first time painter
I had some wallpaper on some plaster walls along the top portions. It came off with the Zinser DIF (I think that's the name) stripper. After that, it was just cleaned with an all purpose house hold cleaner and the surface seemed to match the rest of the wall that didn't have wallpaper. It felt the same and looks the same now that it's all painted.
All of the friends and family recommended Benj. Moore paints, so we went with that. It costs the most, but it seems to go on really easy. It was really easy on plaster, as it just seemed to roll on with little effort. We do have brand new sheetrock on the 2nd floor which was primed with Zinser primer and then 2 coats of paint. The sheetrock didn't roll on as easy, it kind of had a "sponge" effect, especially with the primer, but that was expected.
Carefully calculate the number of gallons you'll need. We practically painted the entire 1st and 2nd floor. We were so focused on how much paint we needed in each room (different colors), that we didn't consider how much paint we would use for the ceilings. Looking back at it, we should've bought a 5 gallon drum of flat white ceiling paint. We would've saved a few bucks.
From what I've been told, the nap of the roller has an effect on the final appearance of the paint. I used 3/8" nap rollers for the paint and it seemed to leave it smooth on the plaster and brand new sheetrock walls.
Unfortunatly for us, we found that the 3M blue painters tape with the inner orange markings is the tape that comes off extremely easy. We used the regular 3M blue tape for the majority of the 2nd floor which pulled off some paint with it depending on the different humidity levels, drying time, etc.
I am far from a professional painter, and now definitly understand the need for a pro. It is very time consuming work and there is a technique that is learned with experience. I got better towards the end of the work (still have a little left). There is definitly a difference between the first room we tackled and the last. :p
Hope this helps