papering fresh plaster skim coat - advice

6 Jan 2006
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United Kingdom
I will be having the walls/ceiling skimmed this weekend in the lounge. I plan to give the plaster a couple of weeks to dry out before painting. I have plastered other rooms in the house and then painted the walls which looks good but in this room I am planning to paper the walls. I would like to know what is the best approach to take - Once the plaster has dried can I just use wall size (or something similar) and then paper as normal or do I need to do something different to the bare plaster before papering?
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Hi gille
a good idea is to put a mistcoat of vinyl silk to make the paper slide easier but not to thicku still need the paste to adhere to the wall.
Personally I wouldnt use silk on New plaster even if it is only a skim, there could be reprecussions happening under the paper.
The best thing to use I find, and I'm sure others will say the same, but its up to you, is to size the walls the night before.
Just knock up some wallpaper paster, and thin it down, so its runny, and slap it on all over the wall the night before prior to paper hanging, this will seal the wall, and make life easier for you when you hang the paper.

You can miscoat the walls with a watered down Matt paint, like supermatt for example, but its a waste of paint if your going to hang paper anyway, but it will be okay for the ceilings, before you apply your good coats.
Its best to get your ceiling, and woodwork finished before you hang your finish paper.

What I do, is I size the walls, and then before I actually hang my lengths, I just brush on a little paste where the paper is going to butt, just as a added precaution, just incase I have missed a bit the day before.
I wouldnt use silk could lead to serious problems, especially on the joints.

I agree also with Spice about the use of a mist coat...waste of paint and again possible grief when you.paper over it

Plaster can be a funny one and deepending on how its mixed and how it dries...can have an affect on the porosity of if...these could lead to shrinkage of the joints..ive papered over bare plaster before...sometimes iv got away with it...others ive ended up getting the colours out to touch up the joint because of the dark line from the plaster showing through.

I would size the walls, line them (i prefer lap powder paste for lining on bare plaster) and then paper them...that way any problems you have will be in the lining paper and not the top paper.

As for misses when sizing, easy done...I add half about 200 ml of matt emulsion to the size...that way to can see where you have been.

They wont tell you that in takes a breaks top tips!
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Zampa said:

As for misses when sizing, easy done...I add half about 200 ml of matt emulsion to the size...that way to can see where you have been.

They wont tell you that in takes a breaks top tips!

Good tip there, :D will keep that in mind next time I am lining, which wont be long, as I seem to be forever lining these days. :rolleyes:
Its all about the porosity in the surface you are coating. For porosity read suction. Brand new plaster is very much like a dry sponge. You need to satisfy the dryness (porosity).If you dont, as soon as your paper hits the wall the dry plaster will suck the moisture from the paste on your paper and you wont be able to slide it around in order to line the pattern up. So a miss coat is a good starting point. A very cheap white emulsion is fine. You thin it down with water until its quite runny and coat the walls. This will make them less thirsty for moisture. You can then size the walls with runny paste. The high water content ( in the paste ) further reduces the porosity and the wall is becoming very much like a saturated sponge. I size a wall immediately before i paper it. When you do paper you will find that the paper slides around very easily as the wall is not crying out for water. Remember, NEVER use an emulsion that has any element of vinyl in it for miss coating. Its the vinyl that sits "on" the surface rather than soaking "into" it.
Glue size for me as well.
I've seen paste come off in "sheets".
Cheers, thanks for all the advice. The plasterer is coming today so a few weeks before the papering starts. I may leave until after Xmas. Thanks again, excellent forum.

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