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This weekend I took down some old cabinets and the support boards that were nailed into the wall. This took down some of the plaster (old water damage took care of the rest). The surface on the photo is what's left after brushing the wall with a semi rough brush, and whatever is left seems stable. We like the textures and want to simply paint everything white, but my guess is we should first seal the surface. What product(s) should we use to seal the surface and what kind of paint to then paint over everything?

kitchen wall

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

In the UK, standard practice is to coat walls in your situation with a mixture of UniBond PVA Adhesive & Sealer and water (instructions on the tin will give recommended mixing percentages).

Then paint over everything with either:

  • A watered down white wall emulsion mixture (again recommended mixing percentages will be found on the tin).
  • A white "block out" wall emulsion.

Then paint your walls with your chosen wall emulsion colour. In your case, as it looks like it's a bathroom of some sort, I would go with a emulsion paint specifically for high moisture areas (such as bathrooms & kitchens). Doing so will have the benefit of lasting longer in those kind of conditions, also those specific type paints offer a lot better protection from mold forming on walls in high moisture areas.

Just throwing out a (crazy) idea you might also be interested in, seeing as you are leaving areas of exposed brickwork (not plastered over).

  • Clean the exposed brickwork thoroughly, then seal that brickwork with an appropriate clear (waterproof) sealer.
  • Then paint the plastered areas with your chosen colour (as per above recommendations).

The contrast between the exposed (sealed) brickwork and painted plastered walls can make for a great effect (if you like that kind of thing).

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Thanks! Sounds straight forward enough. Not a crazy suggestion at all, but given the very colorful wall tiles, we're probably just going to go with all white. –  Korneel Bouman Jul 18 '11 at 20:38
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