My tub upstairs leaked a large portion of water directly above the middle of the kitchen ceiling. The ceiling drywall doesn't have a hole in it, and the paint isn't bubbling. However after I fixed the leak and dried the ceiling I noticed the drywall had bulged into a long elliptical shape. So I sanded the ceiling down to what looked like even with the rest of the ceiling, but after painting it the bulge was still noticeable. So I re-sanded, and painted but then noticed I had gone too far with the sanding and had a shallow curve into the ceiling. So I tried to fill it with plaster only to realize it was again bulging. I repeated this a few times and each time I had to increase the outline of the bulge as I needed to smooth the edges of the latest fix attempt.

SO... I have given up on trying to hide it( unless you guys have ideas) and wish to do a faux paint paint finish. What is the best way to faux paint a ceiling?

3 Answers 3


To seal water spotting or other stains on drywall, use a pigmented shellac primer such as BINS Bullseye. One or two coats will completely seal the stains, then repaint with your regular paint. When using shellac primer, be sure to have denatured alcohol available for cleaning your stuff.


Cut out the bad section, and replace it with a sheet of new drywall. The water has probably damaged the existing drywall, and even if you do manage to hide it temporarily, the damaged area will come back.

  • I'm trying to avoid that, the leak is fixed. Plus cutting the drywall will result in the same problem, an uneven appearance.
    – allindal
    Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 4:10

I'd doubt that any sort of cover-up will be satisfactory. In fact, a faux finish will likely make the problem more noticeable. I would suggest spreading the plaster out over a much larger area, maybe 3x the size, and sanding and feathering from there with a few passes of progressively finer sandpaper, otherwise your eye will always be drawn to the same spot. You could always hire a professional ceiling installer or painter who will be able to properly fix this for you. Or -- you could just live with it.

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