Painting plasterboard walls and ceilings is becoming quite popular, especially given the wide range of different paints and dyes. They differ in texture and composition, and can be combined in different ways. However, for painting it is important to fulfill one mandatory condition – plasterboard walls must be perfectly even, unless of course textured plaster is additionally used. For this, you need plasterboard putty for painting.
In this article, the main points and important nuances of how to putty plasterboard for painting will be considered. The steps listed below are equally applicable to walls, ceilings, flat surfaces and complex shapes made of plasterboard, for example, multi-level suspended ceilings, various niches in walls. In the latter cases, the quality of the putty for painting is especially important, if additional illumination of the surfaces is used, because defects that are not even visible in daylight can appear under side lighting.
Where to start
First of all, before carrying out the main work with drywall putty for painting, it is necessary to close all the seams and recesses from under the self-tapping screws. For this, a starting putty and a serpyanka mesh are used. All joints between sheets with prepared chamfers are glued with a mesh.
It is not necessary to putty the plasterboard completely with the starting putty, the recesses above the self-tapping screws are filled to a single level with the plasterboard, and chamfers with thinning along the edges of the plasterboard sheets are also filled.
A mandatory condition is the application of a primer before laying the seams, after the starting putty dries, it is rubbed and leveled. You can read more about how to putty seams on plasterboard here , many important points related to the initial finishing of plasterboard walls are explained there.
What putty to use
For painting, you should choose a finishing putty that has the smallest particle sizes. On sale are gypsum cement and polymer compounds, ready and dry mixtures that have yet to be diluted. If it was better to take a dry mixture when laying seams, simply based on the question of economy, then for the finishing plaster it is better to take a ready-made diluted one. Naturally, it is necessary to find high-quality putty in a proven store, which definitely has the best conditions for its storage. In such stores or construction supermarkets, if necessary, unused materials can be returned, provided that the container has not yet been opened.
If you have experience in diluting dry mixtures, you have a mixer nozzle, a suitable container, you can prepare putty for plasterboard yourself. In terms of content, you can use cement mixtures in the bathroom and kitchen, where humidity changes are possible. Gypsum is suitable for all other types of premises, especially since it is somewhat easier to apply, it feels more like a paste, making it easier to level. Polymer mixtures have good properties, can be used everywhere, the main thing is that their cost is not frightening. Naturally, it is desirable that the finishing putty is from the same manufacturer as the starting putty.
We proceed to putty plasterboard for painting
The wall is already puttyed along the seams, reinforced, corners and all transitions are laid. The entire surface of the walls is primed. Now comes the most difficult, responsible moment. For one surface, it is better that the work does not end before it is all covered with a layer of putty, you should go evenly from beginning to end. The solution is mixed in approximately 5-6 liters so that it does not harden during the time it will be applied, but enough so that you do not have to constantly run from the wall to the mixer, otherwise it will be more difficult to bring everything into a single plane.
For work you need:
- Spatulas 6, 10, 30, 80 cm;
- A drill with low revolutions and a mixer attachment;
- Container for diluting putty;
- Grinding grid;
- A bucket or bowl of water.
Tools must always be clean, the quality of work directly depends on this. Therefore, even after each mixing, all spatulas are thoroughly washed from the remains of the solution. If it remains, it will cut furrows, mix with the new one, adding lumps that cannot be carefully pulled out. Moreover, it is much easier to putty a plasterboard wall with a wet spatula, leveling the solution that has set a little. The same goes for the mixer attachment.
Spatulas, especially the main wide one, should have a perfectly even edge. In fact, it is better not to use a tool left over from a previous repair, but to purchase a new one, having checked it for equality at the time of purchase.
Now you can directly proceed to the process of how to putty plasterboard for painting. The layer of mortar should be about 2-3 mm, so that it is sufficient for strength, but not too thick that it will crack when it dries. For beginners, it is better to try to apply a layer of the right thickness, taking for example one of the plasterboard scraps, it will be safer than going straight to the target wall without any skills at all.
- It is better to apply the solution from the right edge of the wall, the lower corner. For left-handed people, respectively, in a mirror image from the lower left corner. If there are holes, then it is better to start from its edge in the direction of a larger space, and then putty the last area for painting.
- The solution is collected with a small spatula, transferred to a wide (80 cm or even 120 cm). If it was not possible to apply evenly, it is better to remove everything and try again. Ideally, the solution should be a little more inside and come to nothing at the edges. The spatula is applied to the wall at an angle of 60-70 degrees, rubbed and tilted to 45 degrees, after that, with rubbing from side to side, the spatula is moved up a little to the side, so as to evenly distribute the solution in the required layer.
- It is better to apply several strips of solution in width or height and then proceed to leveling. Plastering of plasterboard and leveling is carried out with criss-cross movements in an arc, holding the spatula at an acute angle to the surface, so the solution is best distributed. If the putty is collected in a large wave on the tool, it is spread on free areas or collected with a small spatula.
- Pre-level the area, the next one is filled with solution. This continues until one batch is used up. In the best case, the assistant prepares the next portion, but in this case, do not forget to wash the tools after each portion or even more often.
When leveling, there should be no areas under the spatula where it does not touch the wall or the edges hang in the air, simply put, depressions and notches. If somewhere there is not enough solution, then it is added, if there is an excess, then after passing the spatula over the area in a criss-cross pattern a couple of times, the excess is removed with a small tool.
- Work continues until one complete surface is puttyed. Towards the end, when most of it is already filled, at the beginning of the wall, the solution begins to set, smoothing is done only with a wide spatula that has been cleaned and dipped in water, and then not often.
Even in the best case, if the surface is perfectly flat, a small groove, or rather a comb, remains on the edges of the spatula. You should not try to level it perfectly, it is much more productive, practical and easier to smooth it later with grout.
- Along the contour of the wall, it is easiest to leave a gap of 1 cm without solution, fill it strictly at a right angle already after the solution on the wall hardens, otherwise you can run part of the solution in the form of a comb on the adjacent wall, calculating after combing the excess, leaving it perfectly even angle.
When the putty of the plasterboard wall for painting is finished, you should wait for the surface to dry completely and sand it with a fine sandpaper until it is perfectly smooth. Grout work should be carried out in a respirator or with a construction vacuum cleaner, if there is a suitable nozzle.
Quite often, even professionals fail to putty plasterboard for painting perfectly the first time. You can check the quality of your work in a simple way. A table lamp or lantern is taken, and when the general lighting is turned off or dimmed, the wall is illuminated from the side, at the smallest angle of incidence of light rays. In this mode, everything will be visible, even the smallest defects. If there are any, you can try to brush them off with sandpaper, if they are too big, then you may need to apply another layer of putty.
As soon as the desired result is achieved, plastering plasterboard for painting can be considered complete. To complete it, it remains only to prime the wall and then paint it at least in all the colors of the rainbow according to your design preferences.