How To Clean Water Stains From Ceilings And Walls?

A black water stain on your ceiling or walls is a “HUGE” eyesore. Water stains are generally on the ceiling because pipes and roofs leak from time to time.

Water Stains Ceilings and Walls - Examples
Water Stains Ceilings and Walls – Examples

The longer you leave the leak the larger the stain will become.

Best Way To Clean Water Stains From Ceilings And Walls

There is only one way to successfully remove a water stain from your walls or ceiling and that is sanding.

Sanding away the water stain back to the plasterboard or plaster will remove the stain.

  1. Sand the darker area
  2. Make sure all black and mouldy paint has gone
  3. Re-paint the sanded area and your stain has gone

TOP TIP: Do not waste your time trying to cover up the stain with whiteout and more paint.

Sanding Away The Water Stain

Once you have sanded away the stain you can re-paint that section. If it’s white you can try stain block but these paints never work as suggested.

Most DIY enthusiasts tend to try and cover over the stain or clean it with bleach.

These methods will only make your stain worse when you should have just sanded that section and re-painted.

This method works great on ceilings because they tend to be white or off-white.

White ceilings tend to take around 10 coats of decent paint to cover the water stain, for it just to come back through when it dries.


I spent many years using white-out, bleach cleaner and re-painting. These ideas are good but they are so time-consuming and expensive.

You spend £20 on a small tub of whiteout and that stuff still takes 4/5 coats to cover the stain.

Make sure you have stopped the source of the leak and follow our easy to understand guide to removing black water stains from your walls and ceilings.

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