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Q & A About painting a new house.

Q. We are moving to a new house that we’ve decided to paint ourselves, and are wondering if the new plaster on the walls and ceilings should be given a coat of primer or is there any products that you recommend for this. The house is 1,080 sq feet, 3 Bed. Would you have an estimate or a guide to the amount of paint needed for the whole house? 

A. Two coats of emulsion over all the walls and ceilings would be standard practice. Your first coat of emulsion with 10% Floetrol emulsion paint conditioner mixed in will take care of the priming / first coat. Irrespective of what colors you choose for the various walls, you could paint them white on the first coat together with the ceilings to make it easy on yourself. You will find that the paint additive mentioned above will also make a huge difference when added to your second coat as well. Easier to do and looks better, no roller marks etc. Mask all edges you don’t want paint on for best results; 2” tape works pretty good. Use drop cloths / old sheets etc on all floors to prevent mess.

Here’s more food for thought plus a great tip: If there is a likelihood of posters etc being stuck with sellotape or the like to some of those painted walls up the road, you’d better make sure that paint is stuck on real tight in the first instance. The best way to do this is to add in 25-30% Emulsa-Bond (also known as E-B) into your first coat of emulsion and this will make sure that paint will stay put, even after being pulled with tapes etc! If you go this route, you can still use the Floetrol in your second coat.

If you are going to stay with the paint choice, you will need about 5 buckets of good quality interior emulsion, 2 for the ceilings and the rest for the walls. The Floetrol emulsion paint conditioner (1 litre per 10 litre bucket) will ensure a lovely smooth, roller mark free job with minimum effort. You may get away with 4 buckets but better get enough. You might like to pick up a bunch of paint sample testers in a paint store and experiment with the colors before you make final choice.

If you are up to it, you could hire an airless sprayer fitted with a, emulsion tip for a day and spray all the ceilings and first coat on the walls. I am reliably informed that you will do it in about a quarter of the normal time it takes to roll. If you do this, just cover glass / wood etc to keep off over spray.

You did not say how you plan to finish the doors etc, but assuming you are going to paint them, you will probably need about 5 litres of gloss, about 7.5 litres of undercoat / primer, box of filler like Pollyfilla, 3 sheets each 80 & 120 grit sandpaper and a litre or so of Owatrol oil for the paint and undercoat.

Mix about 20% Owatrol into the undercoat and about 10% into second coat. This will help grip, hiding and finish. You may also need a litre of varnish for the door saddles and a reasonable selection of brushes, 1, 1.1/2, 2, 3” should do, but invest in good ones while you’re at it and don’t forget a can of white spirits for cleaning them up. Good luck with your project.


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