Updated at: 11-04-2023 - By: Helen Skeates

This article will tell you all you need to know about the best product for removing water stains from painted ceilings. KILZ is the best product available for repairing water-stain damage to painted surfaces at the present time.

Priming with KILZ helps prevent stains from showing through the paint. You’ll find some primer alternatives here that get right to work on scrubbing away blemishes. This article will discuss how to remove water stains from a ceiling as well as the materials available to do it.

What’s causing the water damage on your ceiling

The damage to your ceiling will only worsen over time, so the most important thing to do is establish where the water is coming from. Possible origins include:

  • Mechanical failures in the plumbing – Observe the ceiling carefully to pinpoint the source of the damage. It’s probably under a kitchen or bathroom, if you know where to look. A broken component in the bathroom’s plumbing system is likely to blame for the leaky shower, sink, or toilet. A rusted pipe could be to blame for the damage if your property has an older plumbing system.
  • Roof damage Extreme weather and heavy precipitation are the best indicators that something is wrong with your roof. If water is leaking from your ceiling and isn’t clear, it’s likely that you have a leak in your roof, which needs immediate attention.

Please don’t try to climb up and have a look for yourself if the weather is severe and the ground is wet and slippery. The best course of action is to have a professional have a look at it so that your health isn’t put at risk.

How to Fix Water Stains on Ceiling Leaks: Super Easy Steps - Abbotts At Home

What to do in case of a leaking ceiling

Whether your ceiling is made of plaster or drywall, if it is leaking, you must act quickly to prevent more damage to your home. What you can do is as follows:

  1. Eliminate the potential for future damage to the floor by removing your things and moving furniture away from the affected areas. Place buckets or other suitable containers on the floor to catch the water that will drip from the ceiling.
  2. Analyze the level of damage – If you want to find out where the water is coming from, you need to look at the affected region closely. Since drywall ceilings can soak up water, there is little risk of leaks unless there is significant damage. Plaster, on the other hand, will hold the water until it is absorbed, at which point it will release the water. If the latter is the case, a small hole should be poked through the drooping ceiling to allow the water to drain. Have a bucket handy, and cover the floor completely before beginning.
  3. Get ready to repair the ceiling now that you have the situation under control and the cause of the problem hopefully repaired. To prevent mold formation, you should thoroughly clean the space, drain any standing water, cover the flooring with newspaper or plastic (whatever you have on hand), and open the windows for enough ventilation.

How to repair a water damaged plaster ceiling

Basically, you’ll need:

  • The putty knife
  • Ladder
  • Eyewear for safety
  • Primer
  • Joining Material
  • Slop pan
  • Wooden sanding block
  • Art materials: canvases and brushes
  • Wring out the dirty washcloth
  1. It’s important to remove any ruined sections of ceiling and to wait until the ceiling has dried out before beginning any repairs. First, use the putty knife to scrape off any water-damaged paint or plaster that has cracked. For the patches to adhere well, the surface must be perfectly smooth.
  2. Patch up the cracks and holes you find once the area is thoroughly cleaned. Fill them up with the joint compound you just mixed in the mud pan. Restraint required until the area is dry.
  3. Put on a coat of primer, then use a putty knife to spread on joint compound and cover the area. Wait for it to dry for around ten to fifteen minutes before applying a second layer. Keep the layers thin or drying time will be excessive.
  4. After the compound has dried completely, sand the area using a sanding block to smooth out any bumps in the ceiling. Dust can be easily removed by dampening a cloth and wiping the surface down.
  5. You need to prime the area again, making sure to get every crevice.
  6. Repaint the area until it is the same color as the rest of your ceiling, using weatherproof paint. After the primer has dried, you can begin painting. Use our guide Ceiling Painting: Tips from the Experts if you need help getting started.

How to repair a water damaged drywall ceiling

Plasterboard has a high water absorption rate because of its porous nature. However, minor damage like cracks or holes can be patched with joint compound. Ceilings that have sagged or drywall that has softened or crumbled are examples of more serious problems that will necessitate the removal of the old drywall and the installation of new sheets. Here is the proper procedure.

