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No! No! No! Silk emulsion straight onto new plaster! Help!

Postby timtx2 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:29 am

Please don't anyone have a go at me, I am upset by what I've done as it is, and the wife has been in tears.
We both have a great deal of difficulty with manual labour through various age related 'ailments' we have, so to do it ourselves was a big thing for us.

A few months ago, we had our kitchen artex walls skimmed, and a new plasterboard ceiling. We wanted the walls/ceiling completely smooth for painting. We have saved up to buy the paint and decorating materials we needed to paint it all ourselves, cost iro £200

Stupidly, we have painted silk emulsion straight onto the bare plaster, both walls and ceiling, and of course have now found out that it doesn't adhere.

The trouble is, it doesn't simply peel off as we have been advised it would. I can stick masking tape on it and it peels off when removed though, but I don't fancy going over the whole wall/celing doing this! Scraping it doesn't seem to work very well as there is not enough of an edge for the scraper to get under. I fear scraping it will ruin what was a perfectly smooth plastered finish (we had an excellent plasterer do the job), as undoubtedly the scraper will dig in and gouge the plaster.

The paint has to come off, that's for sure, but what's going to be the best way?

It is one coat of paint, silk emulsion. It was painted yesterday, so less than 48 hours ago. Is it going to have to be sanded? Is there a paint remover we could use?

I am sick to my stomach with worry that we have screwed up a £1000 plastering job and that it is going to cost us a fortune to get this sorted. I'm feeling really down about the whole thing.

I'm guessing there is going to be no easy way out of this, and I'm going to have to get in a professional to remove the paint and then do the job properly. If that is the case, to avoid anyone ripping me off, what is the best way for them to go about it? I don't want to be told they have to do X,Y,Z when they only need to do A,B,C.

Thanks for any advice and treating me gently. I've learned my lesson...
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Gorilla Glue heavy duty grab adhesive

Postby plumbbob » Mon May 06, 2013 6:22 pm

I am not a professional painter to follow my advice at your own risk.

We often have to deal with loose paint as a preparation to tiling in bathrooms. People often slop paint on the walls without preparing the surface first, and as you have found it doesn't stick properly and the last thing we want to do is tile over loose paint!

As you have found, with normal scrapers, the blade is too thick so won't get under the paint. Get yourself one of those Harris Heavy Duty Scrapers that use a razor sharp blade. Go to Screwfix and see - - they are available in most DIY stores.

I find the paint scrapes off without too much effort, but there is no guarantee you will not have some marks left on the plaster. My guess is, if you do it before the paint has chance to harden, it may work....

Good Luck!
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Postby timtx2 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:10 pm

Thanks for the reply - I bought something similar from Wickes (in fact it looks identical) but the blade edge is 'squared' definitely not razor edge. Admittedly it is a thin piece of metal, but I can run my finger across its edge with no fear of cutting myself, so not sharp. More like the normal scraping blades you get for wallpaper stripping.

So I took a closer look, and saw that it's sold with the blunt edge out!

Turned it round, and BINGO! Razor scraper! It actually strips the paint with ease! Going to be a bit of a chore getting it all off, but at least I know progress is possible.

A little knowledge is dangerous...
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Postby BrisPlast » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:04 am

I hope you've managed to get it all sorted! I know how expensive redecorating can be and how infuriating it is when it goes wrong.
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Postby timtx2 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:59 pm

Well, we got it all off by eventually having to sand it down. Scraping was gouging holes in the plaster; not good! Just went with different grades of paper until we found one that removed the paint but left the plaster smooth. It was a helluva job, and the dust was quite simply ridiculous. I'm afraid we have simply left it since then. We are saving up to get a professional decorator in to do the work, I can't face it with the various ailments I have with my health.

We never sanded the ceiling. We are just going to have to live with that. Hopefully we'll (someone) be able to paint over it with 'normal' emulsion, and simply cover up any bad bits as we go.
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Postby theshedman » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:32 am

You will find that the reason it peeled is because you didn't put on a mist coat or two first. That is a coat of watered down emulsion as this would have sealed the new plaster and will give following coats something to adhere to instead of just sitting on top of the new plaster. I would give it two mist coats of a flat matt emulsion followed by two coats of Dulux kitchen emulsion and you should find it works fine.
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Postby Eli123 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:46 pm


With regards to this topic

I require help. We had a paint switch iaue. And painted a lot of new plaster with silk

Can it be keyed with an elecy sander

Then whit washed with matt emulsion ?
Then coat matt again ?
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Postby BobArctor » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:33 pm

I have a related problem. We had new plaster coving fitted but I put a coat of matt emulsion on without priming it first. I'm now not sure what to do - I've read some posts elsewhere online from people saying it doesn't always crack and flake, because the recommended mist coat is only 20% water, but obviously I am worried about it flaking later on. Does anyone know if I should just go for another coat of emulsion and hope for the best, or whether putting a coat of sealant over the emulsion would help it to not flake? Sanding it off is not an option due to the intricacy of the moulding.

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Postby thedoctor » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:09 pm


Painting fresh plaster can be a bit of a task and as the posts in this thread suggest, definetly a necessary one for sure. For anyone needing any further help and advice with painting fresh plater, mixing a mist coat, what type of paint to use or any other questions check out our painting new plaster project here
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