Eliminating Ceiling Stains
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Marcia in California with a water damage question. What happened?MARCIA: Well, we had flashing around our heating and air conditioner that was on the roof and we didn’t realize that that flashing was damaged. And so, by the time we got water damage in the bedroom, it’s not very good and the ceiling is all stained. And so I was hoping to find out the steps for preparing that ceiling to paint it.LESLIE: Step one, fix leak. (Tom chuckles)MARCIA: OK. OK, we have a new roof.TOM: Alright, good.LESLIE: (chuckling) OK, good.MARCIA: New flashing, new roof, new heating/air conditioner. (chuckling)TOM: Alright, those are all good things. Now, how big is the stain?MARCIA: It covers a good portion of the ceiling.TOM: Alright. And that’s all I needed to know. So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to get an oil-based primer – this could be KILZ or it could be Bin …LESLIE: Zinsser.TOM: The Bin – what’s it called; Bin 1-2-3 or something like that?LESLIE: Bulls Eye 1-2-3.TOM: Bulls Eye 1-2-3. Any one of these good-quality, oil-based primers. And I want you to prime not just the spot but the entire ceiling and the reason that you’re doing that, Marcia, is because if you don’t prime the entire ceiling, the ceiling paint that you’re going to put on after this is going to absorb differently in the primed versus the non-primed spots. But if you prime the entire surface, it will neutralize that stain; it will give you good adhesion from the old to the new; and it’ll give you a nice, flat, smooth surface for the topcoat to be on.MARCIA: After putting the oil base on, is it OK to use latex after that?LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Absolutely.TOM: (overlapping voices) Absolutely. Mm-hmm, yep. Absolutely.MARCIA: OK. And I was wondering – some friends of mine said that they thought that I ought to wash the ceiling down with bleach because that would kill anything that was in there that was growing.TOM: No, if it’s still – if it’s dry – because I presume the leak has been fixed for quite a while now –MARCIA: Yes. Yes, it has.TOM: – there’s no reason to use a mildicide on it. Primers like that have mildicides in them and I wouldn’t worry about that. You just want to get a good primer on there so you can seal that stain in; because if you don’t, what happens is some of the qualities of that stain, you get a chemical reaction and some of those colors will leach through the paint unless you prime it first.MARCIA: Oh, I see. And so then the bleach would be a bad idea?TOM: Well, it’s just not necessary. It’s just not a necessary state (ph).LESLIE: (overlapping voices) To add more water.TOM: No, I just wouldn’t do it. I would just prime it and that’s all you need to do and you can paint right on top of that and be done with it.MARCIA: Oh, good. So then I don’t have to use the bleach; the KILZ is sufficient.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) No.TOM: (overlapping voices) No, you don’t have to. No. Nope, you’ll be fine.MARCIA: I’ve heard of the KILZ before and I’ve used that in my bathroom and I know it works really well.TOM: It works great.MARCIA: We had a severe mold problem in there and I had to take the wall out; and so I just didn’t know whether or not that stain would give up. (Marcia and Leslie chuckle)TOM: No, if you prime, you will seal that stain right in and you’ll never see it again.MARCIA: We’re getting it really cool in the morning and if you could give me a temperature range of when is the best temperature to start painting and the best temperature to stop painting.TOM: As long as it’s not an extreme cold or an extreme hot, you’ll be fine.LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and if you wait for a really non-humid day, it’s going to dry lickety-split.MARCIA: OK. OK, so humidity is more important than the temperature.LESLIE: Oh, yeah.TOM: Yeah, when you’re painting inside your house, for sure.MARCIA: Well, I can tell you here in California, we really appreciate you, Tom and Leslie; the program that you put on here. It’s really helpful.TOM: Thank you so much, Marcia. Good luck with that project.MARCIA: Thanks a lot.