The following are some supplementary items:

  • Plaster of Paris sheets
  • Framing saw
  • Instrument for measuring something
  • Fixing drywall using screws
  • Spandex tape
  • Blade that can be used for multiple purposes
  • The cordless drill
  • Tape cutter
  • Strips of plywood
  • Paint for the roof
  1. Remove any broken ceiling fixtures and clean up the area.
  2. Determine the extent of the required reduction — if necessary, use measuring tools and/or a drawing to help you see the problem. Make precise cuts with the drywall saw to remove the ruined wallboard.
  3. Next, you’ll need to cut the plywood strips to fit the hole you’ve made. Keep a little space on either side for safety.
  4. The strips are fastened to the material by placing the former into the hole and then screwing the drywall into the wood on the other side.
  5. Plasterboard replacement involves measuring the hole precisely and then cutting a matching piece from the sheet. It should also be screwed into the wood.
  6. Fill in the gaps with joint compound; prepare the mud by mixing the connected compound. Using short, forward and backward strokes, spread some over the joint using a putty knife. Apply a layer of mesh tape to the drywall and cover the surface. Make it as even as possible with the knife. Finally, using the taping knife, spread the mud over the entire surface.
  7. After the first coat of paint has dried, sand the surface and add a second coat. Once the surface is smooth and dried, you can continue on to the next step, which is painting.

Expert advice: such a project may require several days of your time. If you’ve never repaired a ceiling out of plasterboard before and are worried about the outcome, it’s best to get a professional in your neighborhood to handle the job for you.

Costs of repairing a water damaged ceiling

Because of the unique nature of each project, many factors must be considered. The cost of ceiling repairs is dependent on a number of primary elements. Among other examples:

  • The extent of the damage — Minor repairs can be completed in a matter of hours with minimal effort, but more involved and time-consuming projects, such as replacing drywall sheets, would take more time and manpower.
  • How long it will take for experts to repair the ceiling – A handyman’s rate is typically calculated based on the number of hours they are required for a certain job.
  • What will be needed for the task at hand — If the service is supplied by professionals, these may be offered by them or provided at no additional cost to you.
  • Cornice installation and similar ad hoc requests may incur additional fees.

As can be seen, fixing a ceiling that has been damaged by water is no simple task, and the cost will depend on a variety of factors. However, one thing is certain: such a task necessitates some level of knowledge in order to make an accurate assessment of the problem and choose the best possible solution.

Professional handymen with extensive experience in ceiling repair, plastering, and cornice installation may be found in all of Australia’s main cities. Ceiling repairs begin at $55 per hour. At the lowest price point of $135, you’ll get two hours of service, which might be enough to repair minor damage to your ceiling.

How to use water stain products on paint damaged ceiling

To reiterate, first address the leak that caused the water damage to your ceiling’s paint before attempting to repair the water stain. After that, you can treat the water damage with the bleaching agent.

Water stains can be removed by using the Magic Eraser or rubbing the affected area with Instagone. Both KILZ and Zinsser are suitable for priming surfaces after the stain has been removed.

Do not apply paint until the priming and aerosol ingredients have dried. Once you’re done, your ceiling will appear as good as new.

The Best Ceiling Paint Reviews

Killz Ceiling Paint

Killz ceiling paint is just as good as the rest of Killz’s primers and stain blockers on the market.

The ceiling paint known as Killz Stainblocking Ceiling Paint can deal with almost any staining condition.

Have a ceiling discolored by smoke? Certainly not an issue. Stains from water? They can also be hidden with a coat of Killz Ceiling Paint. Those unsightly mold or mildew stains? It bears repeating that these situations call for Killz.

Killz Ceiling Paint is the best option for covering up ceiling stains of any kind.

When my ceiling isn’t already near perfect, I like to use this stuff. Killz is great for getting rid of grime and stains of any kind. If your ceiling is in decent form to begin with, this product will only improve it.

Product Highlights

  • Protects against water-based stains.
  • Shades differently when it dries (helps avoid missed spots).
  • The Paint Can Be Replaced in Two Hours.
  • Confidence in the formula’s ability to resist scattering
  • There are no volatile organic compounds present.
  • Each gallon will cover about 250 square feet.

What I Like

Killz Stainblocking Ceiling Paint outperforms the competition in terms of solid content by a wide margin. If the solids content is higher, it may provide better coverage. Although the paint will only cover 250 square feet, its superior quality is worth the small sacrifice in coverage.

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What I Don’t Like

When it comes down to it, there really aren’t any major drawbacks to Killz Ceiling paint. If I had to give advice, it would be to not place too much stock in its stain-blocking abilities. It’s possible that a Killz oil-based stain blocker will be required to completely remove very stubborn water stains.

Benjamin Moore Ceiling Paint

Benjamin Moore’s “ultra premium” ceiling paint lives up to the company’s claims of superior quality.

Benjamin Moore ceiling paint is suitable for a wide variety of surfaces, including bare drywall, wallpapered drywall, textured drywall, ceiling tile, plaster, and more.

