How to Paint Over a Bad Ceiling Stain

Written by danny donahue
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Water leaks in the home can cause a wide variety of problems. One of the most visible of these problems is the stain that a leak can leave behind. After the ceiling dries, painting over these stains can be difficult without the proper technique. Here you will learn to cover the most difficult of stains so that you would never know they were there.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 2 paintbrushes (3-inch)
  • 2 paint rollers (frame and 1/2-inch roller nap)
  • 2 roller pans
  • 6-foot stepladder
  • Drop cloths
  • Latex indoor paint (your choice of colour)
  • Oil-based primer (such as Kilz)
  • Soft-bristle scrub brush
  • Spray bottle with warm water and a capful of bleach

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    How to Paint Over a Bad Ceiling Stain

  1. 1

    Cover the floor of the room with drop cloths. Use your soft-bristle brush to clean away any debris on the ceiling. Spray the stain with your bleach water mixture, and let it sit overnight to kill any mould or mildew.

  2. 2

    Coat the stain with primer. Use one of your brushes at any corners and use a roller in the middle. Be sure to put on a thick, even coat. Allow to dry, and then add a second primer coat. This coat should cover the entire ceiling. Allow the second coat to dry.

  3. 3

    Use your clean paintbrush to outline the entire ceiling with latex paint. Fill in the ceiling with paint using a fresh roller with 1/2-inch nap. Place a thick, even coat on the ceiling, and allow it to dry.

  4. 4

    Outline your ceiling with latex paint using your paintbrush. Fill in the outline with your roller for a second coat. Concentrate on having a thick, even coat.

  5. 5

    Reapply primer and then finishing paint to any areas where the stain still shows. Reapply finishing paint to any area that is not coated evenly. Allow to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint can pose an inhalation hazard. Work only in a well-ventilated room.

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