Plaster, Paint and PVA

19 Jan 2021
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United Kingdom
Disclaimer: I'm not good with DIY at all, but lockdown and situations have forced us to do some stuff ourselves that we would normally contract out for. "Should have paid someone" isn't particularly helpful so I'll save your time writing in saying "I know" in advance.

We've recently tried to plaster and paint our front room. I managed to plaster the walls (2 coats, mostly ok but with some scuffs and notches). I sanded the rough bits, and filled some bits on the walls where there were obvious dents.
I didn't have the equipment or patience to do the ceiling so paid for someone from an online trades site to do the ceiling. He did one coat, didn't fully cover the scrim tape, (but got paid before I noticed it) so I filled over and sanded that too.
Come to mist coat with watered emulsion, and I find that the filled bits show through where that and bare plaster absorb the paint differently. I read online Zissner is good for sealing, so I pick up a tin of that. Turns out it's expensive and I haven't got enough to cover the whole wall, so I use it to patch over the filled bits. Now, these zissnered bits show up under further coats of emulsion and even trader undercoat I've put on top. I'm pushing 3 - 4 coats of paint on walls and ceiling now, still with patches showing through. A builder friend recommended PVA to seal it, then paint on top.
Do I:
- PVA, then paint it.
- Zissner the entire room (expensive!)
- or just keep adding more and more emulsion, tears, hopes and prayers?
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PVA, then paint it.

no. never put glue on a surface you hope one day to paint.

You builder friend does not have long to go. Most people who say what he did have been killed by angry decorators.

Apply one or two mist coats thinned with water.

then some unthinned emulsion, stirred very well, with a sheepskin or artificial fur roller. Matt white is ideal and good value.
Glue prevents the paint from touching the wall, penetrating the surface and creating adhesion.

pva is water soluble. It turns to slime.

Emulsion paint contains water.

Condensation contains water.

Steam and humidity contain water.

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