I'm often asked to repair walls and ceilings which have had water damage from leaks. It really helps to know what products to use to sort them out. 

Zinsser Peel Stop

On a recent job this summer, I was asked to repair some peeling and cracking paint by a kitchen hob. 

All the loose paint was scraped off. And all the cracks were 'raked out' (this gives filler something decent to grab onto). Then one coat of Zinsser Peel Stop water-borne primer was brushed onto the whole area, taking care to brush in all directions to make sure the primer got into all the tiny nooks and crannies. Peel Stop takes just a couple of hours to dry, so I could then fill any cracks and raised paint edges (I used Toupret Reboucheur - as it dries quickly and Toupret fillers are generally fantastic.) 

Onto another job in the house for a couple of hours, then I carefully sanded the filler flat - taking care not to sand too hard and re-expose the edges I'd treated with Peel Stop and filler. A quick dust and two coats of the original kitchen paint and the job was done. Sanded, sealed, filled, sanded and topcoated. 

Next up....

Zinsser Coverstain

A bathroom leak had made water pool over a hallway ceiling. After covering the floor with dust sheets, I raked out the cracks and discovered part of the plaster had completely degraded. In other words, suddenly I had a bloody big hole!

This photo was taken part-way through raking out. I filled the hole first with plasterboard, held down with water-based adhesive. I sanded the whole ceiling (using dust extraction as usual, so there was virtually no airborne dust) and filled the cracks and remaining holes with Toupret Le Reboucheur. Another few hours on another job (I had the sitting room to paint) and the filler was dry enough to sand. A quick vacuum of the whole ceiling and then two coats (an hour apart) of Zinsser Coverstain oil-based primer was applied with a foam roller. The advantage of the foam rollers is that they're quick, they apply an even coat, you don't get any bits from the roller stuck in the paint, and they're cheap enough to leave to dry and chuck in the bin. Washing out oil-based paints from rollers is neither healthy, time-efficient or environmentally the best option due to the quantity of white spirits you'd need! 

Once the Coverstain had dried, a couple of coats of the customer's choice of ceiling paint were applied to the whole ceiling (painting patches often shows up, it's usually best to paint a whole surface). 

Now the eagle-eyed amongst you might spy a paler patch to the left of the smoke alarm. This photograph was taken as the paint was drying, and the ceiling emulsion painted on top of the Coverstain dries more slowly than on the matt and absorbent previous ceiling paint. Don't fear - it all dries the same colour eventually. 

Zinsser Peelstop is a very useful primer to have in the cupboard if you do a lot of painting. It seals peeling, flaking, and chalky surfaces. 

Zinsser Coverstain is even more useful. As well as being a brilliant stain blocking primer, it is a fantastic primer for many other surfaces, including timber. It has very high opacity (in other words it covers well) and it sticks to nearly anything! I use it every week as a general primer for woodwork. Although it is oil-based, it dries in a couple of hours, so it's very practical to use. I usually add a bit of Owatrol paint conditioner to it to make it flow better, as it's quite thick. 

Two fiddly jobs done as well as a couple of coats on the walls of the sitting room, and one very happy customer.