Any suggestions for what to prime my old plaster walls before painting?  After removing the liner paper-have gray plaster walls.  Should I use oil or latex primer? Which brand?

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I have never had problems with paint adhering to plaster walls. I typically use Benjamin Moore Fresh Coat latex primer for plaster, unless you have staining issues, then Kilz or Zinnser. After wallpaper, though, I would be sure to wash it well first, and lightly sand it with a pole sander to make sure that you don't have any glue residue that may give you unsightly bumps under the paint.
Happy Thanksgiving Phil! Nice "talking" with you again! I washed the walls with Dif and water (mixed) and definitely had to change the Dif/water very frequently. I then washed with hot water to remove any DIf residue. Now the walls are sooo smooth! The plasterer is coming next Monday to fill in the cracks-may need to skim coat it all as I don't think since 1915 that anything has been on the walls except wall paper!

I've called all of the reputable paint stores here and most have suggested an oil based primer for good paint adherence. Personally Benjamin Moore is my first pick when it comes to paint so will try your advice! Thanks again.
Yes, I always like following your projects, since I have the Washington connection. I am interested to see how others weigh in here on the primer. I always use oil primer on exterior bare wood, but the only interior adhesion problems that I have had are on painted woodwork, and on that my only problems are chipping which no paint, primer or prep technique seems able to guard against for me.
After Christmas I plan to tackle the MBR woodwork!! Peeling high gloss paint over probably lead paint! That will be a project in a half!! 4 big windows, 2 doorways and one double door leading to the upper sunroom plus the baseboards!! Then will take out the carpeting and refinish the wood floors if needed. Then paint over the hanging vines, climbing roses and sponge painted blue sky on the ceiling!!

I've been told that if one paints oil over latex then the paint will peel. That's why I'm stripping all of the wood in the MBR!! Plus it looks like the previous owner applied the liner paper over the plaster walls in all of the rooms, hallways too!! So will need to strip that off before I paint the walls!

Who's your Washington connections? Getting freezing rain here this morning! Have to leave tonight for Chicago then off to Rockford on Friday!! You and Yours have a fun and happy Thanksgiving!
My grandparents lived in Washington. They moved to Washington to build and run the Hillcrest golf course in the 1950s, then retired there in a little ranch house on Main St. We would visit every summer for a week or so. I still have a few cousins living in there, but not many.
Never had any problem with Latex Kilz on clean bare plaster.

It's inside the house... you'd really have to do something VERY wrong before just about any interior paint would fail.

Personally, I'd specifically ask the painter why he wants the oil. If he can't come up with a really good reason, I'd insist on latex primer & paint but that's just me.

I like Behr brand... they even have one with paint & primer together. I went with satin instead of eggshell just so I could keep it cleaner in this dusty old house but that's personal preference.

Also wondering why you're doing a plaster skim coat if the walls cleaned up so smooth.
John-I had planned on using Kilz primer-have had good success with it in the past. The reason for a skim coat is there are fine cracks plus someone had put drywall mud over a large area-I sanded that off to make it smooth but that uncovered some big rough patches. The reason for removing the dry wall mud was most of it dissolved and smeared with my use of DIF to get that liner paper off.

I want to prime the bare plaster before painting. I don't think the plaster walls have ever been painted-just the liner paper was-one layer pepto bismol pink and the top layer greenish white. So to use a quality primer I think is key before painting. Plus getting those cracks filled in and smooth.

My reason for a skim coat of plaster is basically I'm a perfectionist and want it to look as uniform as possible!! I usually prefer an eggshell finish but planned on a satin or flat finish for these old walls!!

Talk about dust! When we removed the ceilings in the basement to put in AC, the man when in the rooms white but after finishing-came out black!!! He left all 105 years of dust all over everything in those rooms!!! By the way-Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving!

"... I usually prefer an eggshell finish but planned on a satin or flat finish..."

FYI- Satin is between Eggshell & Flat. In my opinion Satin is easier to keep clean than flat or eggshell. Cobwebs just smear into flat and you can never get them off.

As per Behr in order of flatness to gloss... (also gets more expensive left to right.)

UltraFlat -> Flat -> Eggshell -> Satin -> SemiGloss -> Gloss

Just to let you all know that the family/living room turned out GREAT!! Had a plasterer come in and fix the cracks and the many holes from over 100 years of "honey let's hang it here"!  Used Benjamin Moore oil based primer and eggshell latex paint! The walls look great!  Thanks for all of your advice!


When I restore building for the The Colorado State Historical Fund they recommend Benjamin Moore paints.  Glad to read your results are beautiful.  It is so fulfilling just to sit in a restored home and feel the restoration.




Most definitely it is rewarding!!! Just finished priming and painting our daughter's room! Had an 80's wall treatment which we called the Star Trek room! Hunter green, burgundy sponge paint with gold wiggly lightning bolts!!! The ceiling had gold crescent moons and stars all over-those took two coats of paint plus another spot coat in order to cover those!! Even used an oil based primer for the ceiling too!

Next project will be our MBR-what wonderful 80's paint treatment there!!!  I've attached the realtor's picture of that room!! The ceiling is sponged painted blue to look like clouds in the sky!!  Even have a cardinal painted perched on the draping vines!! YUCK!!!

I didn't know you could use an oil based primer with latex over that. If it worked out well, I wonder if I should do that in bathroom remodel. Humm the only problem would be trying to find oil based anything in ohio :(


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