Can I Paint Over Water Damage?

Can I Paint Over Water Damage?

Can I Paint Over Water Damage?

As long as the surface you intend to paint is wet, you can’t paint over water damage. Water stain patches on your walls or ceiling are an eyesore. They ruin the aesthetics of your interior design. Therefore, it’s normal if you want to get rid of the water stains immediately. However, according to, painting over water damage requires you to find and fix the source of the water damage first. Below is a clear outline of how you should work to paint over water damage.

How To Prepare The Surface Before Painting Over The Water Damage?

Since you can’t paint over a wet wall or ceiling, the first thing you need to do is look for the source of the water damage. Is the source of the water damage a slow leak on your roof or rising dampness? Did a one-off spill cause the water stains? If you can’t identify the source of the water damage, painting over the water-damaged surface is useless.

Repair The Source Of The Water Leakage

After you’ve identified the source of the water damage, the next step is to begin repairs. If you’re a DIYer, you can handle the repairs. However, we recommend scheduling an inspection with a professional home repair contractor. A home inspection will help you identify the root cause of the water leakages and fix it. And if there’s more than meets the eye, you can have the issue immediately fixed, saving you money on future repair costs.

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Allow The Water Damaged Surface To Dry

Even after fixing the source of the water damage, you still can’t paint over the surface. Your paint might flake off if the surface is still wet. Before your wall completely dries, it will take about a few days or even months. It can take months if there’s an issue with your house. For example, poor airflow in your walls that’s hampering drying. And if water has pooled on the floors, clean and dry the floors.

You should also consider running a humidifier in the affected room or space. You’d be surprised at how much the moisture in the air affects the rate at which your walls or ceiling dries.

De-molding The Affected Surfaces

Have you noticed a musty wet smell? Or has your wall or ceiling developed a black or brown discolouration? If you’ve noticed these signs, mould and mildew have started growing on the water-damaged surfaces. Mould can grow within 24 hours as long as there is enough humidity in the air. If left untreated, mould spores can be a serious health risk to you and your family. Therefore, it has to be removed.

If the mould growth is mild, you can easily remove the mould. Mix a solution of water and bleach in a ratio of 3:1 and use a sponge to sanitize the affected surface. Avoid using home mould removal sprays since they can be toxic. And suppose the mould growth and damage were more significant than you anticipated. In that case, you should immediately hire a professional mould removal service provider.

Why Not Use Water Emulsion Paint To Fix The Problem?

Most homeowners think they can cover water stains by simply applying a water emulsion paint. They argue that since the emulsion paint is water-based, the paint should do a great job dealing with the water stains. However, you can apply 10 coats of water emulsion paint, and the problem won’t disappear. Water stains are tough on paints. They can bleed through water emulsion and oil-based paints with ease. And this is the reason why we’ve recommended fixing the source of the water damage first.

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How To Paint Over The Water Stains

Now that you don’t have to worry about water damage anymore, it’s time to paint over the water stains. Below is how you should do it.

Applying Primer

Before you can paint, you need to prime your wall. Applying stain-blocking will help hide the water stains once you’ve painted the surface. Without the primer, you’ll still be able to see the stains after applying a new coat of paint. We recommend applying one or two primer coats and ensuring the coats dry fully.


Now that you’ve prepared the stage, it’s time to paint over the water damage. Since it’s difficult to blend the old and new paints, you can’t paint over the water-stained area alone. It’s best if you paint over the entire wall or ceiling. You can apply two coats of your preferred paint to ensure that you’ve completely covered everything.

Painting over water stains is a job you can do yourself. We also know that it’s a tiring and time-consuming project, especially if the water damage is significant. Therefore, if you need your wall or ceiling restored promptly, your best option is to hire one of our professional painters. If you have any further questions, call us now, and we’ll get back to you.