Painting Over Leak Stains
LESLIE: Rita is calling in from Brooklyn with an issue with a sink. What’s going on? Tell us about it.RITA: Yes, I have a two-family home in Brooklyn, New York. A sink on the top floor overflowed. Quite a bit of water came down. It came through the first-floor kitchen into the basement.TOM: Oh, man. That’s a lot of water.RITA: Yeah. I have a fairly new kitchen ceiling, about a year-and-a-half old, and it’s terribly stained and there’s also water streaks on my walls. What is the best way to handle something like this?TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. OK. OK. Is it just stained, Rita, or is it like deformed; like from water damage?RITA: It’s just stained.TOM: OK, that’s good. So here’s what you need to do. What you need to do is you need to prime that wall and I want you to use an oil-based primer; a good-quality, oil-based primer. Not a latex primer but oil-based. And you need to not only prime the stain itself. You really need to do the entire ceiling because it’s going to change the sheen of the paint; it’s going to change the level of absorption in that ceiling. By using the primer, you will seal in the old stain. And then once you prime it, you can paint over it and you’ll never see that stain again.RITA: The same process for the walls?TOM: Yes, same process. You want to prime it with an oil-based primer and then paint over it with latex and you’ll be good to go. See, if you just put paint on top of the stain, it tends to sort of leach through and come through; it will draw through. The oxidation in the stain will react with the paint and it may come back to the surface. That’s why you have to prime it first.RITA: I thank you very much.TOM: You’re welcome, Rita. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.