When painting over tile or wallpaper on the ceiling, this is the paint I always reach for. Coverage of this caliber will make previous imperfections invisible. If your ceiling is made of standard drywall, don’t worry; Benjamin Moore ceiling paint will still look great.

Painting a bathroom ceiling where mold or mildew has thrived in the past? Mr. Benjamin Moore’s Paint Store Ceiling paint can be used to halt the spread of mold and mildew in the future.

Product Highlights

  • There are no volatile organic compounds present.
  • Coverage: 400-450 sq.ft. per gallon
  • Spreads out about 400-450 square feet per gallon.
  • To prevent mold growth, an antimicrobial agent

What I Like

Benjamin Moore Ceiling paint, with its flat, high-quality finish, is ideal for reducing ceiling glare since it diffuses the light evenly. This paint will not only improve the beauty of your ceiling, but the entire space as well. This paint is ideal for the work because it provides excellent coverage on unusual surfaces.

What I Don’t Like

There’s so much more to like than not like. The only drawback to using Benjamin Moore ceiling paint is that you will need to apply a primer coat or two to any surface other than bare drywall before painting. However, this little bit of extra work is worth it for the great results.

Behr Ceiling Paint

In this case, the positives far outweigh the negatives. The only drawback to using Benjamin Moore ceiling paint is that it requires a primer application or two before it can be applied to any surface other than bare drywall. However, the additional effort is well worth it due to the excellent outcomes.

How about painting that brown ceiling white? Certainly not an issue.

When rolling Behr above your head, you won’t have to worry about drips because of the paint’s thicker consistency.

When you’re done painting, you may simply rinse off the water-based paint.

Product Highlights

  • One-step painting: primer and paint together
  • Design that resists stains
  • For up to 400 square feet per gallon, read on!
  • Low chemical emissions while use, as verified by Greenguard certification.
  • Water-based (use soap and water to get rid of it!)

What I Like

Behr’s best feature is the quality of its finished product, which is smooth and uniform. This paint goes on smoothly and evenly, leaving behind the color you want regardless of the wild pattern or hue that was there before. Furthermore, the approved low chemical emissions make it possible to paint your ceiling in your own home without worrying about your health.

What I Don’t Like

There isn’t anything to dislike about the quality of this paint and primer combo. However, if you need a paint that only requires one coat, search elsewhere. To get the best results, you may need to apply two or three coats of Behr Ceiling Paint. The paint dries rapidly, so applying more coats won’t extend the time it takes to finish the project.

Zinsser Ceiling Paint

The one-coat coverage and quality of Zinsser ceiling paint are unmatched. The ceiling’s faults will be effectively concealed by the paint’s thickness.

Water spots, smoke stains, and other ceiling faults are no match for the amazing stain inhibiting qualities of Zinsser Ceiling Paint.

Since Zinsser’s solution dries rapidly, you can get your work done quickly and start enjoying your newly renovated space.

In order to restore old, stained ceilings to their former splendor, Zinsser Ceiling Paint will become your go-to product.

When it comes to ceilings, Zinsser is your best bet in high-smoke or high-moisture areas like kitchens, basements, and bathrooms.

Product Highlights

  • To a minimum volatile organic compound emissions
  • A Formula With Reduced Odor
  • Combination paint and primer
  • Estimated square footage covered by 1 gallon: 250-400
  • Dissipates moisture quickly; dries in under an hour

What I Like

What’s great about white Zinsser ceiling paint is that it goes on a bit pink but dries completely white. In the case of painting over a white ceiling, this is an extremely useful tip. This formula changes pink liquid into white, so you can’t miss a thing.

What I Don’t Like

Simply put, this Zinsser Ceiling Paint is fantastic. The only real drawback is that it makes painting the bathroom ceiling a bit more challenging than usual. Water’s slow drying properties mean it could be a month before the ceiling is completely dry. After this time period, it may become pink again if it gets wet. However, after a month has passed, this issue has vanished entirely.

Glidden Ceiling Paint

Glidden Ceiling Paint’s incredible one-coat coverage is a time-saver.

Glidden Ceiling Paint is minimal in odor and splatter resistant, so cleanup will be a breeze after painting is done. This paint is easy to apply on any surface, including bumpy or popcorn ceilings.

If you’re working with a tight budget, you might be able to find Glidden Ceiling Paint at a discount.

Glidden Ceiling Paint is mildew resistant, so your bathroom ceiling will retain its luster over time.

Additionally, Glidden Ceiling Paint provides excellent coverage, though it may take more than one coat to completely cover surface defects or deeply ingrained stains.

Product Highlights

  • To a minimum volatile organic compound emissions
  • You may cover up to 350 square feet with one gallon.
  • Limits the spread of mildew
  • Formula for Latex
  • Coat again every 4 hours.

