How to Waterproof Plaster

what you’ll need

  • Primer and paint
  • Linseed oil
  • Quality paint brushes
  • Plaster can be found inside and outside homes. Plaster used in the construction of the exterior of a building is called exterior cement plaster. This type of plaster doesn’t need to be waterproofed because it is made of cement. This is a very strong material and even without paint, it can withstand extreme outside conditions.

    Plaster used on the inside of homes is a different material altogether. This material is water soluble and without care can succumb to the moisture and humidity of water. Though interior plaster can never totally be waterproofed there are some steps that you can take to create a stronger moisture barrier.

    Painted Plaster

    If you plan on painting your interior plaster, following the traditional treatment of primer and paint will create a sufficient barrier to water and the elements from the outside of the wall. Remember, you cannot treat the plaster in any way to create a water barrier from the inside of the wall. If you have a leak, even a small one, you should repair it promptly to reduce the risk of water damage to your plaster walls.

    Step 1-Prime the Wall

    Before painting the wall, apply 1 coat of a heavy-duty primer. The primer will not only create a beautiful finished look to your paint job, but it will provide the foundation layer of your water barrier.

    Step 2-Apply the Paint

    A standard interior paint will work fine to top your primer, however- if you are looking for stronger water protection, use a heavy-duty exterior paint. Exterior paints have added ingredients that help them withstand the elements. This will fortify your water barrier even further.

    Unpainted Plaster

    If you don’t want to paint your plaster walls but still want to achieve a moisture barrier, you can apply a light coat of linseed oil to the walls. Again, this treatment will not eliminate the effects of water damage if water meets the wall from the inside.

    Step 1-Lightly Sand the Wall

    Once the wall is finished drying, lightly sand the final coat to a beautifully smooth finish. This will allow the oil to absorb more efficiently into the plaster wall.

    Step 2-Apply the Linseed Oil

    When deciding which brush to buy, it is best to use a high quality brush. The natural bristles of a better brush will help the oil application remain even throughout. Starting from the top corner of the wall, brush a very light coat of linseed oil over the entire wall. Make sure that the application of oil is light. You don’t want to end up with a greasy wall. The natural porosity of the plaster will cause the oil to absorb into the wall. After a few hours you shouldn’t be able to tell it was treated.

    That’s it. In a few steps you have treated your plaster walls with the most effective waterproofing procedures available.

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