Cracks in wall filled with filler

Can You Paint Straight Onto Filler?

Filling any lumps and bumps can be a great way to improve the overall look and feel of your walls when decorating. But when it comes time to paint over the filler how do you get the perfect finish? Do you need to primer it or can you paint straight onto filler?

Painting Filler

You can paint straight onto filler, although the best method is to use a mist coat first. A mist coat is a watered-down first coat of emulsion paint. This works as a sealer/primer and once dry can be painted over with regular emulsion.

Filler is very absorbent, which is why I advise using a mist coat first. If you just paint with regular paint it can get soaked up into the filler which can lead to an uneven finish. That is why you use the mist coat first as this becomes a sealer over the filler.

Prepping Filler For Painting

So how do you get the perfect filler finish, a finish that blends perfectly into any wall? Well, the short answer is sanding, lots and lots of sanding.

In order to get the filler to look just like the plaster on your walls, you will want to sand it down with high grit sandpaper, something 200 grit or above.

This will leave you with a really smooth finish. Because you will be making a lot of very fine dust here it is advisable to wear a proper respirator when doing this.

Sanding the filler down smooth will also help it to blend in with the wall at the place it joins. You want this to be as flat as possible as any lumping here really draws the eye to the patch.

Can you use a primer on filler?

Yes, there is nothing that will stop you from using a primer if you really want to. I just think it is a cost that is not needed, as well as extra work that is not needed.

A mist of coat of the emulsion you are going to use will mean you don’t have to get another tin of paint. it will also save you from having to clean up another paintbrush as you can just use the same brush for your mist coat and finish coat.

Will you be able to see the filler?

If done well, and a lot of care is taken with the prep work, then you can end up with filler that is invisible. Sanded down well and then painted well the filler will fully blend into the existing plaster already on your walls.

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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