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Painting & Decorating

Eliminating water stains - how to deal with these when decorating?

My house is 100+yrs old. I have had a leaking roof repaired and am waiting for the walls to dry out, which they seem to be doing. The first sign of the problem was yellow staining on the landing and into the bathroom. I peeled off the layers of paint - very wet - and now have bare plaster. On another wall in the bathroom - an exposed wall which was soaked with rain water - is also now yellow-stained. I am waiting for that to dry out too. How do I deal with this in terms of decorating? There seem to be conflicting theories!

5 Answers from MyBuilder Painters & Decorators

Best Answer

Hi Jenny

The best product for this problem is zinza bin, a remarkable stain block that is perfect for your problem.


Answered 19th Mar 2014

Hey Jenny

Zinsser BIN stain block is indeed a very good, yet VERY expensive stain block especially if you have a large area to cover!
I used a similar yet just as effective product from my supplier Johnstones.
As long as the stain block you apply is Shellac based (it's a oil from a beatle) then it'll successfully cover your problem area. Most will dry in 15 mins. Any really heavy dark stains may need to have two coats prior to painting. Apply with very short pile 4"roller otherwise you'll most likely leave brush marks that will require sanding prior to painting.
Good luck.
RSJJ painting and decorating


Answered 8th Apr 2016

Hi there! First and foremost make sure you have cured where the leak is coming from and that your walls are completely dry otherwise any paint system will fail. For the bare plastered areas make sure you use a watered down coat of contract matt (any trade brand will be fine, I tend to do it 50/50 with water for the first coat to make sure it soaks into the plaster so it won’t peel in the future).

Once the contract matt has dried use any form of Oil/Shellac based stain block to cover up the yellow water marks I would recommend Zinsser Bin its the best product I have used by a country mile! (Pricey but worth every penny!) 2 coats of Zinsser will do the trick. Also make sure you use a short piled mini roller just to make sure you don’t see any contrasting finishes between coats.

Once thats completely dry use any whichever top coat you choose to go with 2 coats will give you a great finish and your water marks will be gone! With regards to your bathroom I’d use a durable finish such as Dulux trade Diamond Eggshell or if you are painting it white Zinsser do a product called Perma White which has an antibacterial additive in which leaves a great durable finish and also stops mould growth etc. For the landing any kind of trade emulsion Matt or Silk will be fine.

Hope this helps! Best of luck!


Answered 7th Jan 2020

I Use a product called Everbuild stain block which it £6 per 400ml spray tin from toolstation. No over spray, the tip sprays in a vertical pattern and you simply spray and sweep the coating over the stain. The product dries within 15 minutes, dries a very bright pure white base matt colour which then ready to paint. Job complete in minutes.


Answered 22nd Sep 2021

Hi you can buy an aerosol version of stain block from B&Q for about £9 either Zinner or Ron seal and if you give the stain 1-2 coats with the aerosol and then let it dry and apply 2 coats of paint afterwards that should get rid of the stains


Answered 13th Sep 2019

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