Water damage on bathroom ceiling

Tova Pearl
by Tova Pearl
I am about to patch up this water damage on a low bathroom ceiling. What can i paint/seal the entire ceiling with to minimize future water damage? the ceiling is very low, and the shower moisture is what accumulates on it. thanks!
  37 answers
  • Charlene Charlene on Oct 16, 2016
    I would apply at least 2 coats of Kilz, which is a mildew preventative primer. Kill is excellent in moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
  • She7831955 She7831955 on Oct 16, 2016
    First, as a retired drywall contractor... you need to peel off ALL the loose bubbled paint... then sand the edges of the old paint that is not loose (to cut the edges)... Then paint with Kilz one heavy coat should do it... then put 2 coats of the regular paint that you want to use. It is best to paint the entire ceiling, as you will see the patch, if you don't.
  • Bryan's Workshop Bryan's Workshop on Oct 16, 2016
    Hello Tova. It looks like the moisture has only affected the top layer of what is covering your ceiling. Do you have a vent fan or window in your bathroom? You'll need to wait until everything is completely dry and then scrap everything loose off. You'll need to sand, apply a good sealer and then repaint. Look for paints that are made for high moisture and humid areas. I see you're in Israel, so check out Denber paints. They sell water repellent paints and wet surface protection sealers. Good Luck! :)
  • Mce7843633 Mce7843633 on Oct 16, 2016
    Zinzer works well too and can be found at your local Home Depot.
  • Tam12881095 Tam12881095 on Oct 16, 2016
    Maine paint!!
  • Michael J Balsamo Michael J Balsamo on Oct 16, 2016
    If you have this problem it means there is NOT ENOUGH VENTILATION in the bathroom. No matter what you paint / repair with, it will be temporary unless you add an exhaust fan. Then I would apply any Kilz or similar product or even better, go to your local major hardware store where you can buy wallboard especially designed for bathrooms (often called greenboard). I would just place it OVER the existing ceiling, screw or nail in, finish the edges, paint and you're done
  • Shirley Kalinosky Shirley Kalinosky on Oct 16, 2016
    All these seemed helpful and I agree with them all. Only thing to add is, get the paint especially made for wet areas and def either open a window, or get an exhaust fan.
  • MadameRã MadameRã on Oct 16, 2016
    •This type of 'thing' happens often with cement & paint;& not to forget climate inside & outs.. The easiest & most attractive,& versitile way is firstly the area is lightly sanded, one light spray colour paint touchup to cover cement. Then from most craft shops/ or novelity gift shops, purchace sheets of foam felt of either a colour to make the area pop, or stay neutral, but the sheets you design with ones own pattern, so it can be added to the roof using non toxic glues( thus simple to remove if needing to),& designing ones own roof pattern makes for a beautiful look.( Note before placing up, a light spray of clear matt/or gloss paint over your cut outs(back & front), depending on your personal style, will allow for longer lasting with absorbtion still being able to happen. This is good as it to quickly dries & thus it doesn't allow for moulded areas.) If one can't design their own then packs of pre-cut patterns, often used for coffee tables as different coaster holders/or vase on glass decor, can be obtained. *For extra safety if an owner is picky & doesn't understand that non toxic childs glues can come off neatly, then there are label tabs, that are a bit expensive, though will hold anthing just about to anything, then when removing only requires a pulling down motion thus leaving a clean surface totally: I have done this method in three batrooms & always the owners want to keep, thus they will pay you..If choosing a colour keep within muted shades, as it allows depth with light making the area look bigger yet again.. Only wishing the best to all for keeping a smile while crafting.. M.Rã
  • MargaretHoulihan MargaretHoulihan on Oct 16, 2016
    By looking at the picture, it appears that the surface was not properly prepared when it was originally painted. If it was a glossy surface underneath, it should have been scuffed up to remove the gloss. Then it should have been primed with something like Kilz before the final color was applied. Should use two cars. There is also an additive that can reduce mold/mildew problems. Ask your paint store
  • MargaretHoulihan MargaretHoulihan on Oct 16, 2016
    Coats not cars... Stupid auto correct!
  • Lisa Lisa on Oct 16, 2016
    We tiled our ceiling in the bathroom using large 12x24" white tiles. We had the same problem. The bath fan we had was not enough.
  • HausDoctor HausDoctor on Oct 16, 2016
    Make certain you properly size your bathroom exhaust fan and that is discharges outside the home not inside the attic. Then remove all loose paint and paint with Kilz or BullsEye which makes a paint specifically for this purpose.
  • Linda Santo Linda Santo on Oct 16, 2016
    I used Zinzer Perma-White on my bathroom ceiling. My roof leaked and the drywall actually buckled and dropped but the paint stayed perfect! Only thing I've used in 2 bathrooms-old house-no exhaust fans. Swear by it. And hello, Margaret from a few miles down the road!
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Oct 18, 2016
      I used that paint over 20 years ago (I had forgotten). When I had removed my kitchen cupboards, there was mould in the corners behind the cabinets. I also had some in the corners at ceiling level in some rooms from high humidity. I never saw any mould after that.
  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Oct 17, 2016
    Seems that you need to install an exhaust fan or a newer/more effective one than you have. No sense in repairing the moisture damage until this is done.
  • Mizzhoneysuckle Mizzhoneysuckle on Oct 17, 2016
    Never use a flat based paint in a bathroom or kitchen. Use Semi-gloss or gloss. That will keep moisture out. I used a Semi-gloss Ultra Pure White by Behr, and no problems at all.
  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Oct 17, 2016
    Semi gloss exterior paint is the best for bathrooms.It is meant to withstand all weather conditions.Most of them have a warranty for 8 + years as well.
  • Jean Jean on Oct 17, 2016
    I surely don't have the answer, and cannot find one here, BUT would love to see one (or more) solutions, because I have the same situation. Thanks for sharing. Je
  • Lori Siska Lori Siska on Oct 17, 2016
    I have the same problem. The house we bought is over 100yrs and the glass block window the developer installed doesn't open. The fan installed is poor quality and doesn't do a thing in the winter when we need it most for moisture control, so we know we need to get a better one - any suggestions would be helpful (but it's gotta have a light).
  • JEWEL C JEWEL C on Oct 17, 2016
    I have a water damaged ceiling but from AC overflow. I am putting Faux tin pressed panels on it. You just glue them up over the damaged areas. they are plastic and light weight so @ 80 years old I can handle them easily.
  • Maggie Hecht Maggie Hecht on Oct 17, 2016
    When I was repainting some rooms in my Parent's old house, one of the bedroom ceilings was really stained from a leaky roof that had been fixed. Nothing worked to cover the stains until I bought a product called Kilz. it's a wonderful paint that does the trick if you decide to use oaint
  • Genny N Genny N on Oct 17, 2016
    In order to keep bacteria from spreading, any water damaged sheet rock, if re-usable has to be treated/painted with Kilz, used to protect the ceiling from continuing mold etc, therefore preserving the ceiling. Black mold must be treated in order to keep it from spreading. Black mold is highly allergic
  • Charlette Vroman-Smith Charlette Vroman-Smith on Oct 17, 2016
    we used cheap hair spray before painting. It contains lacquer spray about 3 coats. let dry (drys very fast) then paint. It has lasted over10 years . Is cheaper then KILLS, easier and smells much better
  • Updiane Updiane on Oct 17, 2016
    Besides agreeing with Maggie's post about using Kilz-many decades ago a carpenter gave me a tip to brush over the stained area with shellac before painting. It worked well for me.
  • There is a product called Kilz that is supposed to kill mold and bacteria in these kinds of situations. I know Home Depot carries it. Then you probably should put a waterproof sealer on top. Good luck.
  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Oct 17, 2016
    We used Zinzer oil based primer on ours. It's like KIilz.
  • J747725427 J747725427 on Oct 17, 2016
    best stuff to use is Zinsser mold killing primer. you can roll right over mold its awesome !! roll dont brush 2 coats then paint. it drys in less than hour!!
  • Helen Helen on Oct 18, 2016
    Drastic, but best. Using a saw, cut around the affected area. Replace that spot only with new dry wall After replacing you will need to "tape" the edges before adding joint compound and smoothing. To finish off the job lightly sand joint compound to make ir smooth as the other space. Once done you will have to paint the whole area,
  • Wilson Stevens Wilson Stevens on Oct 20, 2016
    I have a home in Michigan that was on the historic registry that had to have approval for any repairs. We had extensive water damage to the ceilings in several rooms. I used "Kilz" and it worked in every case. I have had to use it several times since, and have always have great success.
  • D roach D roach on Oct 21, 2016
    the easiest way is to add ventilation. ie Open the window after taking a shower and never close the bathroom door. It allows the room to circulate air and dry out. if you close the moisture in the room it has to settle somewhere.
  • Janet Janet on Nov 03, 2016
    No one has mentioned a ventilation fan, or am i too linear in my thinking (accused!)?
    • Tova Pearl Tova Pearl on Nov 03, 2016
      actually there is lots of ventilation, i patched up this ceiling as others suggested and it seems to be holding up well!
  • Tammy Tammy on Jan 15, 2017

