What to paint ceiling with?


I have 1926 home. All ceilings are cloth with a 1/4 -1/2 in space above. I want to repaint to cover water stains and refresh color. What paint do I use? What is this ceiling called?

q what to paint ceiling with
  26 answers
  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 04, 2020

    So the cloth hangs belong the ceiling 1/4 to 1/2 inch? you need to find out where the water stain came from and be sure that there is no damage or that water is still leaking - then use something like Kilz that covers stains and any ceiling paint should work for you. I cannot find out a name for your ceiling - only info I find on cloth ceilings is carpet or fabric people use for decorative purposes

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 04, 2020

    Use Zinsser paint to cover that stain. https://amzn.to/3oYiDFp

  • Be sure the leak that caused the stain has been repaired and then use a stain-blocking paint like Kilz to cover the stain.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Nov 04, 2020

    Make sure the stain won't come back and use Kilz paint.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Nov 04, 2020

    I would use KILZ as well before you paint. YES that leak will continue to stain if it isn't fixed first. You might also want to paint with a ceiling paint. Good luck!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 04, 2020

    Paint with a stain blocker to cover the water stains. I would talk to a paint specialist at a free standing paint store like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore for some expert advice. I'm not sure what type of ceiling this is but I'm sure they will be able to help you. They are amazing and so helpful.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 04, 2020

    Hello has the source of the water damage been corrected? After that it would be using a stain blocking primer to seal off the water stain. There are acrylic formulations and even spray options to consider.

  • Here is a helpful video on covering the stain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdfpvON1pOE

  • Janice Janice on Nov 04, 2020

    If you city, county, or area has a Historical Society, I'd give them a call and inquire about the history of cloth ceilings in your 1926 home. It be interesting to learn more about it.

    As far as paint, I would go to a paint store and show them your pictures. Sometimes even when applying a stain-blocking primer prior to painting, the stains still come back in a few days. This happened to a friend of mine and it was very frustrating after all the work she went to, to remedy the problem. On her ceiling which was drywall, she finally had to have a portion cut out and replaced with new drywall to get rid of the stains which kept seeping through.

  • Annie Annie on Nov 04, 2020

    Prior to painting, use a good primer/sealer. You may get it tinted to the colour you are painting. Good luck

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 04, 2020

    Before attempting to hide any stains find and fix what was causing those.

    Follow up using a good primer (Kilz) before painting.

  • Deb K Deb K on Nov 04, 2020

    Hello Dmsdann, as long as you ensure no more leaks and seal with primer, you should be able to paint, here is a list of the best fabric paints, hope it helps you out


  • William William on Nov 04, 2020

    It's a tented ceiling. It's a decoration. Rather then repair/patch a ceiling somebody at one time liked the look and did it.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 04, 2020

    First seal the stain with varnish. Then prime the stain. You can use any paint you like on the ceiling, but most people use a flat paint. I prefer eggshell

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 05, 2020

    Hi there,

    To stop stain showing through paint first cover it with Stain Blocker available from the Paint section of your DIY store. Speak to Assistant about your ceiling - maybe able to help further. Best of luck!

  • Betsy Betsy on Nov 05, 2020

    Hi Dmsdann: Is your ceiling made of horsehair plaster? What it is is horsehair mixed in with the plaster to reduce the cracking and enforce the area. This site shows about walls, but I'm sure it will work for ceilings, too. Whatever you do, first you have to address why you have the spots on your ceiling. If it's a water leak, it needs to be fixed or you will have an ongoing problem and probably a bigger issue later on. So, get that taken care of.


    Good luck

  • You can use a light mix of bleach and water to dab out a ceiling water stain. Try 30/70 bleach to water and be sure not to saturate. Should clean right up.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 05, 2020

    Hello again,

    These Ceiling were used to lower the height of the room or to cover an ugly ceiling.

    Generally the fabric was fixed to a timber batten around the room and stretched. Sometimes they were fitted around the outside of the ceiling and then the slack was then taken up in the middle to make a sort of sunburst and finished off with a rosette. Best wishes. This can be seen in some old historic houses...........

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Nov 05, 2020

    They sell ceili ng paint

  • Simple Nature Decor Simple Nature Decor on Nov 05, 2020

    A ceiling paint with primer in it.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Nov 06, 2020

    A primer (Kilz) or varnish/poly can cover the stain and prevent it from showing through after yo repaint the ceiling.

  • Brittany Brittany on Nov 08, 2020

    Must be a BONDING Primer. Killz is great but there are many variations, make sure you choose the one with bonding agent. That is the only option for covering water stains. And once in a great while even that will not work, and I found that smoothing a couple layers of caulk over the y stain and then prime again

    (I have my own painting business, going on two years now. Any seasoned painter I have worked with will say the same thing.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Nov 30, 2020

    they sell paint in store

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 06, 2021

    Hello there,

    Paint over the Water mark with "Stain Blocker" from the paint shop. Then when dry paint over with Emulsion paint.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Aug 31, 2021

    Zinsser paint will for sure cover stain but you need to first check for leak under