Whatever you chose to believe about global warming and climate change, one thing is certain: Halloween is getting downright scary and it has nothing to do with goblins. What with blizzards and hurricanes the last two years, who needs witches? If a tree came through your kitchen ceiling this column won’t help you. If some water got in and is staining your walls though, I have something for that..
Paint is fairly effective at keeping out moisture but when water gets around behind a wall and attacks the paint from the back side it doesn’t stand a chance. Water stains that appear seemingly from nowhere are telling you that you have a leak somewhere. Once the leak is fixed the stain can be painted over provided that you seal the stain in to prevent it from bleeding through your new paint job. I don’t know exactly how many coats of latex wall paint a water stain will bleed through but it’s a lot. Save yourself the headache and gat a stain sealing primer so that you only have to paint the thing once. There are water based stain sealers that work really well. Bulls Eye 1-2-3 is a great one. It works for water stains, tannin bleed, knots-great stuff. I do occasionally run into something too slippery for latex paint though and for those occasions an oil based sealer is the weapon of choice. I recently painted some 40 year old cedar sills that bled through everything I had until I broke out the bullet proof-and very noxious-can of Coverstain. You can get these at a hardware or paint store and they really work.
Have fun painting