Prepping and Painting Plaster Walls With a Chronic Mold Problem

Category Mold

I have a multi-part question, especially for anyone with experience renovating older homes (with emphasis on TLC projects, I would assume.)

I'm looking to repaint a bedroom, which would be straight forward enough if not for the chronic mold problems. I'm simultaneously looking into moisture control to address the root cause, right now I'm wondering how I should best deal with the existing mold.


So, first off, how should mold be most safely/effectively removed from painted plaster walls? I'm particularly looking for an answer to the 'to bleach or not to bleach' question.

Secondly, any direction regarding fixing plaster cracks would be appreciated. A link to a good outside source would be as appreciated as anything else, I don't expect anyone to reinvent the wheel for me.

Third, is priming my walls: 1. Beneficial to prevent mold, 2. Helpful for paint coat quality, 3. A good idea for reasons I have not heard before?

Relatedly, which type/brand of primer would be best to gain whatever advantages there may be to be had?

Fourth and finally, recommendations of types of paint to prevent mold re-growth and to resist condensation (in the event that moisture reduction does not succeed) would be appreciated.

Thank you very much for reading, and have a pleasant day.

By Jim from SF Bay, CA


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January 5, 20110 found this helpful

Kilz primer has several varieties to choose from. I would go with the odor blocker type as mold smells musty and Kilz will prevent bleed through of mold onto newer painting.

You might look into Rustoleum as they have some great products too. Use ready mix plaster or make your own and spread into/onto the cracks. Allow to dry, sand smooth, wipe off dust and then use a primer.

As far as mold goes "chronic"? That's bad to try and coverup. I'd remove the drywall and put up new. There's heavy moisture between the walls or floor that's causing this. Chronic mold is also very unhealthy. Please do wear a face mask if you attempt to do the job yourself versus a professional.

My son lived in a place where flooding happened and mold kept appearing near the baseboard and at least a foot upward. I wiped the wall down with strong bleach water and it looked like that would do it, but the next day the mold came through again. Even a fan sitting at the wall to help dry it out some cannot prevent this type of mold.


It's more costly to replace wallboard, but certainly worth it in the long run and while you're at it, you just might locate the reason for the mold. There are waterproof products you can also get to treat walls and even outside the home, but I cannot tell you what brand to buy or what is best.

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May 1, 20111 found this helpful

Mold is deadly, and many people a year die from lung infections because
of what might seem like harmless but bothersome "house mold".

There is a reason mold grows, and that's the constant moisture that feeds it. That part does need eliminated. If it's behind the surface of the wall,
diatomaceous earth can be used inside the walls, as nothing can live in that.
It depletes moisture right out of anything living that has cells, as mold does.

That won't stop the moisture/water problem though, but the mold should have a very hard time living in that stuff. It's very safe, as long as you don't breathe in any diatomaceous earth (powder).


I like diatomaceous earth (food grade) it's called for any mold problems we've had from a leaky pipe in the walls after we've stopped the initial problem which was the leaky pipe.

Bleach (imho) doesn't do the job like sprinkling several cups of the powder
inside the walls to dry up any mold that's there.

That diatomaceous earth sucks the life right out of mold when left on undisturbed for a few days.

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March 8, 20190 found this helpful

I have old plaster walls that are having a serious, recurring mold problem. But I can't get 'inside' them to use this diatomaceous earth in that way. Can I mix it with new plaster when I go to repair the plaster? Our mold problem is coming from condensation (we recently got a dehumidifier, but the walls are in bad shape), so I need to repair the walls, kill the mold, and find some way to put a moisture barrier in/on the wall.

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