How Long Should Plaster Cure Before Painting It?

If you have ever done or looked into doing any type of painting project around your home (whether on the inside or the outside), the chances are that you have heard the warning that surface preparation is the key to a successful paint job – both from a structural standpoint and a beauty standpoint!

There are many facets to surface preparation.

These can include filling, scraping, sanding, caulking, priming, and other actions that all help your paint job either last longer or look better.

I always venture to say, as much as the paint manufacturers may not want to hear this, that surface preparation is even more important than the finish paint you will be using for your project itself.

Although surface preparation certainly encompasses a wide variety of tasks which are super important for your paint job to come out the way you want it, there is also a task with one aspect of painting that is not something someone actually “does” at all.

In fact, this particular item is a more expanded version of waiting for caulk or primer to dry prior to painting it.

When you are having a surface plastered, it is important to wait for the plaster to cure prior to doing anything to its surface to get ready for painting.

My suggestion is 2 weeks.

Not to be confused with joint compound or spackle, which can usually be prepared and primed within 24 hours, plastering requires a longer wait time to truly make sure all the moisture that is used in the plastering process has totally gone away prior to doing anything to its surface to get it ready for paint.

Many plasterers would most likely tell you to wait 3-7 days prior to painting new plaster.

This is DEFINITELY one of those subjects that if you ask 10 different people, you will most likely receive 10 different opinions.

My line of thinking is that to allow the initial moisture involved in the plastering process to work itself out, a good 3 days is needed.

From there, I believe another solid 4 days is truly necessary for the plaster to harden up to the point that it can comfortably be sanded/adjusted as necessary to get its surface at its desired place prior to applying product.

The curveball with all of this is that drying temperatures and conditions can vary greatly in short timespans and in the interest of making sure the plaster is as dry as possible and hardens up as much as possible before proceeding to the surface preparation process, an extra 7 days is the perfect buffer to allow a safety net which one can be confident in as related to the drying and curing conditions that the newly plastered surfaces are located within.

If the proper time is not allotted for drying and curing, you could be setting up for a disastrous situation.

Improperly dried out plaster can lead to some of the most sinister paint peeling issues that one can imagine.

Furthermore, beginning to work with a surface that is not as hard as it should be, could be creating a much more challenging situation than need be when initially preparing the surface.

Although there may certainly be varying opinions as to exactly how long one should wait until a newly plastered surface is painted, if the plaster has not correctly cured prior to the majorly important step of preparing its surface, you may be in for a whole lot more work than should be the case in the quest to achieve as perfect and long lasting a paint job as possible.

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