Mist Coat

… or is that mist overall?

If I said I’d never had to deal with raw plaster walls before it would be a bit of a porky.

Many years ago, when we moved into our house, the end wall of the dining room was a single door with floor to ceiling obscured glass panels. It looked bloody awful. So, we had double doors put in with a proper wall. When I say “proper”, it wasn’t, it was a plasterboard stud partition wall – the only one in the house, all other walls, even upstairs, being real blockwork. [I should’ve insisted on a block wall – 20/20 hindsight.] Whatever it was, it was a nice new smooth wall so I just slapped on vinyl emulsion in our chosen colour. All was well.

The two long walls of the dining room were covered with lining paper before being painted because, once a wall is emulsioned, then papered, you are consigned to papering it from then on ‘cos some paint remains but some comes off, leaving a patchwork of ridges. In preparing for this major project, I had to strip the lining paper from the walls. What a fun job that was … NOT!

I was surprised when, reaching the corner with the plasterboard wall, whatever was on the plasterboard wall began pulling off in sizable chunks. Much wine has flowed over my tongue since then and I assumed I’d papered it. Wrong. What was coming off was elastic chunks of vinyl emulsion. It was coming off because I hadn’t done the old job quite properly; I had not applied an initial mist coat. [Actually, I was glad I hadn’t because I was now able to strip a painted wall.]

A mist coat is a cheapo non-vinyl emulsion, usually white, thinned by about 20% with water. The idea is that, being quite thin, it soaks into the plaster providing a good base for the colour you actually want. I set about thinning 10 litres of cheap white emulsion down to about 13 litres.

I spent 90 minutes or so masking off new copper pipework, all Sparky’s wonderful electrical switched and sockets, and the brackets for the raunchy radiators. I made little skirts for Sparky’s protruding downlighters, too.

Gnome SuitRollering regular emulsion spatters a bit anyway. Rollering cheap, thinned emulsion was going to spray like buggery so I’d invested a princely £3 in a disposable white gnome suit, a.k.a. coverall complete with hoody. I’d never used one before but, when I climbed into it, I was really quite impressed – it was papery, lightweight and breathable so I didn’t get too hot.

I set about applying my mist coat, dressed in my gnome coat, to both ceilings, all the walls in the kitchen/diner, and the hall, which was now missing a kitchen door so had been re-plastered.

This was laborious work and took about 5 hours. It also took about 12 of my 13 litres of thinned emulsion. And there was me thinking I’d been forced into buying too much [10 litres is the only size they do]. I retired not so much hurt as achy. My neck is the worst from staring up at two ceilings. I’m lucky, though, with my height I can reach the ceiling without artificial aids.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt looks much brighter now.

A little less impressed with my gnome suit which evidently protects you from spatter but not from gobs of emulsion which soak through and get on your clothes. The crops I’d worn beneath may never be the same again. Little matter.

Tomorrow, I may go commando. Surprised smile

Posted in 2020 Covid-19 Knockdown
One comment on “Mist Coat
  1. Steve says:

    A couple of years ago I bought cheap gnome suit when I disassembled the old Rayburn outside. Been there as a nest to Starlings. I used one of those plastic ones. Didn’t want any of that 1900’s insulation going anywhere near me. Also lots of water to reduce dust. I did sweat.

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