How to Repair Water Stains on Plaster

Many homes have exposed and painted plaster walls and ceilings. Unfortunately, when the plaster suffers from water damage, unsightly grey and brown stains can begin to form. These stains can not only be unsightly, they can be the telltale sign of a water leak somewhere in the home. Before any water stains are removed from plaster, the source of the water leakage should be uncovered. The water stains can then be eliminated and the surface refinished.

Inspect the plaster surface for any chipped or cracked paint.

Remove any chipped plaster or paint with a wire brush. Place a tarp or plastic under the area for an easy clean up.

Wipe down the area with a wet kitchen sponge. This will remove any remaining smaller paint chips and dust.

Allow the area to dry and apply a coat of fast drying, oil-based stain blocker with a paint brush, which will renew the appearance of the area.

Allow the first coat to dry and apply a second coat.

Roll up the plastic sheet and dispose of it in the garbage can.


Apply any paint to the plaster surface after the stain blocker has dried completely.


Wear a mask if you are removing the paint from older plaster surfaces. Many times these contain a top coat that contains lead, which can be dangerous if inhaled.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush
  • Plastic tarp
  • Kitchen sponge
  • Fast drying oil-based stain blocker
  • Paint brush
  • Garbage can
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About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.