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Can You Just Paint Over Water Damage?

Can You Just Paint Over Water Damage?

Are your walls getting soaked every time it rains? Are unsightly water stains building up? If so, you might be wondering if you can just paint over them.

Well, as long as the drywall is not structurally damaged, you’re in luck.

With proper cleaning and repair, adding a fresh coat of paint will make your walls like-new without breaking the bank.

This article will break down how to safely repaint over water damage and make sure the leak stays away.

What To Do Before Painting Over Water Stains

This whole process starts with identifying where the water is coming from. If you notice leaks during storms, check your roof for holes. If water is pooling in your basement, check for a split pipe.

If you don’t properly fix and stop the leak, all your painting and repairs will be for nothing. You’ll have to start over again every time a new leak springs.

Repairing The Damage

If you’ve checked everywhere and can’t find the water source, then it’s time to call in a contractor for an inspection. Faulty caulking or a leaky HVAC can be tough to spot on your own. Schedule an inspection with a contactor at All Dry USA and locate any pesky leaks today.

Not until the damage or leak has been stopped will you be ready to move on to the next step.


Before you break out the paint, you’ll have to dry out the damp areas completely. Never apply primer or paint to wet walls.

First, remove all surface water you can see with a rag that you don’t mind throwing out. If you have water on the floor, you can use a water vacuum or a shop vac for faster, efficient removal. But beware, as these methods are not guaranteed to reach every nook and cranny that water can hide in.

It can take professional equipment to dry out grout or cracks in a wall fully. Water damage can even end up behind your drywall which you will not reach on your own.

But drying is more than removing visible surface water. Drywall is porous, and water can soak all the way through. Open the windows for a cross breeze, or bring in a dehumidifier if you live in a humid climate. Expect this process to take up to 24 hours for 100% effectiveness.

Read more: How Do You Get Rid Of Damp Marks On Walls?


If you’ve had a long-term leak, there is a chance mold and mildew have already begun to grow. In fact, mold starts to grow in damp areas after only 24 hours. Mold is fairly obvious to spot. It usually shows up as black or brown splotches appearing slimy or fuzzy. If a musty wet scent is coming off the water-damaged areas, that’s also a clear sign of mold.

These toxic spores need to be removed before you proceed. They can cause serious health risks to you and your family if left untreated.

At-home mold removal sprays can be toxic, so it’s best to consult mold removal professionals for this operation. If the mold has grown all the way through your wall, the entire section may have to be replaced.

You can combine bleach and water in a 1:3 ratio in mild cases to make a sanitizing solution. Use a sponge and work this mixture around the discolored areas until you start to see the color disappear. If you attempt to sanitize the mold on your own, make sure to fully dry the affected area again before moving on to painting.

Person Painting White Wall With Gray Paint Roller

Painting Over Water Stains

Once the damaged area is clean and dry, there are just a few more steps before moving on to priming and painting:

  • Be sure you have the right paint color, if you are even slightly off color will mean you’ll have to repaint the entire room for a perfect match.
  • Lay down a tarp to collect any stray drops of paint. Cover anything else in the room you’re painting, and you’d be surprised how far paint can splatter.
  • Scrape off any bubbling or flaking paint chips. You’ll want a fresh area to work with. Leaving bubbling paint will add bubbles to your new layers.
  • Sand down uneven areas until you have a smooth surface to work with.
  • Use a sealer binder to keep your walls dry long term. This product provides a strong water-resistant bond, so water cannot permeate the drywall underneath.

Once the surface is prepared, apply one to two coats of primer, allowing it to dry between coats fully.

The last step is also the easiest: using a medium-sized roller, apply two coats of paint until everything is fully covered. At last, you can marvel at your glowing like-new walls. If you don’t feel comfortable do this yourself, you can always hire a professional painting contractor.

Conclusion — All Dry USA Will Grab A Roller!

While tackling wet walls and repainting are possible on your own, at All Dry USA we know what a hassle this job can be.

Leave it to us to thoroughly take care of each and every step for you. With over a decade of home repair experience under our belts, we are the pros at painting over water damage. When you bring in All Dry USA, we don’t just treat the symptom, we fix the root cause.

Our general contractors will identify and seal up leaks, repaint your walls, and offer advice and guidance for long standing repairs!

So give us a call today at (888) 971-9152 and put water damage problems in the past.


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