Need a bit of help for a DIY noob... Part 1 - Decorating Just had the hallway replastered. Can I paint directly on the plaster or do I need to seal it somehow ? - The plasterer mentioned that the plaster would soak up the water in the paint and the paint would just flake off. - Is this likely ? How many coats of paint should I use ? Part 2 - Fireplace I am currently removing the fireplace in our lounge as it looks small and rubbish. I am having a bit of trouble removing the backplate because it is concreted in. What's the best tool/s to use for cracking through the concrete ? I only have a small chisel and hammer at the moment and it's ok for getting the bricks out but doesn;t even touch the concrete. I don't want to replace the fireplace and just intend to make a feature with the space left by the fireplace. What can I do about the draft from the chimney ? - Can you get balloons to stop the draft, and do they work, or should I get it boarded-up ?