How To Paint Lath And Plaster Walls?(Get the best results)

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Are you ready to give your walls a fresh new look? Painting lath and plaster walls is one of the best ways to give your room a facelift without a major renovation. How To Paint Lath And Plaster Walls? Although it can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it before, it’s actually pretty straightforward; you just need the right tools and know-how to get the job done right.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of painting lath and plaster walls so that your new coat of paint will look great and last for years.

We’ll cover the different types of paints to use, how to prep the surface properly, which tools you should have on hand, and more.

So if you’re ready to give those lath and plaster walls an upgrade, let’s get started!

Preparing the Lath and Plaster Walls for Painting

Preparing the Lath and Plaster Walls for Painting

Before you can start painting lath and plaster walls, there are a few steps you need to take to get your walls ready.

First, go around the room and remove any nails, screws, and other fixings that are sticking out of the plaster.

Then, use a putty knife to get rid of any loose flakes or chunks of plaster.

Once you have removed any old paint, sand the surface with fine-grade sandpaper.

This will help create a smooth finish for your paint job.

Finally, use a damp cloth to clean off any dust or debris from the walls.

Ensuring that you properly prepare the surface before applying the paint will help the paint adhere better and look better once you apply it.”

After this is all done, you can prime the walls with an appropriate primer and then apply two coats of your desired paint color.

You should also let your paint dry completely between coats for optimal results.

What Materials Do You Need to Paint Lath and Plaster Walls?

What Materials Do You Need to Paint Lath and Plaster Walls

Painting lath and plaster walls is not the same as painting other surfaces, such as drywall. You’ll need to take extra steps to ensure a successful paint job. To start, you’ll need a few materials handy:

  • Furniture or drop cloths for protecting floors and furniture
  • Ladders or stepstools for accessing high walls
  • Sandpaper for sanding down any peeling paint or rough patches
  • Primer is used for sealing in odors, making the wall more resistant to stains, and covering up any imperfections.
  • Paint brush and roller set for more even coverage on larger surfaces
  • High-quality exterior paint in your desired color
  • Paint trays and liners to keep your container clean while you work
  • Spackle or joint compound for filling any cracks, holes, or dents

These materials are necessary to properly prepare your lath and plaster walls before you begin painting.

While there may be a few additional tools you will need depending on the complexity of the project, these basics will get you through most lath and plaster painting projects.

How to Apply Primer to Lath and Plaster Walls?

How to Apply Primer to Lath and Plaster Walls

If you want to paint your lath and plaster walls, the next step is to apply primer.

Primer seals in the existing surface and creates a good foundation for your paint job. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by using a low-VOC, water-based primer with an acrylic base. These primers are designed to stick well to lath and plaster walls and won’t release any toxic fumes into your home.
  2. Roll or brush two coats of primer onto the wall surface. Make sure you don’t skip any spots; you want your walls to be evenly covered.
  3. Let the primer dry for about 4–6 hours between coats, or for however long is indicated on the product instructions.
  4. Once both coats of primer have dried, you’re all set! Now you can paint the lath and plaster walls with your chosen color; remember to use two coats of that too!

How to Apply Paint to Lath and Plaster Walls?

How to Apply Paint to Lath and Plaster Walls

Painting lath and plaster walls is a little different than painting other walls. Of course, it’s not rocket science or any other type of science, but there are a few extra steps you should take to make sure the job is done right.

Prep Work

“Before starting, ensure that you remove all the hardware from the wall and fill any holes with spackling paste or joint compound.”

That way, the wall will be all smooth before you start painting, which will help ensure an even finish.


After you do your prep work, it’s time to prime your walls. A primer helps ensure that your paint adheres properly to the lath and plaster and also makes sure that it goes on smoother and more evenly.

After your primer dries, you can start applying paint!

Applying Paint

When applying paint to lath and plaster walls, be sure to use an angled brush rather than a roller brush.

This allows for more control and lets you get into the nooks and crannies of these types of walls much easier than with a roller brush or sprayer.

Be sure not to overload your brush with too much paint, as this can cause excess dripping or pooling in some areas. Go slow and steady for the best results!

Following these tips will help make painting lath and plaster walls easier and less stressful, so go ahead, grab a brush, and get creative!

Finishing Touches on Painting Lath and Plaster Walls

Finishing Touches on Painting Lath and Plaster Walls

Now that your lath and plaster walls have been prepped and painted, it is important to finish the job with a few finishing touches.

The first is using a sanding block to even out the surface of the paint.

This will help to smooth any brush strokes that may have been left behind and ensure that you have an even finish on your wall.

The second finishing touch is to go over the edges of the wall with a brush or roller again.

This will help to prevent any lap marks or streaks from appearing, which can be difficult to fix after the paint has dried.

Finally, you want to make sure that you apply at least two coats of paint for long-lasting protection against any wear and tear.

This will also give your lath and plaster walls an intense shine and provide plenty of coverage that will last for years to come.

Common Mistakes When Painting Lath and Plaster Walls

Common Mistakes

When it comes to painting lath and plaster walls, it’s important to keep a few common mistakes in mind.

Without the right preparation and techniques, you’ll be stuck with a less-than-ideal finish that won’t last as long as it should.

Skipping Primer

One of the most common mistakes is skipping the primer.

A primer is necessary because it helps seal and protect the surface, so if you don’t use one, your paint won’t adhere properly and won’t last as long.

Not Sanding the Surface

Before you start painting, you need to sand down any imperfections on the lath or plaster wall.

If you don’t sand down rough patches or bumps in the wall surface, they will show through your paint jobs, so take your time to make sure everything is smooth before painting.

Not Allowing Enough Drying Time

Another mistake people make when painting lath and plaster walls is not allowing for enough drying time between coats of paint.

Each coat should be completely dry before you move onto the next; otherwise, it could lead to the peeling or bubbling of your paint job.

By doing a little bit of prep work and taking your time, you can avoid these common mistakes when painting lath and plaster walls for a beautiful finish that will last for years!



Painting lath and plaster walls is a task that requires patience, a steady hand, and a few extra steps to ensure the paint adheres properly.

However, with the right approach and materials, it is possible to achieve beautiful, long-lasting results.

Start by sanding the walls, then use a primer and two coats of paint, following the manufacturer’s instructions for each product.

Make sure to use the correct type of paint for the job, as this will result in better coverage and durability.

Additionally, take the time to prep the walls with a coat of spackle and patching compound, and use painter’s tape to mask off any areas you want to keep free of paint.

By following these steps for painting lath and plaster walls, you can create a beautiful, lasting finish that you can be proud of!


How do I prepare lath and plaster walls for painting?

Clean, repair cracks or holes, sand, and consider using a primer.

What type of paint should I use on lath and plaster walls?

Use a high-quality acrylic or latex paint specifically designed for plaster surfaces.

What techniques should I use to paint lath and plaster walls?

Use a thick-nap roller, work in small sections, use a paintbrush for edges, and apply at least two coats, allowing each coat to dry.

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About Charlie D Paige

Charlie is a massive DIY fan, with dozens of DIY projects under his belt - ranging from tiling to electrics, and concrete pads to walls. Charlie loves tinkering, seeing how things works, the outdoors and playing with power tools... so is it any wonder that he's completed so many DIY jobs over the years?

Charlie loves spreading his hard-won DIY experience with the world via this blog.