A stained ceiling can be a real eye sore. What’s worse, is that it may be the result of an ongoing problem with plumbing in the floor above. And if you are attempting to sell your home, it’s often a red flag for inspectors that there may be some plumbing issues in the house.
Before you slap some paint on the ceiling to cover up the stain, follow these steps to ensure you properly address the issue.
Assess and Fix the Leak
If you don’t properly take care of source of the leak, fixing the spot on the ceiling will be in vain. Check the area above the ceiling to determine from where the water leak originates. Most stains occur on the ceiling in the first floor of homes and are caused by leaks in toilets and showers in upstairs bathrooms.
If you notice peeling caulk or pooling water, it may be a simple fix to replace with new sealant. However, if there are no visible signs of where the water is coming from, it might be best to call a plumber.
Prepare the Surface
After you have properly addressed the leak, you’ll need to prepare the surface before you paint.
If the drywall on the ceiling is damp or broken, you’ll need to patch it. After replacing the drywall, spackling and sanding, you’ll need to prime the repaired area before you can paint.
If the drywall is in good condition, you’ll need to coat the stain with a pigmented shellac to prevent it from bleeding through the topcoat. Next apply a quality paint and primer and your stain should disappear.
It’s likely that you will need to repaint the entire ceiling to avoid slight color and gloss differentials on the repaired area.