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Wall sealer before wallpapering

This was a question I received from Mark, a homeowner looking for advice on a sealer prior to wallpapering. It raises a few points, so I have posted it here so it can be of use to others.

I am decorating the small bedroom in my house which was built in 1957. I’ve had to renew quite a lot of areas of plaster (in patches) where the breezeblocks behind had gaps in the mortar (yes it was a council house!).

When it was built they seem to have painted all the plastered walls with some sort of coating, it’s smooth almost like eggshell, and is a light yellowy-buff colour. I was wondering what this was, as I’m keen to keep to ‘traditional’ methods and materials, and will need to cover up all the newly plastered areas before wallpapering.

My local DIY shop recommends a PVA/water mixture coat first, then a coat of size. I’ve looked at products like Halls Primer Sealer, and the similar one from Dulux, but would rather apply what was put on originally if possible.

Thank you for your time.


my guess is the original coating on the plaster is oil bound distemper, if not eggshell.

Sand down the walls to give a good key then apply primer sealer as you said to all the walls (2 coats on the bare bits).

The Halls Beeline primer Sealer is good but if you have a Brewers by you, get their own brand Abany primer sealer. same stuff, half the price. You won’t need size on top of that- you will hard pushed to find some proper glue size anywhere!

Depending what paper you are hanging you will need to crossline the walls to give equal porosity and to give a surface of even colour so the plaster patching doesnt show through.

hope this helps, Martin

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I would use zinsser Guardz, always gets good results.

Used zinneser guardz an found it does not let the paper slip like beeline primer sealer . Making it more difficult to get paper in position .

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