How to Cover Water Stains

Water stains are a common occurrence in many homes. Walls and ceilings can be ruined by the ugly, growing patches that you can’t seem to get rid of. The brown uneven spots usually occur from a leak, one time water spill, or stagnant water. Therefore, their unsightly appearance may be the warning sign of a more serious problem, so as painting over them is tempting, you must first identify the cause. This will make sure that any work you do to get rid of them is not ruined down the road. So, our first recommended step is to contact a plumber or contractor who is able to identify the source of the problem. Once you fix the source, then it is time to repair the unsightly damage.  

Dry the area 

Before thinking about painting, make sure the root of the problem is repaired and ensure the area is completely dry. You can even put a dehumidifier near the area to wick any moisture out of the air. This ensures that the existing paint will be kept in good condition and the new coats have the best environment for proper adhesion.  

Repair the area  

It is not unlikely for water stains to accompany related damage like cracks, flaky plaster or chipped paint. Sometimes, you will be able to DIY small repairs with the help from YouTube tutorials or a friendly home improvement store worker. If you had a contractor fix the underlying problem, you could also ask them to repair the cracks to the best of their ability. Having a smooth area to work with will make sure the paint application goes correctly.  

What Paint to use? 

In order to create a waterproof barrier, you must use a stain blocker or oil-based paint. Otherwise, the water stain has a good chance of showing through your repair. Create your own stain blocker by mixing oil-based undercoat with gloss, or purchase one pre-made online or at a paint store. The first coat of paint should be whatever paint was used on the area previously, then apply the stain blocker as the final coat. This is not guaranteed to match the rest of the wall or ceiling, even when using the exact same colors, so you may have to invest some time doing a fresh coat of paint on the entire area! 

Removing Water Stains on Wallpaper 

Wallpaper or lining paper makes for an added layer of difficulty in removing stains. You may not be able to fully get rid of the marks, especially on colorful surfaces, but you can lessen their appearance. In a spray bottle, mix 1/4 of bleach and ¾ of warm water. Spray the stain with the solution, let it soak for two minutes, then using a clean moist sponge wipe the area clean. Be careful not to use a rough sponge or scrub too much as this can damage the wallpaper.  

Is this worth it? 

After all this work and room for error, you may be questioning if it is even worth trying to remove the stains. Our professional opinion (and many others) is YES! Cosmetic damages like this make your home appear to be in bad condition, which may or may not be true. Even if you cannot paint the entire wall or ceiling, covering the unsightly brow marks will greatly improve the look of any room. Depending on the severity of the problem, make sure to discuss your options with a professional. Ville Painters is happy to visit your home to provide a free on-site consultation to help you improve the look of any room. Call us today to get your free estimate at 717-396-1176.