    I have a similar problem, but mine is the living room ceiling. Had a leak from the roof did not know until the ceiling cracked where it is taped together then painted over. Now it is just hanging there it's about a three foot area cracked. What do I do to fix the ceiling?????

  • Ken Ken on Jan 25, 2017

    Hi Tammy... the damaged area must be cut out (extend the cut well into an undamaged area) and replaced with new material. The damaged material will never recover its integrity and will be problematic if allowed to remain.

  • Stella Love Stella Love on Jan 29, 2017

    Ventilation and leave the shower curtain open!! I have this problem now since the bathroom was gutted and insulated with extra vapor barrier on outside walls. The ceiling is below the attic and that area was not vapor barrier-ed so now the part above the shower 'sweats'. I need a very strong fan and I open the window at least an inch even in 2 degree weather. Rest of the year I just leave the window open.

  • Riley Turner Riley Turner on Jul 20, 2018

    Simply hire the professional for water damage bathroom ceiling.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 04, 2021

    Hello there,

    The answer is to Fit or have fitted and suitable Extractor Fan or open or fit a window you can open, or even a skylight. Then worry about decoration.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 19, 2023

    There is no way anything can adhere to the bubbling paint. The moisture needs to be addressed first. You stated this was a bathroom does it have an exhaust fan?

  • It sounds like the room needs ventilation to deal with the moisture. A fan should be installed.