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Old 03-28-2017, 08:31 AM   #1
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How do I paint stain on my ceiling


Some snow got in my ridge vent, melted and water stained my ceiling.
I had two white paints in the basement and tried the flat one first. It was too dark. I tried the second, an extra white satin, and it was too glossy. I bought the same extra white in a flat and it is a mess.

From the front it is too dark. From the back it is too light. (from the side it blends right in.) The light comes from the front.

So, what the heck do I do now? Painting the entire ceiling isn't going to happen; it is very big and very high.
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Last edited by Toller; 03-28-2017 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:34 AM   #2
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


Usually when a small patch needs to be done on a wall or a ceiling, the typical approach is to have the entire wall/ceiling painted after priming the repaired section.

It really is the best way.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


I am sure it is the best way, but it is 1200sf and 17' high. I will have to live with the second best way.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:10 PM   #4
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


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I am sure it is the best way, but it is 1200sf and 17' high. I will have to live with the second best way.
The second best way takes some compromise on your part. I see you mentioned the ceiling is 17' high. If you could determine the exact color you need then you could paint it and live with the fact that it is essentially the same color but not blended.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


What works best is if you have the exact (or close to it) match of ceiling paint leftover from the last time it was painted. Since you tried a couple cans of paint, it appears that an exact match isn't part of your leftover paint. At this point, you will need to somehow match what's on the ceiling. Get some color swatches from your local paint store and find the color AND sheen that is fairly close, buy a quart, and touch up as best you can. Not much else you can do if you are foregoing painting the entire thing.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:19 PM   #6
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


I have been painting for years and I still can't come close to matching stuff by eyeball like that.

Find something in that color that is removeable. A small piece of trim or an outlet cover. Sometimes I even cut out a small square of drywall. It only has to be the size of a quarter. Take it to the paint store. Still won't be perfect, but they have the tools and expertise to give you the best possible match.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:24 PM   #7
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


Option 2:

It's likely untinted ceiling paint. There are only a few different ceiling paints on the market. If the paints in the basement are Sherwin-Williams' Promar 200, Promar ceiling paint would be a good guess.
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:31 PM   #8
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


I went to Sherwin Williams and they gave me Emerald flat extra white. I suppose that is because I wanted a small can. Is the color likely to be the same as their ceiling paint?

As I said, when viewed from the direction light comes from, it is darker. When viewed from the other side, it is ligher. When viewed from directly below it is a perfect match. I figured it was a matter of reflection; also the new paint seems smoother than the old paint. I guess that might affect the reflection. I tried roughing it up with sandpaper, but it didn't change.

So, is Emerald different than ceiling paint?

Last edited by Toller; 03-28-2017 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:46 PM   #9
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


Ceiling paint is cheap paint. It hardly gets touched or even looked at closely. You can put some flat, chalky garbage paint on there and it works fine.

Emerald is the exact opposite. That is the top of the line stuff. It levels out beautifully and even the "flat" has some shine to it to make it more washable.

It sounds like you need a flatter flat. Personally, I like Promar 400 on ceilings. That is a true flat. It doesn't come in quarts, but a gallon is probably cheaper than a quart of Emerald anyway.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:14 PM   #10
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


There are a thousand shades and degrees of sheen of white, and even if you found out what kind of paint was used originally, the paint that's there has aged and oxidized and will not match the new paint perfectly.

Your only hope is to find the closest match you can get, paint an area that covers the stain, and then over a distance of about a foot surrounding that, feather-edge the paint so that by then time you get to the old paint you are working with a nearly-dry brush or roller and barely putting any paint on.

You can still get differences in the application method that are hard to match; the original was probably sprayed, and rollers and brushes will give a different look.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:53 PM   #11
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


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I went to Sherwin Williams and they gave me Emerald flat extra white. I suppose that is because I wanted a small can. Is the color likely to be the same as their ceiling paint?
I'm not sure I've ever seen a marketed ceiling paint sold in anything other than large cans. I'm certainly no pro painter, but it has always struck me that ceiling paint has it own unique sheen, and if it sits long enough to start separating, you can see a bit of black/very dark tint. I don't know if that is to knock down the sheen or the white.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:50 AM   #12
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


Just tells you something about SW, selling you the most expensive paint they make, instead of the cheapest ceiling paint(which you needed)
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:37 PM   #13
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


I took the Emerald back. They agreed that ceiling paint was a different texture, but only came in gallons. They said I could buy a gallon and bring it back if it wasn't right.

The ceiling paint is much better. You can see the new paint, but it is not as obvious as the photos. It is still too smooth; but I figure that is the difference between going over paint and over drywall. Would roughing it up with sandpaper help? What grade?

I have to decide whether to take it back. It is not quite right and I used less than 1% of the can.
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:06 PM   #14
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


Nothing will ever match exactly. Even if you had the same original can, it wouldn't match. Dirt, dust, UV, heat, etc. all contribute to subtly change the color that was originally applied. Putting on paint from the original can wouldn't match because of the aforementioned effects on your painted ceiling. I'd say you've done the best you can without a total re-paint which you aren't wanting to do at this time. Call it good, grab a beer, and call it done.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:22 PM   #15
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Re: How do I paint stain on my ceiling


Ceiling Whites are the worst to match. You are only going to get close no matter what anyone sells you. I had a job about 16 months ago where the owner wanted to match a portion of the ceiling.....and didn't want to paint the whole thing......and after four quarts "matched" to a chunk that I had from the ceiling......you could still see the difference. Just accept that you do the ceiling in its entirety...or you will be able to see a difference. Ron
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