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How To Paint Over Water Stains (Odourless Method)

Water stains on walls and ceilings may seem like a daunting task to seal and redecorate over; using odourless Zinsser products simplifies the whole process, with preparing the surface and priming to decorating with a finish coat in over 60 colours able to be completed in just a few hours.

See our simple 3-step guide below to solve your water stains.

Quick Links

Click below to jump to sections:

Zinsser Odourless Paint Over Water Stains Products

The Benefits

Step 1. Surface Preparation

Step 2. Patch Priming And Bring Forward / Priming

Step 3. Decoration

More Information

Further Reading


Zinsser Odourless Paint Over Water Stains Products

Zinsser Mould Killer & Remover

Zinsser Universal Cleaner & Degreaser

Zinsser AllCoat Interior (Solvent-Based)

Clicking on each Zinsser item will take you to its product page where you can add to basket.

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The Benefits

Zinsser’s work with contractors creates problem-solving products that meet “real world” challenges, such as painting over water stains on internal walls and ceilings, providing tried and tested solutions to painting problems.

No-one that owns a home will want to live with water stains on their walls or ceilings, and by using Zinsser products, the process is much less painful than it appears. Covering over water stains is vital for those inviting viewings on a property they wish to sell, as the slightest mark can lead to doubts and questions, even years after the leak itself was fixed, and affect the selling price.

Water stains from leaking roofs or bathroom and kitchen appliances can look a real mess and landlords will be especially keen to have the marks covered over quickly. This can cause concern for potential tenants viewing in a crowded rental market and may mean a compromise on rent prices.

Businesses with showrooms and shop floors need to keep disruption to services at a minimum and not drive away customers with strong paint smells and areas cordoned off for lengthy spells.

Step 1. Surface Preparation

The affected surfaces must be clean and dry and free of anything that could affect or interfere with the application and adhesion of Zinsser products and materials to be applied, with loose and failing materials removed by scraping or brushing with a stiff-bristled brush, to a sound edge.

Feather the sound edges using a fine-grade abrasive paper and ensure the moisture content doesn’t exceed 18% prior to painting.

Remove all dust and signs of organic growth; Zinsser Mould Killer & Remover can be used, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, to treat the affected area.

Allow to dry and use Zinsser Universal Cleaner & Degreaser to remove any contaminants, removing residues by thoroughly rinsing with clean water, and allowing to dry.

Cracks and small defects in the surface can be filled with a suitable filler (apply as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions) and allow to dry before rubbing down with a fine-grade abrasive paper, removing all dust and continuing to step 2 and priming.

Step 2. Patch Priming And Bring Forward / Priming

Use Zinsser AllCoat Interior (Solvent-Based) Primer and Finish (in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions) to patch-prime all bare and filled areas and allow 2 hours (minimum, in normal conditions) for drying.

Bring forward all patch-primed areas with more Zinsser AllCoat Interior (Solvent-Based) Primer and Finish, allowing to dry again before priming all areas with one full coat of Zinsser AllCoat Interior (Solvent-Based) Primer and Finish and allow at least 2 hours to dry before moving to decoration in step 3 below.

Step 3. Decoration

In accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, use one full coat of Zinsser AllCoat Interior (Solvent-Based) Primer and Finish, choosing from over 60 available colours in a matt finish.

More Information

If you require more advice on painting over water stained walls and ceilings, give our technical team a call on 0113 2455450 (option 2) or send a message to [email protected].

Further Reading

More resources on the topic of water stained walls and ceilings:

Fixing Water Damage at Work and Home

Waterproofing Basements, Cellars and Stockrooms

Gutter Repair – Your Gutter Talk Guide

Roof Renovation and Emergency Roof Repairs

Roof Repair: How to fix a leaking flat roof

Waterproof Paints – Dispelling the Myths

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