What I Like

Glidden Ceiling Paint is a fantastic product in many ways. My favorite feature is how much time it saves by just needing one application and being simple to clean up after. The less coats of paint you need to apply to the ceiling, the easier it will be on your back and neck. I’d rather just kick off my coat and enjoy my room.

What I Don’t Like

Glidden Ceiling Paint has more advantages than disadvantages, and its lower cost is just one of them. However, its drying time is significantly longer than that of competing products. It’s well worth the wait, though, because the

Ceiling Paint Buyer’s Guide

Purchases of ceiling paint shouldn’t present too many challenges for most homeowners. There are only a handful of factors to weigh and/or characteristics to seek out before making a purchase.

Factors to consider include the desired level of whiteness, the paint’s solids percentage, its VOC rating, and its application simplicity.

Outside of those exceptions, though, you should find that ceiling paint is less expensive than wall paint. For obvious reasons, wall paint needs to be more long-lasting and effective at disguising imperfections than ceiling paint.

Ceiling White vs Bright White

When painting ceilings, I typically stick to just two whites. You can choose any color you choose for the ceiling, but I often stick to just two.

While ceiling white and bright white may vary by manufacturer, they are sufficiently comparable for our discussion.

Ceiling White is a slightly grayed off-white that’s often used in ceilings. In this way, flaws in the ceiling can be concealed. Imperfections are typically revealed as shadows on ceilings. When you mix a little bit of grey into your white, the shadows soften, making it easier to conceal flaws in your ceiling. The naked eye shouldn’t pick up on the grey. Your eyes will see nothing but white.

Many people regard Bright White to be “true white” paint that hasn’t been colored in any way. Since no gray was used in its creation, this white is as brilliant as it gets. Since I like my ceilings to be as light and uncluttered as possible, I find this to be the best option.

Percentage of Solids

It’s important to take note of the solids % while purchasing paint, but you shouldn’t let that consume your thoughts entirely. With a larger solids content, the ceiling can be concealed more effectively at the expense of some coverage. Less solids means less hiding power and more spreadability in the paint.

The solid count of a paint is one factor in determining its price. It’s safe to presume that higher-priced paints will provide better coverage.

VOC Ratings

During the curing process, paint emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are known to cause health problems for humans.

Painting your house every few years has no negative health impacts and the fragrance is barely noticeable to most people.

Paints with minimal or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) should be considered if you work with paint on a regular basis, have a medical condition that causes sensitivity to odors, or have young children in the house.

Ease of Use / Spatter

Tiny paint drips that fall from your roller while you’re painting, known as “spatter,” can be a major annoyance for a painter. They crawl all over the ground and all over you.

Spatter shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as your flooring and furniture are protected.

What do you think the price of ceiling painting will be? Our essay on the cost of painting a ceiling includes both do-it-yourself prices and estimates for hiring a professional painter.

Ceiling Paint FAQ

Will Painting My Ceiling Eliminate Odors

It’s true that painting the ceiling can help mask unpleasant odors, but you’ll likely need to use a primer designed to prevent stains and odors first.

Do I Need To Prime My Ceiling Before Painting It?

The ceiling is one of the few surfaces that typically does not require priming prior to painting. Many brands of ceiling paint, including Killz, Behr, Zinsser, and Benjamin Moore, serve double duty as both paint and primer. Priming with a specific stain-blocking primer is recommended if your ceiling has water or smoke stains.

What Is The Difference Between Ceiling Paint and Wall Paint?

Paint designed for use on ceilings is more forgiving than paint designed for use on walls. The seams and flaws will be less noticeable thanks to the hue and gloss designed to do just that.

How To Paint Over A Water Stain – All You Need To Know | Checkatrade

Why Does My Ceiling Look Patchy After Painting?

Uneven painting is a common cause of blotchy ceilings. It will look sloppy if you apply more paint to certain areas and less to others when rolling it on. The ceiling may look uneven because of patchwork that was done prior to painting but was not primed.

What is best paint finish for ceiling?

Ceilings look best with a flat glossy finish. Flat paints are great for hiding ceiling flaws because they don’t reflect light or draw attention to themselves.

How many coats of paint does a ceiling need?

Most ceilings need two coats of paint to look good. It’s possible that a ceiling painted with just one coat will end up looking streaky and uneven. Typically, the first coat is applied from north to south, and the second from east to west when completing two coats.


If you know what water stain product works best for painting over ceiling damage, you’ll be prepared for the next time an accident occurs. But now you may choose the product you think would serve you best because you have all the information you need.