How to Patch Plaster Walls Before Painting

March 16, 2023

If you're looking to spruce up your residential or commercial interior space with a fresh coat of paint, there's one important step that can't be overlooked: learning how to patch plaster walls before painting.

Patching the wall is an essential part of prepping it for a new layer of paint and will ensure that the job looks great in the end.

This blog post will cover everything you need to know about how to patch plaster walls before painting -- from preparing the surface to choosing the right type of paint -- so they stay in good condition for years to come.

Table of Contents

How to Patch Plaster Walls Before Painting

Preparing the surface is an important step when you paint plaster walls. It ensures that the paint adheres properly and looks great when finished.

How to patch plaster walls before painting? Follow these three steps.

Remove Old Paint

Before you paint plaster walls, any existing paint should be removed cleanly. This can be done with a paint scraper or fine-grit sandpaper, depending on how much old paint you have to clean up. If there are multiple layers of old paint, it may require more than one scraping or sanding session to remove everything.

Fill Holes and Gaps with Plaster Patching Compound

When all of the old paint has been removed, it’s time to fill small holes and repair cracks in the exposed plaster. Use a putty knife to apply spackle or joint patching compound and fill in all the gaps. Make sure they are completely covered with the patching compound before allowing them to dry overnight.

Sand and Prime

After patching up holes or cracks, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand down not only the patched area but the entire surface of the wall until they are smooth and even throughout. Then apply primer so that your new coat adheres properly.

These three steps are essential components when painting plaster walls. But how to patch plaster walls before painting when there's too much damage?

How to Repair Damaged Plaster

If there are only small cracks or chips in your plaster, a simple patch job with a plaster patching compound may do. However, if there are large holes or crumbling sections in a severely damaged wall, more extensive dry plaster repairs may be necessary.

Make sure that all loose pieces of plaster, including peeling paint, have been removed before beginning any dry plaster repairs.

Once you have assessed the damage and determined what kind of repair needs to be done, start covering the furniture and floors with drop cloths or plastic sheeting and remove any fixtures from the wall.

Make sure that all surfaces are clean before applying cross-scratch plaster fill. You can use a vacuum cleaner or damp cloth to remove dust particles from the damaged wall.

After preparing your workspace, it’s time to apply a drywall compound using either a trowel or a putty knife. Larger holes require thicker layers of drywall compound while smaller cracks just need thin coats applied evenly across the surface.

Once the drywall compound and exposed plaster have dried completely, you can start sanding down the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any bumps.

After you remove peeling paint and repair plaster walls, it's time to choose the right paint for dry plaster.

how to patch plaster walls before painting


Choosing the Right Paint

When selecting paint for plaster walls, it is important to consider the sheen, color, and type of paint. The right combination of these elements can create a beautiful finish that will last for years.

Selecting the Right Sheen

Sheen refers to the glossiness of paint. Flat paints have no shine at all while high-gloss paints are very shiny. A satin finish is somewhere in between and is often used on walls because it provides some protection from dirt and stains without being too glossy.

Choosing the Right Color

Choosing the right color for your plaster walls is also important when painting them. Consider both natural light sources such as windows and artificial lightings like lamps or overhead fixtures when deciding what colors will look best.

If possible, test out different shades by painting small swatches on each wall before committing to one particular hue so that you can get an idea of how it looks under various lighting conditions.

Choosing the right paint for your project is essential for achieving a professional look. Now that you have selected the best option, it's time to move on to applying the paint to plaster walls.

Key Takeaway: When selecting paint for plaster walls, it is important to consider the sheen, color, and brand of paint. A satin finish provides some protection from dirt and stains without being too glossy. Consider room lighting when choosing a paint color and test out different swatches before committing to one particular hue.

Painting Plaster Walls

Before applying paint to plaster walls, cover furniture and floors with drop cloths or plastic sheeting. This will help protect your belongings from any accidental splatters. It is also a good idea to remove any wall hangings or fixtures that could get in the way of painting.

Once you have prepared the room, you can begin painting. Apply a coat with a paintbrush or roller in even strokes across the wall surface. Start at one corner and work your way around until all surfaces are covered.

Make sure to keep a wet edge when working so that each stroke blends together seamlessly without leaving visible lines between them.

Allow sufficient drying time between coats before moving on to adding additional layers.

Stick painter's tape along edges such as trim or windowsills to create crisp lines, then use a damp rag to wipe away any excess drips or smudges left behind from painting.

After the wall is dried completely, carefully remove all drop cloths and plastic sheeting from furniture and floors before you admire your work.

In the next section, we will discuss how to maintain your plaster walls after painting for long-lasting results.

Maintaining Your Plaster Walls After Painting

Regular Cleaning

To keep your plaster walls looking their best, regular cleaning is essential. Dust the walls regularly with a soft cloth or duster to remove any dirt or dust that has accumulated over time. You can also use a vacuum cleaner on low suction to gently clean away any debris from the wall surface.

Every few months, wipe down the walls with a damp cloth to remove any grime buildup and ensure that your paint job stays looking its best for years to come.

Spot Treatments

If you notice stains or damage on your painted plaster walls, it’s important to address them as soon as possible before they become more serious issues.

For minor spots of dirt or grease, simply wiping them off with a damp cloth should do the trick. For tougher stains such as crayon marks or marker smudges, try using an all-purpose cleaner and some elbow grease.

If these methods don’t work, then it may be necessary to sand down the area before repainting that spot.

Over time, even well-maintained painted plaster walls may need professional touch-ups due to wear and tear. This could include small cracks appearing in the corners or fading colors caused by sunlight exposure.

In these cases, it is best to hire a professional painter who can match up existing colors perfectly while ensuring that all repairs are done correctly.

Key Takeaway: Regular cleaning and maintenance of painted plaster walls are essential to keep them looking their best. Spot treatments for stains and damage should be addressed quickly, while tougher stains may require sanding down before repainting. Professional touch-ups are recommended when visible signs of wear and tear appear.


Learning how to patch plaster walls before painting is an important step to ensure a professional and long-lasting paint job. Proper preparation of the wall surface is key to achieving a smooth finish that will last for years.

With careful attention to detail and quality materials, you can get beautiful results when patching plaster walls before painting.

Are you looking for a reliable and experienced interior painting contractor to fix your plaster walls before a painting job? Look no further than Pristine Painters! Our team of highly trained professionals has years of experience in the industry, ensuring that all jobs are completed with precision and excellence.

We understand how important it is to properly prepare surfaces prior to any paint job, so let us handle the task quickly and efficiently. Contact us today for a free quote or more information about our services!

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