Painting and decorating


Walls shall be finished to provide an even and consistent appearance, to established levels of workmanship. Issues to be taken into account include:

  1. external masonry and rendering
  2. plaster and plasterboard surfaces.

External masonry and rendering

Paint or decorative finishes to external masonry and rendering should:

  • be appropriate for the substrate, and be in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • be applied to surfaces which are clean, free from dust and loose deposits
  • not be applied to external brickwork or render where they could trap moisture in the construction and cause frost damage, sulfate attack or other detrimental effects.

Where bricks have no upper limit on their soluble salt content, the brick manufacturer’s written agreement to the application of a finish should be obtained.

Where the decorative system is part of the weather resistance of the rendering, it should be assessed in accordance with Technical Requirement R3.

Where surfaces have varying suction, they should be stabilised with a treatment recommended by the manufacturer.

Plaster and plasterboard surfaces

A sealing coat should be applied to dry lining, and surfaces prepared for decoration, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Plaster and plasterboard surfaces should be prepared in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and the design. Where plaster and skim coat is applied to plasterboard:

  • surfaces should be visibly sound, without signs of powdering or crumbling
  • joints should be completed and cracks, nail holes and surface imperfections filled
  • the surface should be rubbed down with glasspaper and dusted, where necessary
  • surfaces should be stabilised, either with a coat of thinned paint or with a sealant as recommended by the manufacturer
  • a minimum of two coats of paint should be applied.

Where building boards are used, coatings should be in accordance with the board manufacturer’s recommendations.