Can I Paint over Water Stains?

Can I Paint over Water Stains?

After all the rain we’ve been getting recently, if your house has some water stains on the walls or ceilings, you're not alone! So, can you paint over water stains? Yes, only there are a few things you need to do (or have done) before the water stain can be painted over.

What to do before painting over water stains

You need to have the place where the water entered repaired. If it is not repaired or if the repair job is bad, then the water will continue to come in and you will need to paint that spot again, (and again, and again, every time it rains!) Until the leak is fixed you shouldn’t try to paint over a water stain.

If the water stains are on your ceiling, then the likeliest issue is a roof leak, probably near a vent, a vent pipe, a chimney, or some other feature where water tends to find a way in. Have a professional roofer address these issues.

If the water stains are near a window or door, it is very likely the fault of deteriorated caulking, faulty wood, or a problem with the door or window itself. A carpenter or a painting company can evaluate and address this for you.


Next, make sure that the area is dry. If the drywall or plaster is not dry, you will not be able to paint it successfully. You can start by drying up puddles of water with towels, but it’s also a good idea to run a dehumidifier.

If the spot is at all moldy (which would indicate a longer-term leak), then the mold needs to be killed. This is best done professionally because many of the sprays you use to kill mold are toxic (to kill the mold) and can be dangerous if not handled carefully. Also, if the mold is bad enough, you may need to replace that section of drywall or plaster. You don't want to mess with lingering mold!

Finally, prime the area with a stain-blocking primer. If this is not done you will be able to see the stain through the paint.

Now You Can Paint Over Your Water Stains

Paint the affected area with a high-quality interior paint. You will probably need to paint that whole wall or ceiling, because it is very difficult to paint just a patch and get it to blend well with the rest.

Is this sounding like a lot of work? Well, to tell the truth, it is! As long as you have a professional take care of the leaks and any mold, the process is not too difficult for an experienced do-it-yourselfer, but it is time consuming. Why not call a professional painter?

Painting Company in Northern VA and Washington, D.C.

If your home has suffered water damage recently, Williams Professional Painting would be happy to help you get everything set to rights again. You can trust us to get the painting done quickly and attractively, but most of all, done right, so that the new paint lasts like it should.

Based in Alexandria, Virginia, Williams Professional Painting has served Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. as a painting contractor since 1979. You can call us at (703) 768-8143 if you have any questions or go online to schedule a free estimate today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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