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Repainting Walls Following Water Damage

Walls are at risk from water damage, whether it is a pipe bursting within the wall, or a bathroom tub overflowing upstairs.  Water stains are unsightly and cannot be removed by simple cleaning or scrubbing.  Stains will bleed through paint within a short time, so you need a permanent fix. Repair will be necessary.

To repair water damaged drywall, examine the affected area carefully to make sure that it is still attached by the studs. Sags, blistering, and peeling areas require serious attention. Reattach loose drywall using drywall screws, working from the edge in.

Damaged drywall will need to be cut away and a replacement piece cut to match the damaged area. This sort of work is usually best performed by a professional.

Scrape away loose paint or wrinkled wall paper using a putty knife or paint scraper. Make sure you use a light touch.  Sand the area with medium grit sandpaper on a sanding block. Make sure you have a level surface, and use finer sandpaper with each run until the surface is smooth. Use a damp sponge to wipe away traces of dust.

Use two coats of oil or alcohol based primer with a brush or roller, and allow to dry between coats. This will seal any residual dampness and prevent stains from showing through.  Fill and patch any holes using a putty knife and compound. This can be applied directly over the primer.  Sand the compound until smooth and blended with the rest of the wall. Apply another coat of primer and allow to dry. You may then paint over the primer as needed.

Water damage stains may also be dealt with by thoroughly drying the affected area, then using oil or alcohol based primer over the area, feathering the edges with a near dry brush. Let dry, then recoat as needed. The process is completed by brushing on a roll of finish paint to match the rest of the wall. The wall may also be recoated completely, but that is up t0 the discretion of the one doing the work.

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