Hi. I am new to decorating and would be really greatful for advice.
I have just stripped the wallpaper from my lounge walls and was hoping to paint the plaster which is about 100 years old.
How do you know when you really need to skim the walls to get a reasonable finish. To me my plaster looks quite good but has hairline cracks pretty much all over. They really are just very thin cracks though and you cant even get a fingernail into them.
Will these be hidden by a good matt paint or do I run the risk of it looking awfull when finished.
I like the idea of keeping the old plaster and dont really like very smooth walls.
Try painting a small wall and see what it looks like, a light rub with sandpaper is always good to do before you paint to get any small bit of paste and paper off, and use a good roller not a cheap one because cheap rollers leave bits on the wall and when it dries you can see them in the light. hair line cracks will always come back through but you will only notice them on close inspection!
We had exactly the same thing when we stripped the walls in our Victorian house. We started by washing the wall to get off the old wallpaper adhesive - i think we used wallpaper stripper. Then we tried painting the walls with a thick base coat to see but unfortunately you could still see the hairline cracks. So then, rather than plastering all the walls in the house (lots of time and effort if you diy plaster) we got some joint cement i think it's called (about £20 for a massive tub in B&Q - it's basically polyfilla but a bit thinner) and with a wet plastering float coated the whole wall in a super thin layer just so that the stuff went into the cracks. All you need to do then is give the wall a quick sand then a wipe with a damp cloth and voila it's ready for painting.
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