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The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Water Stains on Walls and Trim

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Matt Stone

Water stains can be a nightmare for homeowners. These pesky stains can be unsightly and make a room feel unclean, even if it is spotless. Not to mention, if left untreated, water stains can lead to mold growth and further damage to the structure of your home. As an Oklahoma homeowner, it’s important to understand the sources of water damage and how to fix water stains on your walls and trim. That’s where Hometown Painting LLC comes in. As a local painting company in Oklahoma City, we’re here to help our customers take care of their home’s interior.

Sources of Water Damage

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Water damage can come from various sources, including leaky pipes, roof leaks, flooding, and condensation. Even a leaky dishwasher can cause water stains. It’s important to identify the source of the water damage to prevent it from happening again.

Because of our often-extreme weather, roof leaks are one of the most common sources of water damage we encounter. It is important to make sure the source of the water is fixed before trying to repair the damage to your walls. Once you’ve fixed the source of the damage, it’s time to address the stains left behind.

Fixing Water Stains with Primer and Paint

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If you’ve ever tried to paint over a water stain without addressing it first, you know that the stain will bleed through the paint, ruining your hard work. That’s where primer comes in. Primer is designed to seal in stains and create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. Without primer, your paint job will look patchy and uneven.

When it comes to choosing a primer, it’s important to select one that is specifically designed to block stains. Shellac based primers are some of the most effective at sealing even the toughest stains. These primers also tend to dry very quickly which means you can paint over them sooner. The major downside to shellac is its strong odor.

If you would prefer a low odor option or are sensitive to smells you can opt for a water-based primer. Make sure that the primer says “stain blocking” or something equivalent on the can. If the stain is really strong it may take a couple of coats to keep the stain from bleeding through. Read more about different primers here.

Once you’ve applied the primer and it has dried, it’s time to apply the paint. When selecting paint, it’s important to choose a quality brand that is designed for the type of surface you’re painting. For example, if you’re painting a bathroom, you’ll want to choose a paint that is specifically designed to resist moisture and mildew. If you’re painting a high-traffic area, such as a hallway or living room, you’ll want to choose a paint that is durable and easy to clean.

When it comes to painting over water stains, it’s important to use a paint roller rather than a paintbrush. A roller will create a smooth, even finish and help to blend the new paint with the old paint. Be sure to use long, even strokes and avoid going back over areas that have already been painted. Painting some of the area around the stain will help blend the paint with the surrounding wall or ceiling as well.

Trim and Baseboards

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Water stains on trim and baseboards can be just as unsightly as stains on walls. Fortunately, the process for fixing water stains on trim and baseboards is the same as for walls.

Start by cleaning the affected area with a mixture of water and mild detergent. If the stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a stronger cleaning solution or a stain remover. Also, if the water has caused the surface of the wood to bubble it may need to be sanded to make it smooth again.

Once the area is clean and dry, apply a coat of primer designed for use on wood surfaces. Allow the primer to dry completely before applying the paint. Using quality trim paint will help prevent future stains. See our guide to trim paint.

Final Thoughts

Water stains can be a real eyesore in your home. Fortunately, with some primer and paint, you can make those stains disappear and restore your home’s interior to its former glory. Remember to identify the source of the water damage and fix it before addressing the stains. This will prevent the damage from happening again and ensure that your paint job lasts for years to come.

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Author: Matt Stone
Matt is the owner of Hometown Painting. He has worked in the painting and construction trades for over 10 years. He has a passion for teaching homeowners so they can make the best paint choices for their homes.

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