Quick Tip: How to Paint a Stained Ceiling
When you have a stained ceiling, it's not a good idea to paint directly over the top of stains, as these might bleed through the paint.
When painting a badly stained ceiling, especially one that is stained by smoke, or in this case cigarette smoke, you need to bear in mind that the resulting stain could be oily and difficult to paint over.
Ceiling stains can happen as a result of a leak that leaves a markedly visible water stain, smoke and grease in the kitchen, or cigarette smoke that accumulates over time. I also like to burn incense occasionally and even this has a tendency to leave a brown stain above the incense burner. Covering up these stains is not simply a case of slapping on a coat or two of paint as for many of these stains, and particularly those caused by smoke, have an oily residue.
Clean the surface
When dealing with any type of smoke stains on a ceiling, the area first needs to be cleaned and degreased, or the paint will not adhere to the surface or the stain will simply bleed through the paint.
To remove the greasy stain you will need to use an abrasive cleaner (sugar soap is ideal) and a soft scouring pad. Gently wipe over the stained area to remove the grease and have a clean bucket of water on hand so that you can constantly rinse out the scourer. You probably won't be able to remove all the stain but you will be able to remove the greasy residue and that's fine.
Don't let the ceiling remain wet as you work and dry immediately with some clean rags.
Apply a quality paint
When you are ready to paint, use a quality paint with high-hiding factor. This type of paint will cover up dark stains much quicker and you won't need to apply as many coats of paint. Be sure to let each coat of paint dry before applying another coat, and take the time to stand back and assess before applying any more coats.
GOOD TO KNOW: Don't apply the ceiling paint too thick as this may crack and peel later on.
It's no fun painting a ceiling, but it you do it right the first time your efforts will be rewarded with a long-lasting paint finish that looks good.