Tuesday, 27 March 2007 10:49

How To Fix a Water Stained Ceiling



There are several reasons why ceilings can become water stained.  Most commonly a roof leak is to blame, however, built up condensation or a leaking pipe may also cause a yellow stain to appear on your ceiling.  Your first step should be to figure out why the water stain appeared and stop the cause of the problem.  Then you can focus on the easier task of blocking out the ceiling stain.




Tape off walls so you will not get paint or primer on them.  Be sure to use low-tack tape so it will not pull the paint off of your walls.  Use a drop cloth or tarp to cover furniture and carpeting.


Materials Needed


Stain-killing primer, paint, drop cloth, low-tack tape, paint brush & roller, paint tray.




  1. Cut in your ceiling with a brush and roll on a coat of stain-killing primer.  Be sure to use the correct primer, there are many primers that claim they are an all-purpose primer, be sure that it will block out water stains.  Most of the time you will be using an oil-based primer.
  2. Let the primer dry according to the instructions.
  3. Roll on at least one coat of finish coat paint and let dry.


The primer will eliminate the water stain from bleeding through your finish coat.  If you do not use a primer you will notice the stain bleed through almost immediately.


Another Tip


If you use Zinsser's Bullseye Odorless primer you will not have to use a finish coat paint.  Bullseye Odorless dries to a flat finish and will look just like a regular ceiling white.  Simply roll on two coats of this primer and the job is complete.  The only time this would not work is if you wanted a ceiling paint in a washable flat finish or if you wanted a ceiling with more sheen than a flat finish.


Zinsser also makes a product called Covers Up.  It is a spray paint that contains a stain sealer.  It is designed so that the spray can sprays straight up in the air.  This is great if you have a water mark on your ceiling and you do not want to paint the whole ceiling.  The product comes in a regular ceiling white color which will work for most ceiling repairs, it also matches regular ceiling tiles. 

Published in Painting
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 17:28

How To Paint a Ceiling



Painting ceilings requires a little more technique than painting a wall.  You need to make sure you have the correct tools, the right kind of paint and patience.


What type of Ceiling Paint to Use 


A typical ceiling paint can be used in most rooms.  Flat paint masks imperfections and is the standard sheen level for ceiling paint.  However, you can use eggshell or satin finish paint for ceilings if you require them to be washable, like in a bathroom or utility room.


Materials Needed 

Paint roller, Paint brush, roller tray, drop cloth, extension pole, painter's tape, wet washcloth, Floetrol


Instructions For Painting a Ceiling



  1. Add Floetrol to your ceiling paint.  Floetrol is a latex paint additive that delays the drying time of the paint.  This reduces roller and brush marks.
  2. Always paint a ceiling from a corner then proceeding across the ceiling following the shortest wall.  For instance, if you are painting a 10' x 20' room start in a corner and paint across the room near the 10 foot wall.  If you try to paint down the 20 foot wall, your paint will dry to fast and leave lap marks.
  3. Have someone cut in the ceiling with a brush and the other person roll.
  4. Work your way completely across the shortest wall, making sure to keep a wet edge of paint (you should leave a bead of paint near the edge of where your roller is rolling onto unpainted wall, this will prevent seeing lap marks.)
  5. Continue working at a quick pace to complete the ceiling.  NEVER stop in the middle of a ceiling, you will have to repaint it to hide the lap mark this will cause.
Tips For Painting a Ceiling 
Always use an extension pole.  Using a ladder has several disadvantages compared to rolling the paint from the floor.  If you use a ladder you will be continually going up and down the ladder and moving it all over the room.  Not only will your legs be sore, but you will be wasting time adjusting the ladder while your paint is drying on the ceiling.  Also, you can see the ceiling better from the floor compared to being right up next to it.  You will be able to see skips and misses from the floor and correct them.
It is typical to paint crown molding the same color as your ceiling.  This gives the room a rich and open look.
Always keep a wet washcloth with you while painting a ceiling.  If your roller or brush drips and hits a painted wall you can wipe the paint off before it dries.
Lap marks are your enemy.  They are caused when the paint dries too quickly or if you try to stretch the paint too far. Always maintain a bead of paint near the unpainted section of ceiling while you are rolling so you can roll into the wet edge.  This will eliminate roller marks.
Using Floetrol is also a helpful hint.  Ceilings are the warmest area in your room even if you turn the heat down or off.  Heat rises and causes paint to dry very quickly.  Floetrol is the additive to use if you are using latex paint.  If you prefer to paint with oil based paints you can use a retarder called Penetrol
If you are painting a textured ceiling, see the related item below labeled "How To Paint a Textured Ceiling".
Published in Painting
Tuesday, 13 October 2009 20:18

How To Remove Popcorn Ceiling Texture



Ready to remove that old-fashioned textured ceiling?  It is easy if you follow the steps listed below.


Warning: If you did not install the textured ceiling, make sure you test the surface for abestos and lead paint.  Scraping lead paint and abestos is very harmful to your health and could result in brain damage or lead posioning. 


Materials Needed


Drop cloth, garden sprayer, painters hat, safety glasses, scraper or putty knife


Steps To Remove A Textured Ceiling


  1. Mask off walls and flooring with rosin paper or visqueen
  2. Fill a pump-up garden sprayer with water and lightly mist the ceiling with water.  This will loosen the texture and make it easier to remove.
  3. Wait about 10 minutes then start to remove the texture with a scraper or putty knfe.  Becareful not to gouge into the ceiling, as it will result in more repairs later.
  4. Wash down the ceiling with TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) after you have removed all of the texture.  This will prepare the surface to be repaired with spackling or painted. 
Published in Painting

Painting a ceiling can be one of the hardest painting projects you man encounter in your home.  Not only does your neck feel out of place when you get done, but you may see brush and roller marks on your ceiling even after applying two coats of paint.  So that leaves the question of why did this happen?


There could be a variety of reasons but lets start with the most common.  Flat ceiling paint is very porous, meaning that viewing it at a molecular level it would appear very open look like an unsealed surface.  That being the case, the next time paint is applied it will soak into the old ceiling paint.  When painting a very dry, porous surface like an old ceiling, the first coat of paint will be absorbed and will barely seal the surface.  Even the next coat of paint may not create an even surface and brush and roller marks may still be visible.


One other reason you may see marks is that your ceiling paint dried too quickly.  You should turn off your furnace a few hours before starting your painting projects.  The lower room temperature will allow the paint to dry slower and the brush and roller marks may disappear.  You can also add an additive called Floetrol to the paint.  It will delay the drying of the paint as well.


Another thing you can do to prevent roller marks is to prime your ceiling with a primer first.  This will seal the old, porous surface and allow your ceiling paint to level out.

Published in Painting