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Guide to Painting Ceilings and Covering Water Stains
in Your Mobile Home

Painting Ceilings and Covering Water Stains

Here’s How You Can Give Your Home New Life 

Entering a new year, don’t you think it's time to give your mobile home a makeover? If you are down for it, we recommend painting your mobile home ceiling first as a breath of fresh life to your ceiling with a fresh coat of paint can make wonders! However, this task may not be as easy as you think. Especially for older mobile homes, it is likely that there would be water damage, and the ceilings may have gotten water stains or yellowed over time and such stains are difficult to be covered up. But fret not, this article will help you with that! With that said, continue reading on to know more about painting mobile ceilings and covering up stains!

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Step by Step Guide to Painting Mobile Home Ceilings

First of all, we recommend getting the highest quality materials you can find, be it for the paint, brushes, primers, and rollers, as much as you can afford. In terms of pricing, better quality pigments and binders are more expensive than the rest so paint is a product that you have to pay more for unless you decide to forgo the quality. Brushes and rollers which use better materials are of higher quality and are usually more costly. However, it does make painting easier, especially in the long run.

Step 1: Tape and Cover

If you are painting a ceiling, then be ready to get into a mess. A mess is inevitable because getting a consistent paint texture is difficult, the thicker the paint is, the further the small pecks would fly. Hence, we suggest covering everything you don’t want to get dots of paint. For example, covering the ceiling fans and light fixtures and trims. 

Step 2: Apply Primer or Sealer

Next, seal or brush the primers around the fixtures and perimeter. Follow and do as the manufacturer instructs and after the parameters have been cut in, roll the primer on for the remaining panels. Let it dry and perhaps go over with a second coat, if deemed necessary for the darker stains.

Step 3: Paint

Lastly, it's time to paint. However, depending on the instructions given, there might be a need to allow the primer to set and dry for at least 24 hours but not exceeding 48 hours before you start to paint. This time frame is set to help the paint bond with the primer. Thereafter, you can cut the paint in the perimeters and corners, using a brush, and roll the middle area.

Painting Ceilings and Covering Water Stains

Knowing the types of stain before you cover them over

Now, as we move on to share tips on covering ceiling stains, we have to first understand where did the stain come from and repair the issue before covering it up. The shape, location, and color of the stain help determine the source of the issue. 

Condensation Stains

The first type of stain is condensation water stains, commonly found in corners or the exterior perimeter. They come in various shapes and sizes, although smaller and lesser than rain leak stains. One distinct feature is having a white colored center. For those who spot a condensation issue in their attic, an ideal way to solve it would be to add or repair the vapor barrier. 

Alternatively, if adding a vapor barrier is too big of a challenge, you can consider using an insulating primer on your ceiling panels instead. This would help to substitute as a mini-vapor barrier. Otherwise, you can also choose to install fans and vents in your attic to prevent condensation stains from forming on your ceiling.

Rain and Snow Leak Stains

On the other hand, rain leak stains can be spotted anywhere, such as the likes of common areas including chimneys, light fixtures, walls, and vent pipes. 

Painting Ceilings and Covering Water Stains

Covering Brown Water Stains on a Mobile Home Ceiling

As mentioned, painting a mobile home ceiling is messy and it is never easy, not to say, a ceiling with water stains makes it even worse and challenging. This all because of the unique gypsum panel that makes up the ceiling. Once it becomes wet, it would not absorb an ounce of paint at all. However, the help of a primer or sealer would do the trick. Experts have also recommended using a pigmented shellac such as XTM, Bins, or Kilz to cover up walls and ceilings with smoke odor. If an odor can be sealed, not less a meager water stain.

With all sorts of marketing tactics in the market, many businesses claim that their stain blockers and primers would remove all kinds of unsightly stains. Regardless, the only type that is foolproof is oil-based. They offer the best results for covering up all sorts of nasty stains, as effective as the first time application. 

Cover Ceiling Stains with Stain Blockers

While we mentioned that oil-based stain blockers are the best in dealing with stains overall, they are superior in removing water stains on mobile home ceilings. If you are looking for a specific brand, we recommend Kilz or Zinnser as they are better in quality, especially for covering existing water damage, smoke, and nicotine.

On the other hand, there are also water-based types that are effective in dealing with stains that are not caused by water damage. Instead, they work well with scuff marks, crayon, and ink. Water-based primers are pretty much odorless and they require minimal effort to clean up as all you need is just water, hence it is much easier to deal with. 

Another thing to note when using a primer is to be mindful of the intended final result. To explain this, if you would like your finish to be light or white color, then it would be fine to use the white product directly from the container. However, if you intend the finish to be dark in color, then there is a need to tint the primer. This additional step can be done with help from a paint center at any home improvement center.

After the application of the primer, apply the finish coat within 48 hours to allow the primer to bond with the paint. If this time frame is missed, do remember to reapply another layer of primer. While that is what we recommend, you should still check the manufacturer's detailed instructions. 


All in all, painting a mobile home ceiling may seem like an arduous task but after reading this article, we hope that the challenge is less daunting to you and we believe that our readers are capable of accomplishing it, we wish you good luck!

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