Paint Over Water Stains on Plaster Walls
LESLIE: Gary, you’re next on The Money Pit. How can we help?
GARY: Yes, ma’am. I was calling – I had had a roof leak and what had happened – I’ve got an older home that’s, say – it was built in 1954. And it’s got the plaster walls. And it did some, well, stain damage to the wall.
TOM: Well, those are great walls. That’s the good news.
GARY: And I was wondering which would be the best way to get rid of the stain and repair that wall to smooth it out to where I could put a fresh coat of paint on it.
TOM: Well, first of all, Gary, the fact that you’ve got plaster walls is great. Because in a 1950s house, you probably have what we call plaster lath which is basically a drywall covered by plaster. They’re very hard, very durable walls. If you had leak damage there, what you need to do is you need to paint over that with an oil-based primer; a product like KILZ. Because what that does is that seals in the leak stain …
LESLIE: And you’re not going to see it permeate through the new top coat.
TOM: Exactly. And it gives you a neutral surface on which to put your topcoat.
GARY: Great. So I mean I wouldn’t have to do any sanding then to put smooth that or anything?
TOM: As long as it’s clean what you might want to do is wash it down with some TSP first – trisodium phosphate – just to make sure the surface is clean before you prime it. But once you put that primer on, you’re going to see when you put a topcoat over that it’s going to flow really nice and even and it’ll look great.
GARY: Great, great. OK. I was worried. I didn’t know how to go about fixing it but that sounds pretty simple.
TOM: Very simple.
GARY: Thank you and I appreciate the information.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.