I’m not sure if you have noticed, but the plaster cornice throughout the house is covered in gloss paint. Traditionally in a house of our age, it would have been painted with a lime wash, which definitely wouldn’t have been shiny and glossy. We are also aiming for a more contemporary finish and gloss paint just wouldn’t go with the look we are trying to achieve.
This is what the cornice was like when we moved in.
We tried stripping the cornice with a chemical stripper and in parts also tried to use the heat gun. Nothing really worked and sometimes we probably made things worse, as when bits of the paint did come of sometimes bits of the plaster would break off with it, too. You can see, that we accidentally broke off the corner of the coving.
If you paint over gloss paint with normal matt emulsion, it just won’t stick and just slides everywhere. Trust me, we tried. Even if you do manage to cover it, the shininess of the gloss eventually comes through again.
In contrast to the more ornate coving of Victorian era, our cornice is much more understated and simple, which was preferred by the Edwardians. But it would still be almost impossible to sand all the grooves, not to mention the hours it would take. Luckily we found an alternative.
This is what we did:
- It’s important to have clean and grease free surfaces to paint on. We used sugar soap to wipe down the area and then let it dry thoroughly.
- Then, we primed the area with this Super Grip Primer. We only needed one coat of primer, as it adhered to the gloss paint really well.
- That was it. After letting the primer dry, we could just paint the surface like we normally would with the emulsion that we use to paint the ceiling.
Using the primer was really easy and so much quicker than having to sand the area. This is definitely the easiest way to paint over gloss paint.
Most of the cracks and imperfections that were accentuated because of the glossy finish are now barely visible.
The whole room is so much cleaner and brighter than before.