I had a leak in my roof and now a water stain on my ceiling. My ceiling is not painted. Can I seal the stain with a primer and then cover it with thinned joint compound so it matches the color?

  • Your question about thinned joint compound befuddles me. What's the point of that? Is the drywall damaged or merely discolored? – isherwood Jan 17 at 22:08
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    Oh, 2017. Voting to close as unclear and abandoned. – isherwood Jan 17 at 22:09
  • I got rid of a small ceiling stain with a sponge, damp with bleach, in a plastic tray to press up on the ceiling. I tested it under a light fixture first. The stain is gone and it was easy! If you do this...be careful...because bleach. – Steve Wellens Jan 18 at 1:29
  • First thing to do is find the leak and fix it. (Yes, I know, 3 yo question...) – FreeMan Jun 18 at 13:04

Old question but to answer it...

Yes you can seal it. You cannot use regular paint or it might take 50 coats. You need an oil based sealer to do this right. That will still take 2-3 coats and you will be fine, and then add your paint over it (given it is appropriate to be installed over that sort of sealer/primer - if not you will need a latex prime in between).

There is little chance that drywall is compromised unless it has gotten wet for long periods of time. Drywall is really really good at getting wet, drying and maintaining integrity. The key with water is mold not the stability.

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  • Despite being an answer to a 3-year old question, this is perfect. I wish I knew this earlier this year when painting our house. Ten coats later and you can almost not see the water stain... – tnknepp Oct 16 at 11:20

The affected drywall may be compromised. If it gets wet enough, the drywall under the paper loses it's integrity and expands a little. You could cut out the spot and put in new drywall, then tape and mud the edges. I never put joint compound over primer.

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