry028

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Surrey
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Why's that? Will the paint not bind to the wall?
     
  8. JohnD

    JohnD

    Joined:
    15 Nov 2005
    Messages:
    59,689
    Thanks Received:
    3,073
    Location:
    21st Century
    Country:
    Cook Islands
    no. The PVA prevents paint from touching the wall, never mind soaking in. The water in the emulsion softens the glue and starts to dissolve it.

    There are still; a few old plasterers who like to put glue on walls. Not many, because most of them have been killed by angry decorators.
     
  9. Harry028

    Harry028

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Location:
    Surrey
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Ahh right, I see. Well that has narrowed down my options to two then. Strip off the distemper or get it re-skimmed. Thanks!
     
  10. Chri5

    Chri5

    Joined:
    19 Jan 2007
    Messages:
    4,289
    Thanks Received:
    391
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Just line the walls with 1200g paper and then fill / soften seams and paint. First coat on lining paper can be white which is 35% of the price of colour and acts a bit like a mist coat.
     
  11. opps

    opps

    Joined:
    16 Jun 2006
    Messages:
    3,692
    Thanks Received:
    515
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I second the lining paper option.

    Lining paper is pretty cheap and quick to hang, it is also quite forgiving. Blemishes can even be sanded back (using the right grit when dry).
     
  12. Nige F

    Nige F

    Joined:
    28 Jun 2005
    Messages:
    19,958
    Thanks Received:
    1,469
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    What's the age of the house - that'll give a clue to the paint first used. To me the grey plaster looks like sirapite.
     
  13. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2019
    Country:
    United Kingdom

    If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

    Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


    Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

     
Loading...

Share This Page