Asked on Feb 14, 2016

Paint that will hide a wall's sins

by Dee
I have plaster wall with many dings/cracks/etc. I have scraped and patched a bunch but I know that once I prime, the blemishes are going to scream at me. I'm not a pro patcher but have tried to get the walls as smooth as I can. Dies anyone know of a paint/a technique/anything that I can topcoat on over the primer that'll help hide blemishes?
  21 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 14, 2016
    You can try faux painting or glazing techniques.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Feb 14, 2016
    If you decide to paint, you can purchase a roller with a heavy nap. This will produce a more textured surface when painted. You could also look into a Venetian plaster technique.
  • Flat and eggshell paints show less imperfections- the more sheen the paint the more it shows the flaws. Just remember if you do a faux finish and especially if you use a glaze repainting the walls will be more expensive in the long run. If you do not think the walls are smooth enough you can use more light joint compound or my new favorite is DAP spackle which requires little sanding plus it has a primer built in which is nice because you do not need to prime (but put 2 coats on). darker colors will also show more flaws. Just some tips- plus the more you feather or smooth out the compound from the flaw the smoother you can get it. I would google and watch some youtubes on this. It takes practice but getting smooth walls is so much nicer.
  • Patty Patty on Feb 15, 2016
    Make sure al the large cracks and holes are as smooth as smooth as possible and I would do either a textured paint or a Venetian plaster withe eggshell paint. Good luck!
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 15, 2016
    TEXTURE PAINT! I too had damaged wallboard. I put beadboard at the bottom (you can glue this to a wall) and texture paint at the top. This requires a "texture paint roller." If you want a chair rail, leave a level spot where you want it. Use corner blocks and you do not have to miter molding. With texture paint, cut a cheap stiff small bursh down about 1" from the handle and stipple (dab) paint in corners & edges where roller won't fit. Then paint. I used 2 colors. This has been up for about 5 years and is still PERFECT!
    • See 1 previous
    • Dee Dee on Feb 15, 2016
      @Jeanette S I did the same exact thing in my bathroom. Love the bead board and it looks as good as the day we put it in.
  • Kim C Kim C on Feb 15, 2016
    Flat White. Best at hiding flaws.
  • Margaret Margaret on Feb 15, 2016
    I to have plaster walls that are showing their age. In my bathroom I did the venetian plaster, fortunately, I bumped into some one that does it for a living and he advised me to paint the walls with a bonding agent before applying plaster. Once I did the plaster work, I put a clear coat over it to protect from moisture. I WON"T do it in my kitchen because it's not easy to wipe down and scrubbing could damage all that work. Thought about skim coating but found out I don't have the touch. I'll keep thinking and looking until something clicks.
  • Nancy Nancy on Feb 15, 2016
    I live in a 1937 home with 6 inch thick plaster walls. I feel your pain. If your walls are really plaster, use only a true plaster patch compound. I patch the small holes and use a flexible credit card for a smoothing tool. Plastic tools are easier to use that those metal ones. I removed plastic wall tiles in my kitchen and had to also remove thick, rock hard and horrible 50 year old mastic glue on the walls. I had to use a heat gun and a sander but I got the wall as smooth as a baby's bottom. It took me several weeks to do the job. My arm almost fell off from scraping and sanding. My sons thought I had the wall replaced when they came to visit. Be patient with yourself especially if you are a perfectionist. Take your time, use Kilz primer and a very good quality Satin paint in your favorite color. When it's all done, take pride in your workmanship, perseverance and patience.
  • Margi Chambers Margi Chambers on Feb 15, 2016
    I did torn paper bag walls in my den because of this. They look beautiful. You can brush stain, varnish, or glaze on them to alter the color., but they look like leather when sealed or stone when left uncoated.
  • Margi Chambers Margi Chambers on Feb 15, 2016
    Another thing you can do is texture with drywall compound and a spacing knife. Not too thick. Then paint over that.
  • Jeanie W Jeanie W on Feb 15, 2016
    Consider a texture with a sponge? The 2nd layer should either be a bit darker or lighter than the base coat to help it stand out but will cover almost any blemishes.
  • Arlie W Arlie W on Feb 15, 2016
    I only remember that a professional painter who did great work for us would take a wide scraper and run it over all the walls to scrape off any raised specs that us unprofessional people would not even notice. Of course he would do all the normal preps too if needed but that one step made a big difference.
  • Patty S Patty S on Feb 15, 2016
    I have textured many walls, it is easy and fun. Go to "Texturing walls" on Hometalk there are many tutorials on it.
    • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Feb 15, 2016
      @Patty S I agree here, I did this once well I didn't put the painter took and textured the walls pretty heavily before he painted and you couldn't tell all the bumps and cracks where even there and we then had a beautiful textured wall. Got many compliments and he also ended up doing walls for friends.
  • Peg Peg on Feb 15, 2016
    I use Homax texture paint (smooth finish) from Lowes with a long plastic nap roller on any wall that has had major patching. Blends in nicely with the "orange peel" texture already there. Just be sure you roll over it several times, the first pass looks horrible but then it blends in. What ever you do, don't use the "sand" finish. That stuff is just plain nasty!
  • P Caswell P Caswell on Feb 16, 2016
    I've used a product that is a wall-sealer-paper specifically for use on old plaster wall.. Seals all the flaking and bumpy plaster under a thick paper giving you a nice surface to paint.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Feb 16, 2016
    I have all plaster-and lathe, and I've left the imperfections alone because I didn't feel a drywall-type finish was suitable to an older home. You can, however, install drywall over plaster and lathe; or if you want to stick with the plaster you've smoothed out, use the flattest paint you are willing to use; a sheen on the surface highlights irregularities.
  • Dee Dee on Feb 16, 2016
    Wow, P Caswell, that sounds like just what I need. Would you know what it's called, who makes it? anything for me to go on??
  • Fran Leaky Fran Leaky on Feb 17, 2016
    Home Depot sells textured paintable wall covering very inexpensive. I've had it up for years and have painted it numerous times.
  • Cynthia Potts Cynthia Potts on Feb 18, 2016
    Dee, I live in the Buffalo area as well. Sherwin Williams has a paint technique they teach, the class is free I believe and it is called 'sueding' - it ads a texture, looks like suede. You can do the wipe on or wipe off technique. They have a special brush/tool.
  • Dee Dee on Feb 18, 2016
    So cool! THanks, leave it to a WNYer! I'm going there after work today! Thanks!
  • Dee Dee on Feb 18, 2016
    Great feedback. Don't know what I'd do without "hometalkers"! THanks