Learn how to fix a water stained ceiling that doesn't need new drywall. Get tips on how to prime and paint the ceiling to get rid of the water stains.
LESLIE: Ken in Alabama, what’s going on at your house?
KEN: Well, I have a – well, I had a persistent leak and it lasted, I guess, about four years. (chuckling)
TOM: I’d say that’s pretty persistent.
LESLIE: Is it fixed?
TOM: So is it still leaking now, Ken?
KEN: No, it isn’t.
TOM: Alright. So how can we help you?
KEN: OK, the problem is that it left a stain that has kind of a mildew look to it.
KEN: OK? And I’m wondering whether I should …
TOM: Is the drywall damaged? Is it sagging?
KEN: No, it isn’t.
TOM: Alright, so it’s perfectly flat. It’s just the stain? Alright, you’re in good shape.
KEN: Some of the tape is a little bit raised.
TOM: Well, here’s what you need to do, Ken.
TOM: First of all, that loose tape has to be repaired. So that’s done through normal, you know, spackling. You want to use the perforated spackle tape on that because it’s easier to use. You’re going to want to prime the entire ceiling with an oil-based primer. So I would recommend like a KILZ oil-based primer. And you don’t – you’re not just going to spot prime it because if you do, you’re going to have one area that has a different sheen to it than the next; even when you go to put your topcoat on it. So prime the entire ceiling and then topcoat it with a ceiling paint.
And by the way, ceiling paint is different than wall paint because ceiling paint is a bit thicker and it doesn’t drip all over your face while you’re doing it.
KEN: And you don’t recommend replacing any of the drywall?
TOM: Not necessary. As long as the drywall’s not structurally damaged, you can simply prime it and go right back on top of that.
KEN: OK. Well, thanks very much.
TOM: Alright, Ken, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Sounds like Ken wanted a bigger job than what that was.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Well, I think because the leak took so long to get to the bottom of …
TOM: I know. He was … yes.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) … he needed a – you know, it’s cathartic.
TOM: He perceived it had a much bigger ending than that. (chuckling)